ICv2 Insider Talks and Comic Industry Social Hour at New York Comic Con

An ICv2 Release.  ICv2 will host an event for business and creative professionals, the ICv2 Insider Talks: Direct Market Summit, and Comic Industry Social Hour, on Thursday afternoon, October 12, in the dramatic 4th Floor River Pavilion at the Javits Center, in association with New York Comic Con.

This three-hour event is annually a great opportunity to meet, mingle, and network with other leaders of the comics and graphic novel industry.  It will kick off with the Comic Industry Social Hour, co-hosted with ComicsPro, at 2:30.  The Insider Talks, which will run 3:30 to 5:30, will include three powerful sessions in a quick-moving format.

“This is the 50th anniversary of the comics Direct Market (see “Direct Market 50th Anniversary“), and 2023 is a period of change unlike any we’ve seen in decades,” ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp said in announcing the event.  “I think we all want to understand what those changes mean for comic stores, where modern geek culture was birthed and nurtured, and the passionate customers they serve.  At this important milestone, we’re bringing together industry thought leaders to help us understand the past, present and future of this unique phenomenon.”

The event is open to business and creative attendees of New York Comic Con:

  • Publishers
  • Retailers
  • Distributors
  • Digital executives      
  • Writers and artists
  • Librarians and educators
  • Producers, agents, and managers
  • Licensees, licensors, and marketers
  • Press

If you are a business or creative professional and would like a free ticket to the event, email Conferences@ICv2.com.

If you are press and would like to cover the event, email Conferences@ICv2.com.

Here are the details:

Comic Industry Social Hour, Co-Hosted with ComicsPro (2:30-3:30)
Meet, mingle, and network with other leaders of the comics and graphic novel industry.

ICv2 White Paper: State of the Market at 50 (3:30-4:00)
ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp will present the ICv2 White Paper, with the charts and graphs that show the state of the comics and graphic novel market in all its channels as the Direct Market enters its second half-century.

Milton Griepp is the founder and President of ICv2, since 2001 the undisputed industry authority on the business of geek culture.  He is a 45-year veteran of the geek culture business, and has managed companies that have sold over $1 billion in retail value of geek culture products as CEO of Capital City Distribution and Next Planet Over.  He also served on the board of comiXology for five years until its sale to Amazon, and was Vice President and board member of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

How We Got Here: Building the Comic Store Channel (4:00-4:45)
Comic stores were a revolutionary change in the way comics were sold, and our three panelists played important roles in the growth and success of the Direct Market: Paul Levitz at DC Comics, Jim Shooter at Marvel Comics, Valiant Entertainment, and others, and Milton Griepp as a distributor.  The three get together to discuss the key inflection points in the growth of the Direct Market, and their lessons for today.

Paul Levitz is a comic fan (The Comic Reader), editor (Batman), writer (Legion of Super-Heroes, executive (30 years at DC Comics, ending as President & Publisher), historian (Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel, Abrams ComicArts) and educator. Levitz serves on the boards of the Clarion Foundation and BOOM! Studios, and teaches at Columbia and in Pace’s undergraduate and graduate program.  He was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2019. His most recent comics work is Avengers: War Across Time.

Jim Shooter started writing stories for DC Comics in 1965 at age 13.  In 1978, he became Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics.  He introduced royalties and incentives that attracted phenomenal talents who did amazing work.  Jim wrote notable series including the Avengers and Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars and laid the foundations for G.I. Joe and Transformers.  Later, he founded Valiant Comics, Defiant Comics, and Broadway Comics and was the principal creator of their characters.  Currently, he works with Illustrated Media Group creating content for film and television.

Milton Griepp is the founder and President of ICv2, since 2001 the undisputed industry authority on the business of geek culture.  He is a 45-year veteran of the geek culture business, and has managed companies that have sold over $1 billion in retail value of geek culture products as CEO of Capital City Distribution and Next Planet Over.  He also served on the board of comiXology for five years until its sale to Amazon, and was Vice President and board member of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

The Future of the Direct Market: Where Do We Go from Here? (4:45-5:30)
The ways that people find and read comics are broader than they’ve been in decades, with bookstores, online merchants, digital downloads, and webtoons all playing a role in developing the audience for the art form.  What’s the role of the comic stores in the midst of all this opportunity, and what’s the best path forward for the growth of the medium and art form?  We bring together a panel of leaders to discuss, with our resident futurist, Rob Salkowitz, moderating.

Stu Colson, with 30 years of experience as the proprietor of Heroes for Sale in Auckland, New Zealand, is also the director of ComicHub. ComicHub is a comprehensive Point of Sale (POS) system designed specifically for the Comic & Game industry.  It offers customer ordering tools, automated eCommerce websites linked to the POS, and features for direct publisher interaction with comic enthusiasts, all integrated within a single platform.

Dimitrios Fragiskatos is the owner of Anyone Comics in Brooklyn and Everyone Comics and Collectibles in Queens.  His experience has led him to create projects like the Access Guide to the Black Comic Book Community which lists comic books with Black creators, stores with Black owners, Black-owned conventions and publishers with Black executives. Dimitrios can be seen in “Reign of the Superwomen” and the upcoming “Surviving Comics” documentary.

Jamal Igle is writer/artist/Creator of Molly Danger for Action Lab Entertainment, the co-creator of Venture with Dynamo 5 creator/writer Jay Faerber, the co-creator of The Wrong Earth with writer Tom Peyer for Ahoy Comics ,and the co-creator of Dudley Datson and the Forever machine with writer Scott Snyder for comiXology.

Rob Salkowitz is an Eisner Award nominated writer about the business of comics, entertainment and pop culture for Forbes, ICv2, Publishers Weekly and other publications.  He’s the author of five books including Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture and teaches in the graduate school of communication at the University of Washington in Seattle.

And watch for our publisher panelist, to be announced soon.

The support of these companies makes this event possible:

Co-Sponsor: GlobalComics
GlobalComix is a digital reading and distribution platform that helps publishers and creators share and sell their comics globally, and understand their readers better.  Focused on providing tools to grow and succeed, GlobalComix is on a tireless mission to create the best platform in the world to publish, discover, and read comics.

Sponsor: Mad Cave Studios
Mad Cave Studios, established in 2014, is an independent publisher committed to providing worldwide entertainment across an array of genres.  Mad Cave’s catalog includes a captivating blend of licensed, creator-owned, and original works, masterfully created by a diverse cast of storytellers focused on cultivating impactful character-driven narratives.  Mad Cave Studios is the parent company to Maverick and Papercutz, enriching the literary landscape for readers of all ages.

Supporting Sponsor: Diamond Comic Distributors
Celebrating 40 years of service, Diamond Comic Distributors is a leader in the worldwide distribution of comics, games, toys, collectibles and preservation supplies.  With an unparalleled distribution network, Diamond’s mission is to support and serve our customers and partners with all their pop culture needs.  Diamond is part of Geppi Family Enterprises, the largest producers and distributors of English-language comics, toys, collectibles, games, and preservation supplies worldwide.

About ICv2
ICv2 is the #1 industry source on the business of geek culture, including comics and graphic novels, manga, hobby games, and merch, on its Website, www.ICv2.com, and in its magazine, Internal Correspondence.  For the people on the front lines of the geek culture business, staying ahead of the trends isn’t something that can be left to chance – it’s a basic necessity for being successful.  That’s why ICv2 is the #1 source of news and information for the buyers, gatekeepers, and tastemakers on the front lines.  ICv2 is where trend-watching is a science.

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