ComicsPro, an annual meeting where retailers within the comic book industry get together with publishers, creators, and other distributors to talk about the comic industry at large and the ways in which it can continually move forward took place a few weeks ago in Portland, Oregon.
This year, panels such as ‘Kids and Young Adult Graphic Novel Symposium,’ and ‘Graphic Novels, Perennials, and Curation’ looked at the best practices for how to grow the direct market with an eye towards how kids’ graphic novel publishers and the direct market itself can work together to grow sales.
Many publishers in the kids & ya graphic novel market attended, including: Scholastic, Penguin Random House, First Second, Oni Press, Drawn + Quarterly & Boom! Studios. Guests on the panels included: Julia Pohl-Miranda (D&Q), Sarah Gaydos (Oni), Filip Sablik (Boom!), Gina Gagliano (RH Graphic), David Saylor (Scholastic), & Mark Von Bergen (First Second). During both panels, there was thoughtful discourse on how the industry is working to give young readers the space and material to grow into adult comic readers when they already read books like Dog Man, or works by Raina Telgemeier.
Some other great topics of conversation:
- How to keep a perennial for kids timeless when kids from the age group are aging out of series on a quick basis.
- How to modify an adult book for the purpose of getting it on a teen book list.
- YALSA and and how they can be a great resource for comic retailers with their “Great Graphic Novels” (YALSA) lists and much more.
- The ABA Indie Next List
- How kids and ya graphic novels have a shelf life that lasts a long time, which allows the sections to grow within comic store fronts and create those lifelong comics readers.
All in All, ComicsPro 2020 was a lovely time. With keeping the focus on how to grow young readers into adult readers, publishers shared an abundance of marketing information and excitement that will hopefully shape up 2020 to be a great year for the comic and graphic novel industry.