Well, for the most part, I do LOVE my job---and it is fun, both as local small business owner and as someone who participates more fully in the wider business of comics and pop culture. As the owner of Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff, I am privileged each day to provide Contra Costa County with a widely-respected, fully-stocked store that brings pleasure to thousands every month.
On an industrywide level, I am also thrilled to work with so many talented people--- artists, writers, distributors, publishers, sales reps and other comic book specialty retailers. Over the years, I have been a part of founding WonderCon, written many articles and columns for industry publications, consulted with new retailers opening their first stores, helped cartoonists get their comics to a wider market, founded the international and huge Free Comic Book Day (2.5 million comics, 2000 stores in 40 countries leading to one million visitors to comic book stores on FCBD last year alone).
In the last six years, I've also been very proud and willing to serve as the founding president of ComicsPRO, the retailer trade and advocacy group.
Yeah, OK, what does THAT mean?
Worldwide, here are likely around 3500 comic book specialty retailers. In the U.S and Canada, that number is closer to 2500. That's a very small number of businesses on the front lines of comics-based pop culture. ComicsPRO promotes advocacy, education and opportunity for our members. We work with our members--- all small business owners that have challenges, costs and goals. By being a ComicsPRO member retailer, we are able to band together and mitigate some of those costs, overcome some of those challenges and help each other attain the goals we seek--- more professional, profitable and sustainable comic shops.
So in just a few weeks, I'll be heading to Dallas for the ComicsPRO Annual Members Meeting. This will be our 6th annual meeting and we'll be talking with publishers, manufacturers, distributors, and our fellow retailers in an effort to increase our profitability, share our concerns and potential solutions with our industry trading partners and learn from each other in ways that expand our vision and make each of us look at businesses with fresh eyes.
If you are in the business of comics, particularly as a store owner, but also as a publisher or manufacturer, I strongly urge you to attend. If you have any questions, please email me here.
The meeting info is HERE! And the time is NOW!
Joe "FlyCoJoe" Field