Diamond Comic Distributors CEO and owner Steve Geppi appeared on Comic Book News with Dan Shahin earlier this week. During the two-hour livestream on YouTube, Geppi and prominent comic retailers discussed how the state of the US comic publishing and retail industry, and where things may likely head in the future.
Geppi and Shahin were joined by Jeremy Shorr from Dallas-based Titan Comics (not to be confused with the UK publisher of the same name), Cliff Biggers (of Marietta, Georgia’s Dr No’s Comics), Jim Mortensen (of Comix Revolution in Evanston), Joe Field (Flying Colors, Concord, California), and Brian Hibbs (of San Francisco-based Comix Experience).
The discussion ranges across the complexities of the comics business, key events, Geppi’s goals for Diamond, his thoughts on competition, plans for the 2020 Free Comic Book Day, which has been postponed for now from its usual May date, his perspective on DC Comics, and much more.
There was mixed reaction to the discussion. “Am heartened Steve Geppi made this first (of many more I trust) public talk during these uncertain times,” said comics historian Robert Beerbohm, one of the more moderate commentators, some who felt the whole Direct Market model of selling comics was at an end. “He should seriously consider doing one of these once a week. Open it up to all his customers, the local comic book stores, the guys & gals who maybe have no employees. The ones who work their gig themselves, down in the trenches building ‘new’ customers. And might be wondering where their next meal is coming from.
“Until this all opens back up these talks should be aimed in the direction of providing hope there is light at the end of a very long tunnel.”