ComicsPRO is the only trade organization for direct-market comic book
retailers. ComicsPRO's goals are not that different from trade
organizations in other industries: to promote advocacy, education, and
opportunity for their members and for other storefront comic book retailers.
As a small business, you face many
challenges without a lot of support. Joining ComicsPRO makes you part of
a group facing -- and overcoming -- many of the same challenges.
ComicsPRO allows you, as a small business, to receive benefits that are
often only available to much larger groups, including discounted credit
card rates and deals on health insurance. But the most important goal of
ComicsPRO is to provide a voice for the often overlooked concerns of
Board of Directors
President Peter Dolan
Peter Dolan owns and operates Main Street Comics in Middletown NY. Peter's Direct Market experience stretches back to 1978, when he worked part time at Double Action Comics, Staten Island's first comic book store. He also worked as a manager for Jim Hanley's Universe from 1986 - 1994. This experience served him well for when he eventually opened his own shop.
Main Street Comics originally opened in 2001 on Main Street in Pine Bush NY, and moved to Middletown in 2003. In June of 2013 the store moved to a larger space (3000 sq ft) across town.
Vice-President Jamye Foster
Jamye Foster is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Southern Mississippi and co-owner of Southern Fried Comics (SFC) in Hattiesburg, MS. Jamye and her husband, Barry Herring, opened SFC in 2010 as a boutique comic shop focused on new comics and graphic novels, unique gifts, and local artwork. While Barry handles the day-to-day store operations, Jamye is able to support efforts in the areas of marketing communications and community involvement. Jamye has an MBA and a PhD in Marketing, has guest lectured for several local business organizations, and is involved in community building programs. Her courses, Creative Marketing and Consumer Behavior, use client-based projects, where local businesses and organizations serve as clients for semester-long projects. This experience benefits the students, and also provides small businesses with marketing ideas they can use. Relevant areas of expertise (research emphasis) include: retail marketing, branding, and brand relationship development. Relevant skills include: social media marketing, survey development, and statistical analysis.
Recording Secretary Chris Brady
Chris is the co-owner of 4 Color Fantasies in Rancho Cucamonga. Chris’ first experience was clerking at his LCS while growing up in So Cal. His life turned him away from the comic industry for many years but he always had the dream of opening his own shop. After joining the Army and leaving due to injuries, he came back to California and worked as a Used Car Manager. After years of stress and saving he and his partner Nat decided to open a comic book store after seeing the need for actual customer service in the area around their home. 4 Color Fantasies opened in 2006 and has been growing every year since. In 2014 he moved his store from the 1300sqft store to a new 3000sqft storefront.
Treasurer Ralph Mathieu
Ralph Mathieu has owned Alternate Reality Comics, here in fabulous Las Vegas since 1995. In 2010, Alternate Reality Comics, a two-time Eisner Spirit of Retailing finalist (in addition to receiving many local media accolades), moved to its present location of 2200 sq.ft., doubling the previous store space. This increased size has allowed Alternate Reality Comics to be more creative in displaying the plethora of genres and pop culture items that the comic industry encompasses. Additionally, the increased space has made it easier to accommodate store events, such as signings and local artist spotlights, an all around better showcase for the entertainment comic retailing has to offer.
Ralph and his wife, Katherine Keller (a contributor and founding member of the long-running, webzine, Sequential Tart) also tie many of their store events with local charitable organizations as a way of giving back to the community.
Director Joe Field
Joe Field is the owner/operator of Flying Colors
Comics & Other Cool Stuff in Concord, California. Field is a
recipient of the Will Eisner "Spirit of Comics" Award and a columnist
for Comics & Games Retailer magazine.
Field graduated from San Francisco State University with a
degree in Broadcasting/Marketing and was formerly the Marketing Director
for KJOY-AM/KJAX-FM in Stockton, California. In that role, Joe
spear-headed a drive to get Marvel Comics to recognize Stockton as "the
Official Birthplace of Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four." The successful
effort led to Joe doing free-lance public relations work for Marvel
Comics' publisher Stan Lee, which in turn led to Field working with,
then becoming co-owner of
Northern California's largest comic book convention. Field and his
WonderCon business partner Mike Friedrich sold the convention to
Comic-Con International in April of 2001.
Field has served as a director for the Direct Line Group, the
Northern California Comic Dealers' Association (NCCDA), Bay Area Comic
Retailers (BACR) and Comic Book Retailers' International (CBRI) trade
associations, and he served as President of ComicsPRO for eight years, dating back to the organization's inception. Field is also the founder of Free Comic Book Day, the
industry's only coordinated promotion outreach effort.
Director Jenn Haines
Jennifer Haines opened The Dragon in Guelph, Ontario, in 1998. She went on to earn a Master's degree in Classical Studies and a Bachelor of Education. She then taught for 10 years, teaching Latin, Drama, English, and History. She has used this training and experience to create a comprehensive programme for schools, providing workshops for students and teachers, as well as library consultations and book fairs. She has also written two articles for the Diamond Bookshelf publication on using comics in the classroom, as well as presenting talks on topics such as women in comics, comics for kids, and comics and Classics at various events. In 2009, in conjunction with the Joe Shuster Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards, Jennifer created The Dragon Prize, recognizing the best all-ages book by a Canadian each year. In addition, Jennifer has acted as a Classics consultant for Eric Shanower and Bill Willingham. She has been a board member of the Comic Book Legends Legal Defense Fund (the Canadian version of the CBLDF) since 2011. In 2012, The Dragon received the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing Award. That same year, Jennifer was awarded the Guelph Mercury 40 Under 40 award, recognizing valuable community members. This past year, she was the recipient of the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Business category. She lives in Guelph, Ontario, with her two children, Junia and Darwin, and husband, Robert.
Director Patrick Brower
Life-long comic book reader Patrick Brower has degrees in Illustration and Art History and has been a full-time comic book retailer since August, 1990. He started out working for other people and learned a whole lot about selling comics. He also learned a whole lot of what NOT to do, and in 2007 when his long-time colleague W. Dal Bush convinced him there was a better way to provide comics to people in the 21st century, Challengers Comics + Conversation was born. Challengers was the 2013 recipient of the Will Eisner "Spirit of Comics" Retail Award and strives to prove that the best thing about being in a comic book store, is being in a comic book store. Patrick endeavors to bring Chicago a full-service, technologically interactive comic store that has the same level of wonder and enjoyment as the comics he sells. And reads. And talks about. And champions. Patrick has been a ComicsPRO member since 2009 and was elected to the Board in 2016.
Executive Director, Marco Davanzo
Marco is the owner of Alakazam Comics in Irvine. He has been involved in comic book retailing since 1999. In a previous career, Marco was a business loan officer and a stock broker for a top 5 bank. Marco has an MBA from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University. He has been Executive Director since December 2014.
About ComicsPRO as an association
ComicsPRO is a not for profit trade
organization dedicated to the progress of direct market comic book
retailers. While we as an organization value our individual members and
work diligantly in promoting industry issues, no individual retailer or
board member is authorized to speak on behalf of the ComicsPRO
organization. Only the Executive Director and/or the President can speak for or take action on behalf of ComicsPRO.
It is the policy of ComicsPRO to abide by and follow both the letter and the spirit of all U.S. and International Antitrust and Competition laws. ComicsPRO does not advocate or sanction any agreement or understanding with respect to group or collective purchasing, pricing, or refusals to deal with any supplier, vendor, retail chain participant, customer or groups of customers. Members of ComicsPRO may decide unilaterally to sell to or to buy from whomever they wish and ComicsPRO takes no position with respect to our members' individually considered business decisions. ComicsPRO also does not take any position with respect to the terms and conditions that its members establish or agree to when contracting with suppliers, vendors, or retail chain participants. The decision to enter into a business relationship or contract, and the terms under which the relationship shall be governed, is an individual decision for each member. It is ComicsPRO's position that all such contracts should be reviewed carefully and if any member has concerns or questions, they should seek guidance from their independent counsel.