ICv2—Staying Ahead of the Trends
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 has become a science.
ICv2 Builds Buzz
The audience that’s trying to stay ahead of the trends is a rich target, including the trade, from independent retailers to the largest chains; producers looking for new properties; librarians and educators; licensing pros; the press and bloggers that cover the business; and key consumers.
• Trade—Independent comic, game, video, toy, and book retailers; buyers for major retailers; distributors and wholesalers, international
• Producers, managers, and agents from film, TV, and videogames
• Press and bloggers
• Licensing pros
• Librarians and educators
• Committed consumers
Categories that Drive Pop Culture
- Comics and graphic novels
- Hobby games—collectible, cool board, minis, RPGs
- Anime and manga
- Movie/TV products, including merch, home media, and more
ICv2's content is respected throughout the industries it covers, and used as a resource by the top business and popular press, including:
* New York Times
* Wall Street Journal
* Business Week
* USA Today
* Publishers Weekly
Both Print and Online
ICv2.com, every business day
ICv2 Daily Insider email newsletter, every business day
ICv2's Internal Correspondence, published 2X a year
What is ICv2?
ICv2 stands for Internal Correspondence version 2 (see more about Internal Correspondence below in "History"). The ICv2 website -- www.ICv2.com -- provides news and information for geek culture retailers, with the only daily trade news, in-depth analysis, and product and sales information available anywhere. Internal Correspondence provides bestseller lists, info on upcoming releases, market reports, previews, reviews and features to help retailers better manage their businesses and librarians better manage their collections.
Who we are--
Milton Griepp, Chief Executive Officer
Milton Griepp has been in the geek culture business for over 40 years. After receiving his B.A. and attending graduate school at the University of Wisconsin (and working through college in comics retailing and distribution), he formed Capital City Distribution with John Davis in 1980. As an officer and beginning in 1984 as CEO of Capital, he grew sales for 14 consecutive years, building Capital into a profitable international company with over $150 million in annual sales of geek culture products, especially comics and games, to retailers around the world. Capital was the source of many innovations in distribution, including the advance solicitation mag-a-log, still in use today.
Since selling Capital to Diamond Comic Distributors in 1996, Griepp has continued using his expertise in the industry as a consultant in the publishing, retailing, distribution, toy, and educational fields.
Beginning in 1998 and extending to mid-2000, Griepp was chairman of Next Planet Over, then a venture-funded, San Francisco-based geek products e-commerce company. From October of 1999 to May of 2000, when the company was sold, Griepp took the additional role of CEO.
In addition to continuing his consulting, Griepp founded ICv2, the #1 information source on the business of geek culture, in 2001. ICv2 publishes a website, ICv2.com, with daily business news; and Internal Correspondence, a magazine with in-depth market analysis, bestseller charts, and forecasts of bestselling products in the graphic novel and hobby game categories. ICv2 also conducts annual conferences for industry leaders on critical topics including digital and media trends in geek culture.
Griepp served as a board member and advisor for Iconology, Inc., parent of comiXology, the leading digital comics platform in the U.S., from 2009 through its period of rapid growth until the company was sold to Amazon in April of 2014.
Griepp is on the board of directors and is the Vice President of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers.
Tom Flinn, VP Emeritus, Columnist
Tom Flinn has been in the pop culture business for over 25 years. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, he studied art history and cinema in graduate school and spent three years as an instructor in filmmaking and popular culture at the University of Wisconsin--Stevens Point. While in graduate school, Flinn was the Book Editor of The Velvet Lightrap film magazine.
Flinn was the first full-time employee of Capital City Distribution where he worked his way up from the warehouse to Vice President of Product Management, a position that involved supervising the staff that created the monthly Advance Comics mag-a-log. He was also a frequent contributor to the highly esteemed print version of Internal Correspondence, Capital City's magazine for pop culture retailers. At Capital Flinn pushed hard to expand the product lines available to retailers, believing that diversity of offerings gave retailers the best chance of riding out the often drastic ups and downs that characterize pop culture collector categories.
After Capital City was acquired by Diamond Comic Distributors, Flinn took the position of Director of Purchasing at Diamond where he created the International Section of Previews.
Flinn has been Vice President -- Content at ICv2 since its founding in early 2001.
Nicole Bunge--Managing Editor
Bunge has a BA in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, and a college education and career in both business and journalism. In addition to other work experience, Bunge had a 2-1/2 year stint in a variety of positions, including Marketing Manager, at hobby game distributor ACD Distribution. She began at ICv2 in 2013 as Assistant Managing Editor, and was promoted to Managing Editor in 2015.
Dennis Viau--Web production, graphics, research
Prior to joining ICv2 at its founding in 2001, Viau had a career in comic distribution at Diamond Comic Distributors, and prior to its acquisition by Diamond, at Capital City Distribution.
Anne Gassere -- Advertising Associate
Gassere was a full time managing editor at ICv2 in the 00s, and also worked for American Girl and Capital City Distribution in marketing and publishing roles.
Our editorial philosophy
We believe that we're all in this together -- that if the markets for geek culture products grow, we'll all be more successful. Accordingly, we're devoted to promoting our common interests and growing the business of which we're all a part.
At ICv2, we strive to be fast, accurate, fair, and complete in our coverage. We'll try to get you the news that affects your business first, to give you correct information, to be fair to the companies, people, and products we cover, and to give you the whole story.
Rather than telling you our personal preferences, our credo is "we like what sells," and we will endeavor to chart accurately the potential and performance of various products profiled, always trying to include those important channel issues (who's selling these products), that can greatly affect sales potential.
Many people involved in the production and sales of geek culture products are also aficionados. We certainly are, and that's why we're still in this business after many years. One of our goals in doing this site is to remind people that this business is supposed to be fun! No gloom and doom or dour countenances here -- we're having fun and hope you are too.
ICv2 editorial policies
Advertisements on ICv2 will be clearly distinguishable as such.
ICv2 will print no press releases (except our own) verbatim -- we will always try to provide some measure of analysis or perspective. ICv2's occasional press releases, giving information on news of note about ICv2, will be clearly labeled as such.
ICv2 will indicate the source of our information whenever possible.
In case of error, we'll update the site as quickly as possible, including corrections in the original article in an effort to make our archive as error-free as possible.
Internal Correspondence was a newsletter and then a magazine published from the early 80s through the mid-90s by Capital City Distribution, Inc., one of the largest distributors of pop culture products during that period. The magazine was a trade publication directed at specialty retailers. When Capital City Distribution was sold to Diamond Comic Distributors in 1996, the rights to the name were kept by one of the principals of Capital, Milton Griepp, who had been publisher and editor-in-chief of the magazine at Capital. Beginning in the fall of 2000, Griepp began working on a web version of the title. ICv2 launched in January, 2001. The ICv2 Retailer Guides magazines were launched in 2002, and the name was changed back to Internal Correspondence in the late 00s.
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