An ICv2 Release.  The ICv2 Graphic Novel Conference will be held at the Javits Center in New York City on April 17th, in association with the New York Comic Con, which begins the next day.  These are the panelists currently booked for the event.  More are being added regularly, and this page will be updated when they are.  For more information on the Conference, see "ICv2 Graphic Novel Conference -- 2008."


1:00 p.m.

ICv2 White Paper -- Inside a Growing Category

As graphic novels break into the mainstream, understanding the underlying trends becomes even more important.  In this session, ICv2 will present the results of its annual graphic novel industry survey, providing insights into issues such as title mix, industry sales, and channels, all in a strong historical context that provides perspective for the trends.  

Presented by Milton Griepp, ICv2

Milton Griepp is the founder and President of ICv2, since 2001 the undisputed industry authority on the manga and anime business.  He is a 30-year veteran of the pop culture business, and has managed companies that have sold over $1 billion in retail value of pop culture products as CEO of Capital City Distribution and Next Planet Over.


1:45 p.m. 

The Battle for Talent

As trade book publishers and fiction writers enter the graphic novel market and adaptations of literary properties hit the graphic novel bestseller lists, the relationships between comic creators and publishers are going through a period of change more rapid than at any time since the 80s.  Now creators may be represented by literary agents or packagers, the media rights for graphic novels are a key aspect of publishing rights, and international publishers both supply and are supplied by the American graphic novel business.  Join our panel as they discuss how these new influences are changing what gets published, and how.

Moderator -- Calvin Reid, Publishers Weekly

Calvin Reid is a senior news editor at Publishers Weeky with responsibility for comics and graphic novel coverage.  He is also co-editor, along with Heidi MacDonald, of PW Comics Week, the magazine's weekly e-mail comics newsletter. 


Judith Hansen -- President, Hansen Literary Agency
A former intellectual property attorney and deputy publisher of a comics company, Judith Hansen worked for major trade book houses including Random House and Simon & Schuster before becoming an agent.  Clients include Eddie Campbell, Svetlana Chmakova, R. Crumb, Aline Kominsky Crumb, Kazu Kibuishi, Hope Larson, Scott McCloud, Dave Roman, Kean Soo, Raina Telgemeier, Gene Yang, Flight LLC, The Center for Cartoon Studies, and Paradox Entertainment, and continues to represent the Will Eisner Estate, Wendy and Richard Pini, and Mark Schultz through her relationship with a prior agency.


Merrilee Heifetz -- Senior V.P., Writers House Literary Agency

Merrilee Heifetz has been at Writers House for over 20 years and was one of the first agents to handle comic books/graphic novels when asked by a very young Neil Gaiman to represent his work with DC Comics. She is agent for Mark Crilley’s Miki Falls graphic novel series, bestselling authors Laurell K. Hamilton and Sherrilyn Kenyon, Newbery winners Cynthia Voigt and Robin McKinley, Printz Award winners Chris Lynch and An Na (also NBA finalists), and Perry Moore, nominated for a Lambda for Hero.  For five years she chaired the Contracts Committee for the Association of Authors Representatives (AAR).


Bob Mecoy -- Literary Agent, Bob Mecoy Literary Agency

Before becoming an agent, Bob MeCoy was V.P. executive editor at Crown, V.P. senior editor at Simon & Schuster, V.P. editor-in-chief at Avon/Morrow, executive editor at New American Library, and Senior Editor at Dell. He edited bestselling writers ranging from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Arthur Herman; novelists ranging from Robert Parket to Robert Coover and Patricia Cornwell to Lynda Barry. As an agent, his projects have ranged from literary to commerical fiction in all the categories to graphic novels, and in nonfiction from a cookbook to a graphic memoir to a textbook to a history of the knife book and the biography of a killer tornado.

Betsy Mitchell --V.P./Editor-in-Chief, Del Rey Books

Betsy Mitchell came to Random House in 2002 to serve as V.P./Editor-in-Chief for Del Rey Books, after serving as an editor and publisher for various magazine and book publishers, including founding the Aspect line at Warner Books. In 2004 she oversaw the launch of Del Rey Manga, which was named 'Best New Publisher of the Year' by and celebrated its first anniversary with the publication of its millionth volume of manga in print.

Ginee Seo --V.P. and Editorial Director, Ginee Seo books, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Group

Ginee Seo began her publishing career as an Oscar Dystel Fellow at Bantam Books. She was vice president and editorial director at HarperTrophy and joined Atheneum as associate publisher in 2000. She was given her own imprint in 2005. A graduate of Princeton University, Ginee has fond memories of working on her college newspaper drawing editorial cartoons next to a guy named Jim Lee. Yes, that Jim Lee.

Mark Siegel -- Editorial Director, First Second Books

Mark Siegel is the editorial director of First Second Books, which employs creators from many cultures to create high quality, literate graphic novels for a wide age-range. A former designer at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Siegel is also the illustrator of several picture books and graphic novels, including the Sibert honor book, To Dance, A Ballerina's Graphic Novel.  


3:00 p.m. 

Graphic Novels and Tweens

There may be more tween readers of comics in North America now than there have been at any time in the last 30 years.  Where are these new consumers coming from, and how are they finding out about graphic novels?  What are the roles of mass media on the one hand, and schools and libraries on the other, in this process?  Why has manga been more successful than domestic material with tweens?  And can this kind of growth continue?   Join us for this panel discussion of one of the most exciting areas of publishing. 

Moderated by Milton Griepp, ICv2


Dan Buckley -- President and Publisher of Marvel Enterprises

As Publisher, Dan Buckley is charged with sustaining and growing all areas of Marvel publishing and reaching out to both new and lapsed readership.  Since 2003, he has worked with the Marvel team of editors and managers to invigorate the core Marvel Universe titles and characters and continue to build what they see as a new 'mindscape' at Marvel that will further the burgeoning legitimacy the comics industry is beginning to enjoy. 


Liza Coppola--Sr. Vice President, VIZ Media

Liza Coppola joined VIZ in 2002 and now has responsibility for all marketing for the company.  Prior to VIZ, Coppola spent six years in managerial roles at the Walt Disney Company, overseeing marketing for Disney animation properties.  As VP Marketing at GS Entertainment Group, she managed marketing for various media properties.  She is a 20 year veteran of the publishing and entertainment industry, with stints at UC Press, Random House, and HarperCollins.


Kazu Kibuishi–Editor, Creator, Flight, Flight Explorer, Amulet

Kazu Kibuishi is the creator of the graphic novels Amulet and Daisy Kutter, as well as the Webcomic Copper.  He is also the editor and art director of the Flight comics anthology series and the new Flight Explorer.  He lives and works in Alhambra, California with his wife Amy.


Mike Kiley -- Publisher, Tokyopop

Mike Kiley joined Tokyopop in 1998 to help found its Internet business.  Under Kiley's guidance as Publisher, Tokyopop now creates more than 50 full-length manga graphic novels per year.  Prior to joining Tokyopop, Kiley ran an eight-location bookselling enterprise for UC-Irvine; launched the first academic bookstore in cyberspace in 1992; and created an online store selling products related to anime, pop music and videogames for UCI.

Ed Masessa–Senior Manager Product Development, Scholastic Book Fairs

Masessa is Senior Manager Product Development for Graphic Novels, Fantasy, Mystery, Adventure, Family/Friendship, Humor and Sports for Scholastic Book Fairs. Prior to entering the world of children’s books, he was a purchasing manager for Mack Trucks and Alfa Romeo, but his first job was buying comic books for his dad’s barber shop.  In his eleven years at Scholastic, he has held positions as Field Rep, Operations Manager, and Category Manager.


Jim Salicrup–Editor in Chief, Papercutz

Jim Salicrup is the Editor in Chief at Papercutz, the company he co-founded with Terry Nantier, which is devoted to publishing graphic novels for all ages. Titles include BIONICLE, Classics Illustrated, The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and Tales From The Crypt. Jim is perhaps best known as the Marvel Comics editor of Spider-Man #1. He wrote the educational Spidey Super-Stories (produced in cooperation with the Children’s Television Workshop) and the Child Abuse Prevention issue of Spider-Man.


4:00 p.m.

Buyers Panel -- Graphic Novels, the Next Three Years

Graphic novel buyers are often the people that spot trends first because they see aggregated consumer demand on a wide range of titles.  In this panel, key graphic novel buyers from multiple channels will discuss what's selling and why, how the market's changing, and what kinds of products they think will grow the market in the next three years.

Moderated by Milton Griepp, ICv2

Jeff Ayers–Store Manager and Graphic Novel Buyer, Forbidden Planet

Jeff Ayers is manager and graphic novel buyer for Forbidden Planet, the comic book and collectable store that has become a landmark on the corner of Broadway and East 13th.  Ayers first visited Forbidden Planet at the age of 10 and “fell in love with it.” He came to work there 14 years ago.


Alison Hendon–Young Adult Materials Selector, Brooklyn Public Library

Alison Hendon buys all the young adult books (including graphic novels) for the Brooklyn Public Library system.  As she often says, “If I like a book, I buy 60 copies.  If I really like it, I buy 120.”   Since adding graphic novels to the collection, the YA circulation has tripled!  She has previously worked in various state agency libraries in California as well as in three different adult prison libraries.


Ron Hill–Director of Operations and Chief Buyer, Jim Hanley’s Universe

Ron Hill became a retailer of comics in 1983 when he was barely 14 years old. A lifelong fan of comics, he met and was hired by Jim Hanley on the first day of Jim’s first comic shop, The Fantastic Store. Jim split off in 1985, and founded Jim Hanley’s Universe with Ron tagging along. Jim Hanley’s Universe has served New York area comic fans with one of the world’s best selections of comics, graphic novels, and related merchandise ever since. Currently with locations in Manhattan and Staten Island, Jim Hanley’s Universe is the store “Where Art and Literature Meet.”


James Killen -- Graphic Novel Buyer, Barnes and Noble

James Killen started with Barnes and Noble in 1979 while still a freshman student at The School of Visual Arts, moving on to manage several stores for the company.  He became a buyer in 1987 and he's managed the businesses of Graphic Novels and Science Fiction nationally for the last eight years.


Bill Schanes -- Vice President of Purchasing, Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc.

Bill Schanes has over 30 years' experience in comics retailing, distribution, and publishing.  In 1971, he co-founded the legendary independent Pacific Comics (which published comics by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and Dave Stevens, among others), then joined Diamond in 1985.  He is a member of Diamond's management team, and is very interested in Diamond's ongoing efforts to expand the marketplace for both our retailers and suppliers.


Brandon Waters–Graphic Novel Buyer, Books-A-Million

A graphic novel and manga fan for years, Brandon Waters came to Books-A-Million as an intern to help rollout of their new store-within-a-store graphic novel section. He eventually spent four years as a store manager and has been a graphic novels buyer for the past year.


5:00 p.m.

Stay for the cocktail reception, sponsored by Transcontinental Printing.


Click here for the New York Comic Con Website.

Click here to be taken directly to the registration page.

VIZ Media, LLC, Transcontinental Printing, and Publishers Weekly are sponsors of the ICv2 Graphic Novel Conference.


VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan's largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages.


Transcontinental Printing

Transcontinental is the largest printer in Canada and seventh in North America, and is also the country's leading consumer magazine publisher and second largest community newspaper publisher.  From mass to highly personalized marketing, the company offers its clients integrated solutions which also include a diverse digital platform and a door-to-door distribution network of advertising material.  Transcontinental is a company whose values, including respect, innovation and integrity, are central to its operation.  Transcontinental (TSX: TCL.SV.A, TCL.MV.B) has more than 14,000 employees in Canada, the United States and Mexico, and reported revenues of C$2.2 billion (US $1.9 billion) in 2005.


Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly is the leading publication serving all segments involved in the creation, production, marketing and sale of the written word in book, audio, video and electronic formats.  It is the prime source of comprehensive news and provides unique industry data including an annotated bestseller list, hot deals and retail news.  A 134-year old magazine -- with over 100,000 dedicated readers -- PW is recognized as the leading publication for international and U.S. book publishing needs. PW's Website, is packed with great information from the hottest industry news to book reviews to the popular e-newsletters and much more.



New York Comic Con and New York Anime Festival are managed by Reed Exhibitions (RX), the world's largest organizer of business-to-business events, a division of Reed Elsevier plc.  Each year Reed events assemble over 90,000 suppliers and over 5 million buyers from around the world.  BookExpo America is one of many Reed Elsevier properties within the Reed Global Book Publishing Network, whose trade events include the Asia International Book Fair, London International Book Fair, Salon du Livre:  Paris Book Fair, Tokyo International Book Fair and BookExpo Canada, and whose Reed Business Information (RBI) properties include Publishers Weekly, Variety Magazine, Playthings, Video Business, Library Journal, and School Library Journal.