Floor traffic was light at the recently concluded Book Expo
First Ever BEA Graphic Novel Breakfast”), to packed programming rooms for an unprecedented amount of graphic novel programming on Saturday. One such crowded programming room was for the ICv2 panel on "What's Good, What's Hot, What's Next," with panelists Tom Flinn (ICv2 VP-Content), Adam Freeman (Brave New World Comics), Jessica Stockton Bagnulo (McNally Robinson Booksellers), Nick Smith (Pasadena Public Library System), and Milton Griepp (ICv2 Publisher, the moderator).
Many graphic novel publishers were in the main South Hall, near their associated book distributors (Viz near Simon and Schuster, Tokyopop near Harpercollins, Fantagraphics with W.W. Norton, etc.), or corporate parents (Yen with Hachette, Del Rey in Random House, etc.), reinforcing the recent trend toward graphic novels’ increasing ubiquity at the show.
Attendees had to make a special trip for the DBD graphic novel aisle, with the West Hall of the convention center a block’s walk from the more heavily trafficked South Hall, and they did. The South Hall had all of the major
The placement of the DBD graphic novel aisle next to the children’s book area reminded us that some still think of comics as children’s books, but Kuo-Yu Liang of DBD brushed off concerns, saying, “We’re a destination.” The aisle did have great placement within the hall, directly in front of the entrance.
One negative note in the otherwise positive graphic novel vibe at the show was the rumbling of more trouble coming at Borders, a critical retailer of graphic novels and the #1 manga retailer in the
And all meetings with Borders buyers for this week were canceled on Friday, with internal concerns at the company, including anticipated layoffs, taking precedence over meetings with publishers.
Outside the Convention Center,
But even with the undercurrent of a troubled economy and its impact on a major retailer, the positives outweighed the negatives, and most attendees from the graphic novel business came way from the BEA noting that for another year, graphic novels are one of the best parts of the book business.