An ICv2 Release.  The ICv2 Graphic Novel Conference will be held at the Javits Center in New York City on February 23rd, 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.'


ICv2 White Paper -- Graphic Novel Growth and Diversification

Presented by Milton Griepp, President, ICv2

Milton Griepp is the founder and President of ICv2, since 2001 the undisputed industry authority on the graphic novel 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.


Graphic Novels, the New Literature? 

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 email comics newsletter.  Reid was instrumental in starting the regular reviewing of graphic novels and comics nonfiction in PW, in addition to launching regular and news coverage of book format comics in 2001.


Karen Berger -- Vice-President / Executive Editor of Vertigo, DC Comics

She founded the award-winning and acclaimed line of comics and graphic novels In 1993, home to Neil Gaiman's Sandman, Alan Moore and David Lloyd's V for Vendetta, and Harvey Pekar and Dean Haspiel's The Quitter, as well as the publisher of the series: Y, The Last Man, 100 Bullets, Fables, Hellblazer, and nearly two-hundred other titles.


Daniel Frank -- Editorial Director, Pantheon Books

Daniel Frank joined Pantheon Books in 1991 and became editorial director in 1996. As a child, he was infatuated with the Peanuts, and succeeded in obtaining a cell of an image from A Charlie Brown Christmas with a letter signed by Charles Schulz.  He remains amazed at the series of serendiptuous circumstances that created the opportunity for him to oversee the publication of works by a number of remarkable graphic artists at Pantheon in the last 5 years.


Katherine Kan -- Librarian, Columnist, Brodart Co.

A comic reader since childhood, Kat Kan worked to get comics into libraries since 1984.  A librarian for 20 years, Kat is now a writer and graphic novel consultant for Brodart.  Her column 'Graphically Speaking' appears in Voice of Youth Advocates; she reviews graphic novels for Diamond Comics' Bookshelf website, and she conducts library workshops about graphic novels.


Denis Kitchen -- Agent, Editor, Publisher, Denis Kitchen Publishing Co, Kitchen & Hansen Agency, Inc.

Denis Kitchen began his career as a pioneer underground cartoonist, then founded Kitchen Sink Press (1969-1999), publishing the likes of Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, Scott McCloud, Alan Moore, Charles Burns and R. Crumb.  In 1986 he founded the non-profit Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.  Today he is a book packager, literary and art agent, publishes on a smaller scale and still occasionally draws.


Terry Nantier -- Publisher, NBM Publishing, Inc.

Inspired by the success of the graphic novel in Europe, where he lived as a teenager, Terry Nantier decided to import this concept to the U.S., launching NBM Publishing in 1976.  NBM since become a leading player in indie comics publishing and in what has become known as 'literary comics.'  NBM Publishing is well known for its mix of the best European and American graphic novels.


Anime and Manga -- Looking Forward 

Moderator -- Milton Griepp, President, ICv2


Mike Bailiff -- Senior Vice President, ADV Films


Mike Bailiff joined ADV Films in 2001 as Sales Account Manager, managing top accounts including Best Buy,, and many others.  In November of 2004 Mike became the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.  Bailiff has 20 years of extensive and diverse sales and management experience in hospitality (Four Seasons), environmental systems, and tobacco distribution.


Liza Coppola -- Vice President, Viz Media


Liza Coppola joined Viz in 2002, and now has responsibility for all sales and marketing of book and home video products.  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.


Al Kahn -- CEO, 4Kids Entertainment, Inc.


Kahn's entrepreneurial insight and youth-oriented marketing strategies are hallmarks of his corporate vision.  Kahn has been at the forefront of spotting and bringing trends and properties emerging overseas to the U.S. Kahn has brought many successes forward for 4Kids Entertainment, including three hits in three decades -- Cabbage Patch Kids in the 1980's, Pokomon in the '90's and Yu-Gi-Oh! today.  In June 2005, Kahn was inducted into LIMA's Murray Altchuler Licensing Hall of Fame.


Mike Kiley -- Publisher, Tokyopop


Mike Kiley joined Tokyopop in 1998 to help found its Internet business.  Success in evolving and growing that business, along with his encyclopedic knowledge of Tokyopop's products ultimately led to his current role as Publisher and Editor in Chief.  Prior to joining Tokyopop, Kiley ran an eight-location bookselling enterprise for University of California, 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.


Dallas Middaugh -- Director of Manga, Del Rey Books


Dallas Middaugh started his publishing career at Prima Games.  He joined Viz Media in 2000, and was sales and marketing director through the beginning of the American manga explosion, as sales tripled seemingly overnight.  Middaugh began working for Random House as the Director of the Del Rey Manga program in 2003, managing the program's highly successful launch in May 2004.


John O'Donnell -- CEO, Central Park Media


John O'Donnell co-founded Central Park Media Corporation, the ground-breaking distributor of Japanese anime programming in North America, in 1990.  CPM was the first anime company to achieve mass market distribution of anime, and to popularize the genre among leading retailers such as Blockbuster, Tower Records, and Musicland.  CPM was also one of the first US companies to publish English language translations of Japanese manga and Korean manhwa (graphic novels), a field in which it is an acknowledged leader.


Tomoko Suga -- Senior Manager, Foreign Rights Department, Kodansha

Suga currently oversees a team of licensing managers that handle manga publishing rights at Kodansha.  She started working on manga licensing toward Europe and the US in 2001.  Prior to that, Suga spent time on the editorial side at Kodansha, working mainly on acquisitions of books from outside Japan.


Buyers Panel -- Graphic Novels, the Next Three Years 

Moderator -- Milton Griepp, President, ICv2


Pat Kearney -- Graphic Novels Site Merchandiser,


Kearney has been a life long comics fan ever since his first pair of Spider-Man underoos.  After a stint in journalism for The Stranger weekly in Seattle, Kearney went on to work for indie-rock bands like Sleater-Kinney, did some freelance writing for Entertainment Weekly and Blender magazines, and eventually settled down at where he is now happily employed reading and reviewing comics.


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.


Jim Mortenson -- Owner, Comix Revolution


Jim Mortensen began his graphic novel career as Merchandising Manager for the short-lived national chain, Moondog's Comicland.  Early to embrace the graphic novel, in 1996 he fused the bookstore with the comic shop and opened Comix Revolution.  Today it exceeds $1 million in sales by offering a dozen product lines, including graphic novels and manga. opined that 'Comix Revolution brings comics out of the dark age and into the light.'


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.


David Webster -- Graphic Novel Buyer, Midtown Comics

David Webster is a veteran of over 20 years in the comic and book industries.  He has managed stores for Comic Art Gallery, Barnes & Noble, and Cooper Square Books, as well as working for Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles, Golden Lee Book Distributors, Forbidden Planet, and St. Marks Comics.  He has been a buyer for Midtown Comics for the past eight years.
Jeannine Wiese -- Graphic Novel Specialist, Ingram Book Company
Jeannine Wiese has been with Ingram Book Company for seven years where she has become the expert of Graphic Novels.  In her role of Category Management, she researches, reads, and recommends titles best suited for the library and retail customers.  In 2003, she participated in a graphic novel panel at BookExpo America and was interviewed by Publishers Weekly.  Her opinions are highly respected throughout the industry.
Last Updated: 2/06/2006