An ICv2 Release.  ICv2 is presenting a year-long series of articles, video interviews, panels, and other features exploring and celebrating the history, development, and future of the comics Direct Market, which will mark its 50th anniversary in Fall 2023.

It all began at the San Diego Comic-Con in Summer 1973, when Phil Seuling and Jonni Levas met with DC Comics’ Sol Harrison, reached an agreement, and began shipping DC comics to comic stores that fall, with Marvels following soon after.  Comic stores and the communities they nurtured grew rapidly over the following decades, leading directly to today’s world in which comics are the dominant force in film, TV, video games, and every other aspect of pop culture.  The Direct Market also exploded the medium and art form, making possible new kinds of stories appealing to a much broader audience.

"This 50-year milestone deserves a celebration," ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp.  "We plan not only to continue and build on the work of documenting this important event and the years that followed, but also to look at where the Direct Market is today and where it’s headed.  We’re hoping that everyone in the business of making and selling comics will join us in this industry-wide celebration and appreciation."

What is the comics Direct Market?  It’s the unique distribution system that allows comic retailers to take reservations for new comics from fans, place orders with a Direct Distributor based on those reservations and estimates of additional copies they can sell, and receive the comics they’ve ordered a few weeks later.  This was a revolutionary change from the multi-tier distribution system that had existed in the past (hence the terms Direct Market and Direct Distributor), and it allowed fans to read and collect the comics they wanted, something that hadn’t been reliably possible before it existed.

In addition to ICv2, this event is supported by Co-Sponsor Diamond Comic Distributors, Sponsor IDW Publishing, and Contributing Sponsor Dark Horse Comics.

Announcements:
Diamond Signs on as Co-Sponsor of ICv2’s Direct Market 50th Anniversary Event
ICv2 Announces Direct Market 50th Anniversary Event
San Diego Comic-Con Panel Highlight: Direct Market 50th Anniversary Celebration

Articles:
Phil Seuling: The Man Who Invented the Direct Market
Bud Plant, a Pioneer of Comics Retail and the Direct Market, Was There at the Start and Keeps on Going
The Direct Market Juggernaut You Never Knew
How the Drive to Get Comics Created the Direct Market
From Mail Order to Brick and Mortar Stores to E-Commerce, Direct Market Pioneer Buddy Saunders is Still Adapting
Diamond Owner Steve Geppi Was Once a Retailer
Comic Stores and the Rise of the Suburbs
Capital City Distribution's 'Advance Comics,' the First Comic Distributor Consumer Catalog
Games in 'Advance Comics'
ICv2 Insider Talks: Direct Market Trends
ICv2 Insider Talks: Paul Levitz and Jim Shooter on 'Building the Comic Store Channel'
ICv2 Insider Talks: The Future of the Direct Market
Golden Apple, the Center of the Comics Universe
The Rise and Fall of Capital City Distribution
Origins, Dominance and Now a 'Gut Punch': The Story of Diamond, the Company that Defined Much of the Direct Market Era

Video Interviews:
Bud Plant, Part 1
Bud Plant, Part ​​​​​​2
Bud Plant, Part 3
Bill Schanes
Bob Wayne
Greg Goldstein
Mike Friedrich
Paul Levitz, Part 1
Paul Levitz, Part 2
Paul Levitz, Part 3
Forbidden Planet Co-Founder Nick Landau, Part 1
Forbidden Planet Co-Founder Nick Landau, Part 2
Forbidden Planet Co-Founder Nick Landau, Part 3
Milton Griepp on Capital City Distribution, Part 1
Milton Griepp on Capital City Distribution, Part 2
Milton Griepp on Capital City Distribution, Part 3
Ron Turner and Denis Kitchen, Part 1
Ron Turner and Denis Kitchen, Part 2
Ron Turner and Denis Kitchen, Part 3
Dark Horse CEO and Founder Mike Richardson – Part 1
Dark Horse CEO and Founder Mike Richardson – Part 2
Diamond CEO Steve Geppi – Part 1
Diamond CEO Steve Geppi – Part 2
Diamond CEO Steve Geppi – Part 3

Interview Transcripts:
Bud Plant, Part 1
Bud Plant, Part 2
Bud Plant, Part 3
Bill Schanes, Part 1
Bill Schanes, Part 2
Bill Schanes, Part 3
Bob Wayne
Greg Goldstein
Mike Friedrich
Paul Levitz, Part 1
Paul Levitz, Part 2
Paul Levitz, Part 3
Forbidden Planet Co-Founder Nick Landau, Part 1
Forbidden Planet Co-Founder Nick Landau, Part 2
Forbidden Planet Co-Founder Nick Landau, Part 3
Milton Griepp on Capital City Distribution, Part 1
Milton Griepp on Capital City Distribution, Part 2
Milton Griepp on Capital City Distribution, Part 3
Ron Turner and Denis Kitchen, Part 1
Ron Turner and Denis Kitchen, Part 2
Ron Turner and Denis Kitchen, Part 3
Dark Horse CEO and Founder Mike Richardson – Part 1
Dark Horse CEO and Founder Mike Richardson – Part 2
Diamond CEO Steve Geppi – Part 1
Diamond CEO Steve Geppi – Part 2
Diamond CEO Steve Geppi – Part 3

ICv2 Insider Talks - Panel videos:
Panel Video: ICv2 Insider Talks – Paul Levitz, Jim Shooter, and Milton Griepp
Panel Video: ICv2 Insider Talks – Salkowitz, Colson, Fragiskatos, Haines, Igle, O'Neil

Columns:
World According to Griepp: Phil Seuling and Bud Plant Deserve To Be in the Eisner Hall of Fame by Milton Griepp
World According to Griepp: Why Is It Called the Comics 'Direct Market?' by Milton Griepp
Remembering Mel Thompson by David Wheeler
R.I.P. Mel Thompson by Mike Friedrich
Bob Wayne's 2023 Diamond Retailer Summit Keynote by Bob Wayne
World According to Griepp - San Diego Comic-Con 1979, a Direct Market Turning Point by Milton Griepp
Terry Moore on 30 Year of 'Strangers in Paradise' and the Evolution of the Direct Market by Rob Salkowitz
Tracking the Future of the Direct Market by Rob Salkowitz
On the 50th Anniversary of hte Direct Market by Paul Levitz
Why 1986 Stands Out as a High Water Mark for the Direct Market Era by Rob Salkowitz
World According to Griepp: Can Comics Be Saved? by Milton Griepp

Talk Backs
Bud Plant of Bud's Art Books on the Seuling and Plant Nominations for the Eisner Hall of Fame
Larry Strawther on Bud Plant and His First Trip to the Seuling Convention (and the First SDCC)

Previously Published Historical Articles:
The Origin of the Direct Market - Interview with Ed Shukin - Part 1
The Origin of the Direct Market - Interview with Ed Shukin - Part 2
Phil Seuling and the Early New York Comic Conventions, Part 1
Phil Seuling and the Early New York Comic Conventions, Part 2
Phil Seuling and the Early New York Comic Conventions, Part 3
Phil Seuling and the Early New York Comic Conventions, Part 4
Phil Seuling and the Early New York Comic Conventions, Part 5
R.I.P. James Galton
R.I.P. Mike Hobson
Direct Market Pioneer Killed in Robbery
World According to Griepp - 40 Years Ago Today

About ICv2:
ICv2 is the #1 industry source on the business of geek culture, including comics and graphic novels, manga, hobby games, and merch, on its Website, www.ICv2.com, and in its magazine, Internal Correspondence.  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.  Created from Internal Correspondence, published by Capital City Distribution from 1982 through 1996, ICv2 has been tracking the news and numbers of the comics business since 2001.

About Diamond Comic Distributors:
Celebrating 40 years of service, Diamond Comic Distributors is a leader in the worldwide distribution of comics, games, toys, collectibles and preservation supplies.  With an unparalleled distribution network, Diamond’s mission is to support and serve our customers and partners with all their pop culture needs.  Diamond is part of Geppi Family Enterprises, the largest producers and distributors of English-language comics, toys, collectibles, games, and preservation supplies worldwide.

About IDW Publishing:
IDW is a leading media company providing uniquely compelling stories and characters in various genres for global audiences across all entertainment platforms.  The award-winning IDW Publishing and IDW Entertainment divisions holistically evaluate and acquire IP for franchise development across comics and graphic novels, television, theatrical, merchandise, and other entertainment platforms, in addition to bringing world-renowned storytelling to life with our creative partners.

About Dark Horse Comics:
Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Comics is an excellent example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and transform a company with humble beginnings into an industry giant.  Dark Horse has a long tradition of establishing exciting new creative talent throughout all of its divisions, and has also set the industry standard for quality licensed comics, graphic novels, collectibles, and art books.