An ICv2 Release.  On Thursday, July 20, 2023, ICv2 will present the Direct Market 50th Anniversary Celebration, a panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego, bringing together a group of pioneering figures from the early days of the Direct Market.

ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp, the co-founder and CEO of the early comics distributor Capital City Distribution, will be joined by Dark Horse CEO Mike Richardson, Pacific Comics co-founder and former Diamond VP Bill Schanes, and former retailer and longtime DC SVP Bob Wayne to discuss how a new way to distribute comics changed the medium and culture forever.

It was 50 years ago, at San Diego Comic-Con 1973, that Phil Seuling and Jonni Levas met with DC Comics’ Sol Harrison and struck a deal that led to a paradigm shift in the comics industry: they would buy comics directly from DC (and later Marvel and others) on a nonreturnable basis, based on advance orders from stores who understood what comics fans wanted and why, and distribute them to retailers at a much larger discount than they had been getting from newsstand distributors (see "Phil Seuling: The Man Who Invented the Direct Market").

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.

"I urge all attendees at San Diego Comic-Con to join us for this unique event marketing the beginning of geek culture as we know it," ICv2’s Griepp said of the panel.

Time and Place:
ICv2’s Direct Market 50th Anniversary Celebration panel will be held on Thursday, July 20 in room 29CD at 4:30-5:30 p.m.

This year’s panel is part of ICv2’s year-long comics Direct Market 50th Anniversary event; for more, see "Comics Direct Market 50th Anniversary."