An ICv2 Release. The final session at the ICv2 Insider Talks: Direct Market Summit, and Comic Industry Social Hour at New York Comic Con, will bring together a panel of industry thought leaders, led by Eisner-nominated ICv2 writer Rob Salkowitz, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Direct Market with a look ahead to its future.

"On the Future of the Direct Market panel, I’ll be leading a conversation between creators, publishers and retailers on ways we can update the concept of the comic book store while keeping the elements that have made the Direct Market so resilient over the past 50 years," Salkowitz said in laying out his plans.  "What publisher models are working to bring in new readers?  What tactics do we need to rethink in light of changing customer tastes?  Is there a way to make periodical comics relevant to readers of webtoons and graphic novels? How are the challenges facing the DM today impacting creators?  We’ll be packing a lot into 45 minutes, but I think we’ve got the right mix of people to provide insight on those issues.”

The ICv2 Insider Talks: Direct Market Summit, and Comic Industry Social Hour, will kick off with the Comic Industry Social Hour, co-hosted with ComicsPro, at 2:30 Thursday, October 12, in the dramatic 4th Floor Pavilion at the Javits Center, in association with New York comic Con.  The Insider Talks, which will run 3:30 to 5:30, will include three powerful sessions in a quick-moving format.

Panelists for The Future of the Direct Market: Where Do We Go from Here? (4:45-5:30) include three Direct Market retailers, each a leader in their field, an executive from a major Direct Market publisher, and an innovative creator.  Panelists include:

Stu Colson, with 30 years of experience as the proprietor of Heroes for Sale in Auckland, New Zealand, is also the director of ComicHub.  ComicHub is a comprehensive Point of Sale (POS) system designed specifically for the Comic & Game industry.  It offers customer ordering tools, automated eCommerce websites linked to the POS, and features for direct publisher interaction with comic enthusiasts, all integrated within a single platform.

Dimitrios Fragiskatos is the owner of Anyone Comics in Brooklyn and Everyone Comics and Collectibles in Queens.  His experience has led him to create projects like the Access Guide to the Black Comic Book Community which lists comic books with Black creators, stores with Black owners, Black-owned conventions and publishers with Black executives.  Dimitrios can be seen in "Reign of the Superwomen" and the upcoming "Surviving Comics" documentary.

Jenn Haines (MA, BEd, OCT) is the owner of The Dragon, an Eisner and Shuster Award-winning comic and games store, with two locations in Ontario, Canada.  She is the President of the board of ComicsPRO, the only professional organization for comic retailers.  She is also a certified teacher, with over ten years of teaching experience and holds a Masters in Classical Studies.

Jamal Igle is writer/artist/Creator of Molly Danger for Action Lab Entertainment, the co-creator of Venture with Dynamo 5 creator/writer Jay Faerber, the co-creator of The Wrong Earth with writer Tom Peyer for Ahoy Comics ,and the co-creator of Dudley Datson and the Forever machine with writer Scott Snyder for comiXology.

Cara O'Neil has worked in book retail, libraries, independent publishing, and more, and brings that experience to her role as the VP of Marketing at Dark Horse Comics.  A lifelong reader and lover of books and comics, as well as video games, tabletop games/RPGs, film, and music, she has found that working in comics publishing provides a unique intersection of these interests.

Rob Salkowitz is an Eisner Award nominated writer about the business of comics, entertainment and pop culture for Forbes, ICv2, Publishers Weekly and other publications.  He's the author of five books including Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture and teaches in the graduate school of communication at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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The support of these companies makes this event possible:

Co-Sponsor: GlobalComix
GlobalComix is a digital reading and distribution platform that helps publishers and creators share and sell their comics globally, and understand their readers better. Focused on providing tools to grow and succeed, GlobalComix is on a tireless mission to create the best platform in the world to publish, discover, and read comics.

Co-Sponsor: Whatnot
Whatnot is the largest livestream shopping platform in the U.S., connecting buyers and sellers in real-time across any category – from trading cards to comics and more. Founded by collectors, Whatnot is setting a new standard for buying and selling by creating a trusted space for communities to connect, grow, and flourish – giving buyers the confidence to purchase while also helping sellers both big and small build businesses off of their passions.

Sponsor: Mad Cave Studios
Mad Cave Studios, established in 2014, is an independent publisher committed to providing worldwide entertainment across an array of genres. Mad Cave’s catalog includes a captivating blend of licensed, creator-owned, and original works, masterfully created by a diverse cast of storytellers focused on cultivating impactful character-driven narratives. Mad Cave Studios is the parent company to Maverick and Papercutz, enriching the literary landscape for readers of all ages.

Supporting Sponsor: 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 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,, 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.  That's why ICv2 is the #1 source of news and information for the buyers, gatekeepers, and tastemakers on the front lines.  ICv2 is where trend-watching is a science.