ComicsPRO, the new specialty market storefront retailer organization founded just a year ago (see 'A New Direct Market Comics Retailer Organization'), has announced a full slate of educational events for retailers attending Comic-Con International in San Diego.  ComicsPRO, which recently announced a health insurance initiative (see 'Health Insurance for Comics Retailers'), has planned a number of events where retailers can swap ideas, check out the videos entered in the Eisner Award Spirit of Comics Retailer Award contest, and learn from experts in specialized fields such as tax preparation for small businesses.  Of particular interest are the always popular 'So You Want to Be A Comics Retailer' panel and a new 'Let's Get Down to BUSINESS' panel where retailers will be able to have open dialogue with publishers, suppliers and creators. Here is the schedule for the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con International:



8am - 10am

Diamond Retailer Breakfast (Hilton Hotel, Santa Rosa room)


10:30am - 11:30am

Breathing New Life:  Looking for new ideas and new products for your store? Brainstorm with hosts Nancy McCann of Comics Unlimited (Westminster CA) and Mimi Cruz-Carroll of Night Flight (Salt Lake City UT), as they explore new merchandise lines and display techniques to enhance your profitability.  ROOM 22


11:30am - 12:30pm

Screening the Spirit:  Each year at Comic-Con, the Eisner Spirit of Comics Award is given to a deserving retailer.  Before the award is announced tonight, join Eisner Retailer facilitator Joe Ferrara (Atlantis Fantasyworld, Santa Cruz CA) to see the videos submitted by this year's finalists.  This is a great way to learn from other retailers.  Lots of ideas here, folks!  ROOM 22


12:30pm - 1:00pm

Break in the Retailer Lounge with board members of ComicsPRO, the retailer trade organization that is advocate for all specialty market storefront retailers.  ROOM 21


1:15 pm - 2:30pm

Retailer Speed Dating:  Each table in the retailer lounge will be devoted to a specific topic which may include: Store design/ display innovations, Advertising & Marketing, Customer service, Dealing with Book Market Distributors, Staffing issues & incentives, and others. Every 10 minutes, retailers will move to the next table.  During the final 10 minutes, each table's anchor retailer will share some of the best ideas gleaned from this session of retailer 'speed dating.'  Anchor retailers include Chris Powell of Lone Star Comics (Dallas TX), Joe Ferrara of Atlantis Fantasyworld (Santa Cruz CA).  ROOM 21


2:30 - 3pm

Break in the Retailer Lounge.  ROOM 22


3pm - 4pm

Let Get Down to BUSINESS!  All specialty market comic retailers, publishers, distributors and other suppliers are invited to this free-wheeling forum to talk about business issues facing everyone in the comics' biz.  ROOM 22


4pm - 5:30pm

So You Want To Be a Comics Retailer?  Always a popular event at Comic-Con because so many have dreams of owning their own comic book stores.  You have questions -- our panel of experts has answers. Join host Joe Field of Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff (Concord CA) and retailers John Munn from Comic Book Ink (Tacoma WA), Matt Price from Speeding Bullet Comics (Norman, OK), as well as Dave Hawksworth from Diamond Comic Distributors' outside sales team  as we all learn more about the business of comics.  ROOM 22



11am - noon

Eisner Retailer Videos: A Deeper Look:  The Eisner Spirit of Comics Award recipient for 2006 was announced last night.  Join award facilitator Joe Ferrara (Atlantis Fantasyworld) as Joe reviews the finalists' videos to promote a discussion of what all retailers can learn from them.  To learn something new -- borrow from the best! ROOM 22


Noon - 1pm

CBIA Meet & Greet:  With Robert Scott (Comickaze, San Diego) CBIA forum host/moderator.  All industry professionals are invited to learn more about the Comic Book Industry Alliance, a valuable on-line forum that's a tool for retailers, creators and publishers.  ROOM 22


1pm - 2pm

'I Owe How Much?!'  Comic retailers know owning their own business is great!  Until you realize how much you owe in taxes.  Income tax, self-employment tax, payroll taxes, social security and Medicare taxes, where does it all end?  Retailers, join Joe Davidson (Registered Tax Preparer) as we try to figure out how to lower your tax bill for the next year.  Joe Davidson is a Registered Tax Preparer in the state of California.  Working in the tax field since 1997, Joe specializes in personal income tax and payroll tax.  ROOM 21


 2pm - 3pm

ComicsPRO -- Your Retailer Trade Organization:  All comic book retailers are welcome!  If you are comic book retailer with a storefront, you need to join ComicsPRO, the only active trade organization specifically for comic book retailers.  Join Amanda Fisher (Muse comics in Missoula MT), Joe Field (Flying Colors Comics, Concord CA) and Chris Powell (Lone Star Comics, Dallas TX) to learn what's happening with the group?  Where does membership stand?  What benefits are there?  What's up for the future of ComicsPRO?  All the answers are here!  ROOM 21