One of the early mentions to this year’s Comic Con International, being held today thru Sunday in San Diego, is the list of finalists for the 2015 Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award. Conducted annually, the award (named after The Spirit creator Will Eisner) is given to a retailer which demonstrates a passion and dedication to promote the comic book industry as a whole, as well as show their support for comics within their community. Will Eisner approached Comic Con International in the early 1990’s to recognize retail establishments which he felt are the conduit, or go-between, for the creators and the readers/fans. Will felt that a retailer’s role is pivotal in bridging the industry gap and maintaining a solid fan-base.
To be considered for nomination, the following guidelines must be met…
- Any retail store established in business for at least two years is eligible to be nominated.
- Anyone—retailers, professionals, fans—may place a name in nomination.
- A panel of industry judges selects a group of finalists to be subjected to an in-depth examination based on the award criteria. Recipient will be announced as part of the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards at Comic-Con International on Friday, July 10, 2015.
- Previous winners are not eligible for nomination.
This year’s finalists up for consideration are:
- Collector’s Corner, Randy Myers Jr., Baltimore, MD
- Packrat Comics, Jamie Colegrove and Teresa Colegrove, Hilliard, OH
- A Shop Called Quest, Lee Raymundo, Claremont, CA
- Travelling Man, Nabil Homsi, Leeds, United Kingdom
- TR!CKSTER, Anita Coulter, Berkeley, CA
Judges for this year’s award are (standing from left to right):
Mitch Davies, retailer, All Star Comics, Melbourne. Australia (last year’s co-winner)
Lora Innes, writer/artist, The Dreamer
Steve Lieber, artist, The Fix
Caitlin McCabe, Print Team Manager, Diamond Comic Distributors
Rosalind Morehead, Marketing and PR Manager, IDW Publishing
(Kneeling left to right):
David DeMarco, retailer, Legend Comics & Coffee, Omaha, Nebraska (last year’s co-winner)
Ed Piskor, writer/artist, Hip Hop Family Tree
The criteria for judging and determining a winner include:
- Supporting a wide variety of innovative material.
- Providing opportunities for creators’ material to reach buyers; stocking a diverse inventory.
- Knowledge: Working to stay informed on retailing as well as on the comics field.
- Community activity: Promoting comics to the community; maintaining relationships with schools and libraries; keeping active in social, business, and arts community organizations.
- Quality of store image: Using innovative display approaches; using store design creatively.
- Adhering to standard ethical business practices.
A total of 31 retail comic book stores from across the world vied for the award. The judges will get together and make their decision from the finalists. The winner will be announced tomorrow (Friday, July 10th) beginning at 8pm as part of the 27th Annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, which is being held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel.