ComicsPRO announces candidates for 2020 Industry Awards

ComicsPRO, the trade association for comics specialty retailers, proudly announces the nominees for its annual Comic Industry Awards. The awards honor those people who are or have been the best at what they do, making a significant difference in the business of the comic-book specialty market.

There are two categories for the ComicsPRO Awards, the Industry Appreciation Award for active professionals and the Memorial Award to recognize giants of the comics business who are no longer with us.

The 2020 ComicsPRO Industry Award nominees are:

ComicsPRO Memorial Award

Joe Simon was a comic book writer, artist, editor, and publisher.  He created and co-created many important characters in the Golden Age of comic books, including Captain America. Joe served as the first editor of Timely Comics – the company that would eventually become Marvel Comics.

Robert Scott, was owner and manager of San Diego-based comic book store chain Comickaze Comics.   A comic book retailer for twenty-seven years, he also founded the Comic Book Industry Alliance (CBIA) online trade and discussion group – an early comic industry discussion group.   He self-published under the AFC Studio banner and also provided creators with an alternate place to promote during Comic-Con with with his Comickaze Alt-Con programming. 

Don Thompson was editor of Comic Buyer’s Guide, the foremost news source for the comics’ industry in the pre-internet days. Don and his wife Maggie were early pioneers of comics’ fandom in the 1960s and were editors and publishers of some of the earliest fan magazines, including Harbinger, Comic Art and Newfangles.

Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson was a pulp magazine writer, entrepreneur and pioneer of the American comic book, publishing the first such periodical consisting solely of original material rather than reprints of newspaper comic strips. Long after his departure from the comic book company he founded, Wheeler-Nicholson’s National Allied Publications would evolve into DC Comics.

ComicsPRO Industry Award

Joe Field is a long-time comic retailer and founder of Free Comic Book Day. He was a partner in WonderCon for its first 15 years and served as ComicsPRO’s president for the organization’s first ten years. He once had a cup of coffee working for Stan and Joan Lee. He was involved in pre-ComicsPRO retailer associations with NCCDA (Northern California Comic Dealers Association), BACR (Bay Area Comics Retailers), CBRI (Comic Book Retailers International) and DLG (Direct Line Group).
He asks you to vote for someone else… please!

Robert Kirkman is a comic book writer best known for co-creating The Walking Dead, Invincible and Oblivion Song for Image Comics. He started as a self-publisher under the Funkotron label, then wrote for Marvel Comics before his Image tenure. Robert is now a co-owner of Image Comics.

Steve Rotterdam is a comics industry executive, working most notably for DC Comics and Aftershock. He also founded Bonfire Agency, a marketing and advertising consultancy dedicated to helping brands connect to comic book culture and fandom at large.

Jim Shooter has more than 50 years experience as a comic writer, editor, and publisher. His first work as a comic book writer was published when Jim was just 14 years old. Jim is notable for his tenure as Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief in the 1980s and his role in the successful launch of Valiant Comics in the ’90s.

Dirk Wood is a long-term executive, most notably for Dark Horse Comics and IDW Comics. In 2016, as VP of Marketing of IDW, he launched a new imprint at IDW, WOODWORKS, with a goal to make smart books for smart people. His first project is Full Bleed, a 200 page hardcover magazine celebrating the best in comics, fiction, and non-fiction.

“The ComicsPRO Industry Nominees are an exeptional group,” said Peter Dolan, ComicsPRO’s President. “Comic retailers appreciate how these nominees have moved the industry forward”

ComicsPRO members will vote on the nominees with the results announced at the 2020 ComicsPRO Comic Industry Conference in Portland, Oregon on February 20-22.

ComicsPRO’s Industry Awards were instituted in 2010. Previous recipients and nominees can be seen here.

The ComicsPRO Annual Comic Industry Conference, the industry’s only retailer directed trade event, is recognized as the most important annual comics’ business gathering in the industry. Retailers, publishers, distributors and vendors gather to discuss major industry issues and to chart a course for improving the comic book specialty market. All retailers and vendors are invited.

Please visit for more information about the conference and how to register as a retailer or a vendor.

ComicsPRO is the comic industry’s non-profit trade association dedicated to the health and progress of direct market comic book retailers. ComicsPRO allows retailers to speak with a unified voice on important industry issues, provides educational and mentoring opportunities to current and future retailers, and provides ways for members to reduce the fixed costs we all incur.

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