Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is proud to welcome industry expert Bob Wayne and retailer Jen King to its Board of Directors. Wayne and King will serve alongside officers President Christina Merkler; Vice President Chris Powell; Treasurer Ted Adams; Secretary Dale Cendali; and members Jeff Abraham, Reginald Hudlin, Katherine Keller, Paul Levitz, David Steinberger, and Gene Luen Yang. CBLDF’s Board of Directors oversees CBLDF’s mission protecting, preserving, and promoting the freedom to read comics.
Bob Wayne brings more than three decades of advocacy for comics retailers to his role at CBLDF. His storied career includes 28 years in the sales department at DC Comics, where he was instrumental in defining many business practices that would become industry standards. Prior to joining DC, Wayne sold comics at conventions starting in 1974 and operated retail stores in Dallas/Fort Worth beginning in 1980. As a writer, Wayne is the co-creator of the DC Comics series Time Masters and a contributor to George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards series. He previously served CBLDF as a member of its advisory board. Wayne notes, “With over sixty years of reading and collecting comics, I believe the mission of CBLDF is of vital importance to protecting the future of comics.”
Jen King is the owner of Space Cadets, a comic book store serving Houston, Texas, and is co-owner of the Comic Book Shopping Network. She is a strident advocate for retailers and creators, with a passion for promoting mentorship within the comics industry. As part of the Comic Book Shopping Network, her Facebook Live events attract an enthusiastic community of customers. To support other retailers, King recently shared her skills in CBLDF’s Remote Retailing Webinar.
“CBLDF’s willingness to go to bat for our community is so important to me,” King says. “My first shop in Midland, Texas, in the mid ’90s was Planet Comics, formed in partnership with the Oklahoma City shop at the center of an important First Amendment case that CBLDF represented. Although that partnership was severed to protect my business and my partners ended up not using the full abilities of the organization, I saw how much that case meant to the Fund. I have always wanted to be able to give back for all that they have done for me and for all that they stand for. I look forward to working with the rest of CBLDF’s team to protect the rights of creators, whose voices are so central to what makes this medium incredible, and my fellow retailers.”
For more than 30 years, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has protected the First Amendment rights of the comics field and has developed powerful education efforts in the service of the community. During the COVID-19 crisis, the organization is providing resources to support retailers and creators, including clearinghouse tools for finding government aid, training articles and webinars, and a retail member directory. CBLDF also launched the League of Graphic Novel Educators to support the needs of remote learning and to promote community. The organization protects the First Amendment through legal action, legislative monitoring, and book challenge support, and the Fund is a leader in fighting the rising trend of identity censorship.
About Bob Wayne
Bob Wayne was born in Fort Worth, Texas and learned to read from 1950s comic books. A comics and science fiction convention dealer in the 1970s, he opened his first retail store in 1980. He worked at DC Comics from 1987 to 2015, rising to the position of Senior Vice President — Sales. In addition to his participation in Wild Cards, his published work includes stories in Scary Tales (Charlton Comics) and Secret Origins (DC), as well as contributions to The Comics Journal, Lone Star Book Review and MAD Magazine. He’s the co-author (with Lewis Shiner) of DC’s Time Masters, one of the precursors to the Legends of Tomorrow television series. He’s currently a business consultant in the publishing industry based in Texas. He remains grateful that his mother never threw away any of his comics.
About Jen King
Jen King has been in the comic book industry since 1992. She is a member of ComicsPro, a regular contributor to industry outlets, a moderator on many retailer/publisher Facebook pages, a co-owner of the Comic Book Shopping Network (CBSN, AASN, GSN), an Eisner-nominated (and sometime finalist) store owner, the writer of a weekly comic review called “Minute to Skim It” on Facebook, and a panelist at Comic-Con International: San Diego and New York Comic Con. King has appeared on AMC’s Comic Book Men, in Comic Con: A Fan’s Hope, and on IFC and G4. She loves mentoring fellow peers and helping out anywhere she can. Learn more about Jen and her store at http://spacecadetscollection.com/
About Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization protecting the freedom to read comics! Our work protects readers, creators, librarians, retailers, publishers, and educators who face the threat of censorship. We monitor legislation and challenge laws that would limit the First Amendment. We create resources that promote understanding of comics and the rights our community is guaranteed. Every day we publish news and information about censorship events as they happen. We are partners in the Kids’ Right to Read Project and Banned Books Week. Our expert legal team is available to respond to First Amendment emergencies at a moment’s notice. CBLDF is a lean organization that works hard to protect the rights on which our community depends. For more information, visit www.cbldf.org