Remote Retailing: Connecting with Your Customer Online
The COVID-19 Crisis is causing massive disruptions to the way retail stores conduct business. With the need for social distancing and an influx of mandatory business shut-downs, retailers are now required to find innovative ways to continue operating outside of their usual physical spaces. Comic shops thrive thanks to the connections made with customers and their place in their communities. This webinar examines how those connections can be maintained remotely to a business’ benefit, with expert tips for best practices in:
- Retaining customer relationships and leveraging them into online sales
- Creating an e-commerce store
- Providing online concierge service
- Developing strategies to operate in a reduced capacity
Panelists include Atom Freeman, Owner-Operator, Prana: Direct Market Solutions; Jen King, Owner-Operator, Space Cadets Collection Collection; and Morgan Perry, Retail Sales Coordinator, Boom Studios.
Retailing to Schools & Libraries— For this CBLDF retailer training webinar, we asked Jennifer Haines, owner of The Dragon, an award-winning comics and games store headquartered in Guelph, Ontario to discuss the best practices for developing relationships with local schools and libraries. Ms. Haines is ComicsPRO Vice-President and a member of the Ontario College of Teachers; with over ten years experience as an educator and extensive knowledge of comics, she is in a unique position to help comic retailers see comics from a pedagogical perspective. In her presentation, Ms.Haines discusses the services best suited for school and library settings, the best incentives to offer for boosting student reading, and the best activities for promoting student engagement.
Teaching Tolerance & Understanding with Gene Luen Yang— We kicked off our webinar series for educators and librarians with a discussion between Gene Luen Yang, the National Book Award-nominated author of American Born Chinese, and Betsy Gomez, the Banned Books Week Coalition coordinator and editor of CBLDF’s book about the women who changed free expression in comics, CBLDF Presents: She Changed Comics. In this webinar, Yang draws from his career as a celebrated author, ambassador, and teacher to address how comics can help students attain a broader view of the world and spark a lifelong love of reading and how teachers and librarians can respond to challenges to comics and overcome barriers to using them.
Take PRIDE in Comics: The Challenges Facing LGBTQ+ Content— In celebration of PRIDE month, we asked a panel of creators, educators, librarians, and retailers to discuss the challenges facing LGBTQ+ comics. During this informative session, cartoonist Paige Braddock, the Eisner-nominated creator of Jane’s World; historian, educator, and creator Justin Hall, the editor of award-winning anthology No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics; librarian and activist Valerie Acklin, a member of the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT); and retailer Katie Proctor, the owner of Portland, Oregon’s inclusive comic book store, Books With Pictures, discuss the history of censorship of LGBTQ+ comics, why LGBTQ+ comics are an important part of any library or classroom collection, and what we can do to defend LGBTQ+ content from censors.
Developing a Classroom Collection 101: Addressing Barriers to Comics— Do you want to develop a comics and graphic novel collection for your classroom or library, but don’t know where to start? Do you need help expanding an existing collection? Even though comics are an increasingly popular format, their benefits are still misunderstood by many administrators and decision-makers, and often these misunderstandings create hurdles for teachers and librarians wanting to develop a graphic novel collection for their classroom or library. Join CBLDF and a panel of comics creators and educators to learn how you can navigate the challenges associated with developing and curating a comics collection, including ways to address enduring stigmas about the pedagogical validity of the medium and challenges to the visual components of the medium. This webinar will offer practical advice, strategies, and resources to help you advocate the value of comics in educational settings and overcome barriers to using this incredible medium!
Using Comics in the Classroom: Practical Tools for Developing Curriculum— Although comics are an incredible tool for engaging students in the classroom, the educational benefits of this medium are still unknown to many teachers, administrators, and parents. Join CBLDF and a panel of creators and teachers to learn how comics can be used to enhance learning and encourage student participation. Get real-world suggestions for integrating comics into your curriculum, from expanding lesson plans to include comic-based activities to developing units devoted to the study of the medium.
Addressing Identity Censorship— Identity censorship is the most frequent form of intellectual freedom challenge in today’s environment. From moral panic about Drag Queen Story Hour to frequent challenges to LGBTQ+ comics, books, and authors, this disturbing trend is gaining traction. CBLDF engages a panel of experts to help you identify and intelligently address this growing problem. In the past year, CBLDF has participated in defending challenges and bans of books solely because they contain LGBTQ+ characters, curriculum rejected because it focused on LGBTQ+ titles, and community programs canceled solely because program participants identify as LGBTQ+. In this webinar, we will speak with individuals who’ve been on the front lines of this issue to identify the contours of the problem and discuss strategies for managing it. In addition to receiving CBLDF’s “Fighting Identity Censorship Toolkit,” all webinar participants are invited to share their own stories and receive face-to-face expert advice on managing identity censorship issues.
Lilah Sturges is a New York Times Bestselling writer whose works include the Prism Award-winning Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass, The Magicians: Alice’s Story, and numerous titles for DC Comics and other publishers. She lives in Austin, Texas with two teenage daughters and two cats.
John Spears, Chief Librarian, and CEO of Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado Springs, CO.
Using Comics to Teach Tough Topics—Many educators and librarians feel raising social awareness is an important educational objective, but helping young audiences come to terms with the difficult topics and complex concepts associated with social awareness can be challenging. Comics and graphic novels are great tools for addressing tough social issues like bullying, abuse, suicide, and racism; however, graphic novels and other books that depict tough topics may encounter resistance from parents, administrators, and even fellow teachers. Join CBLDF and a panel of comics creators, publishers, retailers, and educators to learn how comics are a powerful tool for helping young people understand the more difficult parts of growing up. In this program, we will present fresh ideas for using comics to teach social justice, identity, and freedom of expression; suggest titles that address the tough topics affecting young people, including discrimination, bullying, racism, and disability; and provide strategies for addressing the challenges that may arise when incorporating these comics into course curriculum.
Managing Media—Comic book stores are the industry’s front line, which often makes their employees the first people local media turns to when a comic book story comes up – the good ones as well as the bad and the ugly. This CBLDF webinar provides practical best practices for how to manage media situations, including how to take control of hostile situations, proactive steps to establish good community outreach, and procedures every store should have in place for media communications and outreach. Panelists include Jacq Cohen, Executive Director of Marketing, Publicity, and Promotions, Fantagraphics; Mitch Cutler, Owner, St. Marks Comics; Alex Segura, Co-President, Archie Comics; and Seina Fallon, Media/Comm Director, NC Comicon.