Thank you to everyone who came out to our February panel Comics After COVID. We want to give a special thanks to our generous panelists Anna Warren Cebrian, Amy Chu, and Gamal Hennessey.
The panelists had an insightful discussion about recent changes to the community and how we’ll be moving forward. One major thread that wove through the conversation was pivoting. In a situation where the status quo is no longer a given, being able to rethink your strategy and creatively pivot was a must. Amy Chu commented, “This has been a stress test helping you find your strengths and weaknesses.”
Anna Warren Cebrian illustrated the pivot by giving examples of some of the changes she has made, including online sales, in-store signings, and cons. Other examples of the pivot were creators taking the time to learn new skills and rethinking the aspects of production. As restrictions loosen and we see a return to in-person events, Gamal Hennessey predicted we’ll see many adaptations stay in place.
The conversation also included:
addressing the demands of the community
the benefits of being a smaller company
the in-person experience of fandom and cons
contracts and “act of God,” or force majeure, clauses
If you weren’t able to attend the event and would like to hear the full conversation, catch up by viewing the embedded video above or head over to our YouTube channel.
We hope you will join us on March 25th for our next membership meeting. We’ll be holding an ethics workshop entitled Ethics for All: Building Policy Together. The workshop will be a chance to be part of the process of developing our new policies; we’ll be inviting feedback on the draft policies and fostering discussion on how these policies can best serve the comics community as a whole.
More details will follow as we get closer to the event, but in the meantime you can register here.
CBLDF is here to support the comics community. If you need legal assistance or advice in regards to store policies and compliance, leases, or contracts don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact us at email@example.com.
Amy Chu is a writer for comics and now TV with the upcoming Netflix anime series DOTA: Dragon’s Blood. She has written popular characters such as Red Sonja, Green Hornet, Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy, Deadpool, Ant-Man and Iron Man, and is the author of the middle grade graphic novels Sea Sirens and Sky Island (Penguin Random House), and Ana and the Cosmic Race (Papercutz). Amy teaches Business of Art at the Kubert School. She studied Architectural Design at MIT, East Asian Studies at Wellesley College and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. You can follow her on amychu.com, twitter @amychu and on Facebook/iwritecomics.
Anna Warren Cebrian
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Anna has a BA in Studio Art and MBA in e-Business. She decided to try her hand at being a comic shop owner after a few years of running an indie publishing company (a terribly naive decision she openly admits), and took over a former Brian’s Books in Santa Clara, and thus Illusive Comics & Games, LLC was born in June 2007. In 2014, it was clear the tabletop gaming portion of Illusive had outgrown the space available, and in 2015 she opened Isle of Gamers, also in Santa Clara. Even through the pandemic, Anna makes sure the shop does what it can for local non-profits, with whom she has often run event fundraisers for in the past. She has also worked with many libraries, including the Santa Clara and Menlo Park Libraries to build their annual Comic Cons.
Mother to an amazing special needs child, Anna splits her time these days between being a Distance Learning aide and telecommuting running both shops.
Gamal is an experienced entertainment transactions attorney with expertise in comic book publishing and IP licensing. He began his career as the general counsel for the anime and manga company Central Park Media before moving to Marvel Comics to become their International Publishing Manager. After Marvel, he set up Creative Contract Consulting to help independent creators and publishers protect their rights and maximize their business models. In 2020, joined GlobalComix as their General Counsel and VP of Content and he crowdfunded a book entitled The Business of Independent Comic Book Publishing that hit more than 600% of its funding goal. He is currently working on the follow up book, The Business of Freelance Comic Book Publishing which is scheduled for release in the fall of 2022