Conventions | The inaugural Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo drew an estimated 27,500 unique attendees, slightly less than the 30,000 expected. “We felt it was an excellent launch,” Lance Fensterman, Reed Exhibitions vice president, told ICv2.com. “For the last year this show has been a theory. For the last three days people have been able to walk around and experience what the event, the concept, and the community are about, and now we can grow from here.” Christopher Borelli, Brent DiCrescenzo and Heidi MacDonald file wrap-ups from the show. [C2E2]
Publishing | According to ICv2′s annual white paper, presented during the Diamond Retailer Summit at C2E2, sales of comics and graphic novels in the United States and Canada fell 5 percent last year as the total market declined from an estimated $715 million in 2008 to $680 million in 2009. In the book channel, manga sales dropped by more than 20 percent, while sales of kids and young-adult graphic novels jumped by more than 50 percent. [ICv2.com]
Publishing | Citing frustrations over fulfillment, warehousing and invoicing issues, Checker Book Publishing Group reportedly has ended its exclusive book market agreement with Diamond Book Distributors. Simon Jones reports that Checker Publisher Mark Thompson made the announcement in a series of “strongly-worded posts” in a private online industry forum (Thompson apparently granted permission for the information to be reposted). Repeated attempts to contact Checker by phone this morning were unsuccessful.
The Dayton, Ohio-based publisher signed exclusively with Diamond in November 2003, expanding on an agreement made the previous year. Checker’s problems with the distributor apparently arose over the past 1 1/2 years. According to Jones’ post, “Outstanding canceled orders of Checker’s books are allegedly in excess of $250,000 in retail value.” Jones has more details. [Icarus Publishing]