PORTLAND, Ore. 02/20/2024 — Image Comics is pleased to announce the Image Select Retailer Award, a new initiative to galvanize recognition of members of the Comic Book Direct Market retail community that are going above and beyond to serve their customers, expand readership, and grow a healthier marketplace. The inaugural winner will be announced next month on Friday, March 1 at the Lunar Distribution retailer event at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle.

Starting today, Image invites fans to nominate their local comic shops for this award based on criteria such as:

  • exemplary customer service
  • thoughtful and exciting handselling recommendations
  • efforts fostering a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere
  • easy-to-browse shelving
  • attractive and innovative displays
  • forward-thinking customer marketing and out-of-box consumer outreach
  • community engagement
  • robust inventory of & support for Image Comics and other creator-owned/indie comics

To nominate a shop, simply fill out this form with your local store’s name, location, and summarize some of the ways they store go the extra mile to create a great retail experience for you and other customers.

One winning store will be announced quarterly, and each store will receive:

  • a commemorative medallion to display with pride
  • an Image Select Retailer Award window cling for their store's window
  • a spotlight Q&A to be featured on Image Comics’ social media platforms and Website
  • the store's choice of a gold foil exclusive variant, branded as an Image Select Retailer Award winner, with store logo (limited to 250 copies).

“Simply put: Comic book stores are the backbone of our industry and the success we’ve all enjoyed since the development of the Direct Market would not be possible without the support of forward-thinking comic book store owners and their staffs,” said Eric Stephenson, Publisher and Chief Creative Officer at Image Comics. “I often remind people that one of our industry’s all-time biggest hits, The Walking Dead, launched with only a little over 7,000 orders, but as confident as we were in the sterling quality of that series, it took the commitment of the people who ordered up, promoted, and hand-sold that book month in and month out to build it into the worldwide success it eventually became. Now more than ever, new talent and new creativity face some long odds, and we are always looking for ways to recognize and thank members of our retail community who make a mutual investment in their success. This award is a way to spotlight and honor those retailers and their stores for raising the bar, changing the marketplace, and helping to build a better industry for us all.”