Boom Studios To Increase Staff Numbers By A Third
At ComicsPRO's Annual Conference, which is taking place virtually around the world for a second year in a row, Boom Studios' President of Publishing & Marketing, Filip Sablik, is just about done delivering his presentation to retailers. Boom is anchoring the first morning of publisher presentations, but unlike in-person events, all of the presentations are pre-recorded so it will be interesting to see how it compares to those from other major publishers like DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, and IDW. Although we won't get to compare against Boom's current biggest rival in the creator-owned space. Image Comics, is noticeably absent from the conference.
Sablik kicked off his presentation by talking about meditation and the importance of paying attention to your breath. Which sounds a bit odd for a publisher presentation, but did lead rather neatly into an analogy of how the comics industry has been holding its breath since COVID first impacted it in March 2020.
Sablik then revealed that Boom has had six of its biggest consecutive quarters in the company's history and grown their market share in the direct market by 200% in just two years, making it the fastest-growing publisher in the direct market. If any other publisher would like to dispute that claim with bigger numbers, my inbox is, as ever, open. And this is of the whole direct comic store market, not just Diamond. At Diamond, Boom Studios had a 300% marketshare increase after the Geppis lost much of DC and Marvel.
He went on to point out some other big numbers, which we'll report on shortly, but suffice to say that Boom had a very good 2020 and 2021. Sablik then acknowledged the frustration and exhaustion that's permeated the industry despite this success, and suggested that the publishers, retailers, and the industry at large would be well served by adjusting its expectations and, in his words, "embracing the new normal." He went on to explain that Boom was leaning into the new normal and using their growth from the past two years to invest in the future rather than clinging to the past.
One way Boom is apparently doing that is by expanding their staff by 33% by April. So if you're looking for a job in comics, now might be a good time to bookmark the Boom LinkedIn page. Although I'm still waiting for Sablik to ask for my resume…
Another bit of news to come out of Boom's ComicsPRO speech was that in addition to continuing to offer returnable comics and collections through their retailer support program, the Boom Guarantee, the publisher has also added exclusive Boom Guarantee (or B!G) variant covers. These open-to-order B!G variants are not only exclusive to members of the Boom Guarantee program, which means not every comic shop will have them… but also fully returnable, meaning Boom carries the risk on them rather than the store. We noted one for Something Is Killing The Children #21 by Vincenzo Riccardi last week, but the first one of these by Junggeun Yoon for All-New Firefly #1 debuted in stores yesterday and they've solicited ones for The Killer: Affairs Of The State #1, Magic: The Hidden Planeswalker #1 (both also by Yoon). Clever collectors may want to assemble sets of these since they all appear to be for either new launch or key issues…
In the meantime, stay tuned for more news coming out of ComicsPRO as it breaks.