By Beau Smith

In case some of ya don’t know I’ve got a regular job that I do when I’m not bein’ the last real man in comics and the your favorite Cowboy Warrior King.

I’m the vice president of sales and marketing for IDW Publishing. We were voted publisher of the year by the direct market retailers through Diamond Distribution. I work hard to make sure that our books are easy to sell and that the retailers know how to market them. I also make sure that they have lots of cold beer to drink when I’m throwin’ the IDW credit card around.

This past week I was in Baltimore for the Diamond Distribution Retail Summit. That’s where a truck load of direct market retailers gather to listen to publisher presentations, attend retail workshops and to get all kinds of great swag from the publishers.

I was in Baltimore for about a week. I had meetings and even did a day of the Baltimore Comic Con before the Retail Summit. Had a great time and even got to see a ball game while I was in town.

IDW President, Ted Adams, and I did the Retail Summit. We set the booth up and got everything ready for our retailin’ buddies. Ted and I have been doin’ this sorta thing for many years. We worked at Eclipse Comics and Todd McFarlane Productions together. We’ve seen most anything under the comic book sun in those years.

The crowds were great. When they opened the doors we were swamped and glad of it. Loads of retailers from all over the country came buy to talk the business with us and pick up their limited edition copy of Metal Gear Solid. Of course they also came by to shake my hand and hear my manly words of wisdom, but I’m not one to brag.

The response we got to our upcoming line of books was really nice. The biggest hits were Metal Gear Solid and Grimjack. All the retailers were excited about the return of Grimjack by the original creators John Ostrander and Tim Truman. With us backin’ up the new stuff with a series of trade paperbacks from the 80 plus issue run we should be swimmin’ in Grimjack for some time to come.

I had to do a presentation for the retailers the day before the booth exhibit. The ballroom was packed (free lunch) and I was more than ready to get up on stage and spread the IDW word.

And spread I did.

My intro was a special video that we had produced just for the Summit. It was real MTV like with all kinds of graphics and fast movin’ music. The music was so cool that I even started dancin’ to it while on stage. I shook my butt for the whole place to see. Retailers started wavin’ dollar bills at me as I did my dog and boogie show. It was a sight to behold.

Again, the big hits of the presentation were Metal Gear Solid and Grimjack. The retailers let out some hardy yells when Grimjack was on the screen?that or they wanted me to dance again. I haven’t quite figured it out yet.

Ted was happy with my presentation. They reason I know this is because he didn’t fire me. That’s always a good thing.

I was waitin’ for Bob Wayne at DC Comics to heckle me from the crowd, but he decided to pass this time. A free lunch can do that to a man like Bob.

I got to eat a lot of really good food while in Baltimore. The inner harbor was lined up with all kinds of great places. I had crab cakes, cold beer, salmon and other bits of fine seafood while there. The only crummy food I had was a terrible hot dog while doing the show. Ya can’t win em’ all.

By the way, I did manage to hang out with a couple of old buddies while at the Baltimore Comic Con. Tim Truman and John K Snyder. I hadn’t seen these boys in a while and it was great to hang with them at the booth and talk about the good old Eclipse Comics days. We all cut our teeth on publishing back then. Those were very good years. Both of the boys looked good. Father time has been kind to em’ and has even made em’ better dressed.

All in all I’d have to say I had a mighty fine time in Baltimore. Got to see some great sites, got to hang with some old friends, got to meet some new ones and most of all I got to hear the stories from the front lines from the retailers. It was all good.

This coming weekend I travel to St. Louis as a creator to do Royalfest Comic Book Convention. I’ll be signing copies of Wynonna Earp and other books that I’ve written in the last 17 years. Lookin’ forward to meetin’ all those fans in the Midwest. Should be a really good time. My good friends Chuck Dixon, Billy Tucci and Todd Fox will all be there . We’ll talk over manly things and have a couple of cold beers. A good time will be had by all. I hope to see ya there.

In the mean time? I ain’t hard to find.

Your amigo,

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507

Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!

About The Author

Beau Smith

Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin