ComicsPRO 2023: Former Diamond VP Bill Schanes to Advise Oni Press as Publishing Consultant

Instrumental Direct Market, Comics Publishing Figure to Lend 50+ Years of Expertise to Powerhouse Independent Publisher

As revealed today at ComicsPRO 2023 in Pittsburgh, Oni Press is proud to announce that Bill Schanes – an instrumental figure in the history of independent comics, the expansion of the Direct Market, and the ascendance of Diamond Comic Distributors – will join the multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning comic book and graphic novel publisher as a Publishing Consultant.

“Bill is universally respected throughout our industry, and with good reason: As a retailer, publisher, and distributor, he personally helped build the foundations of the Direct Market as we know it today,” said Hunter Gorinson, President & Publisher of Oni Press. “There are few who can rival his experience, instinct, or wisdom, and we’re fortunate to be able to draw on all three as Oni writes a new chapter for the future.”

“I’m looking forward to working closely with Hunter and the Oni-Lion Forge team, as they have an ambitious publishing program, one which I believe can add value to the comics book specialty retailers,” says Bill Schanes.

With more than 50 years of experience in publishing and distribution, Schanes’ influence has loomed large over the course of comics history. Schanes’ career began in 1971 when he, alongside his brother Steve, co-founded Pacific Comics – eventually transforming their successful chain of San Diego comic shops into one of the industry’s first independent publishers and distributors. During his tenure as President & Publisher of Pacific, Schanes was among the first to release creator-owned series from some of the industry’s most legendary creators, including Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Neal Adams, Dave Stevens, Richard Corben, Sergio Aragonés, and many more – making Pacific a pioneering force in the development of then-burgeoning Direct Market and the cause of creator rights.

In 1985, Schanes joined Diamond Comic Distributors, eventually serving the company for more than 25 years before his retirement as Vice President of Purchasing in 2013. Schanes’ tenure was marked by the steady growth and solidification of the Direct Market among thousands of comic specialty stores across North America, eventually cementing Diamond as the industry’s primary distributor for periodical comics and leading to the formation of Diamond Book Distributors to capitalize on the growing demand for graphic novels.

Schanes is the latest high-profile addition to Oni’s growing roster of industry talent, joining newly appointed Editor-in-ChiefSierra Hahn, formerly of BOOM! Studios and Dark Horse, and Senior Sales Manager Michael Torma, formerly of Maryland-based comics retail chain Third Eye Comics.

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