Comic Book Legal Defense Fund announces new president, board member

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund sent out a press release yesterday announcing that Lone Star Comics GM Chris Powell has replaced Chris Staros as president of the organization. Staros, who has been on the board for seven years and was president for five years, is leaving the organization to "devote more time to the growth of Top Shelf Productions."

In addition, Beanworld creator Larry Marder has joined the board, which also includes Joe Ferrara, vice president; Milton Griepp, treasurer; Louise Nemschoff, secretary; Peter David; Neil Gaiman; Steve Geppi; and Paul Levitz.

Update: Marder talks a little bit about his new role on his blog. "For the last year and a half, I haven't had my Business Thinking Cap tilted towards anything other than Beanworld. I'm really looking forward to have an opportunity to be on a platform where I can state my theories and ideas and have opportunity to work with others in guiding the trajectory of CBLDF's mission for the next few years," he said.

The complete press release can be found after the jump.


At this morning's ComicsPRO Annual Meeting, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund announced changes to its Board of Directors. After five years of service as President and seven years on the Board, Chris Staros has stepped down from the organization to devote more time to the growth of Top Shelf Productions. Staros is replaced as President by Chris Powell, General Manager of Lone Star Comics, and President Pro-Tem of ComicsPRO. Powell is the first retailer to hold the Presidency of the organization in its 22 year history. Taking over Staros' seat on the Board of Directors is maverick creator and industry maven Larry Marder.

"It's been an honor to serve on the Board of Directors of the CBLDF," Staros says, "but as Top Shelf has grown, I find myself not having the time to support the day-to-day activities of the Fund in the way that I used to, and, of course, that's the signal that it's time to move on, and pass the torch on to others ready to lead the charge. And now, with Chris Powell as the new President and Larry Marder joining the Board, I know that the Fund will have some fresh energy to devote to the cause. So, while I won't be on the Board, I'll always support the CBLDF, as it's still a cause I truly believe in."

Chris Powell, one of the most prominent comics retailers in the country comes to be the first comics retailer to chair the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund after two years of Board service. Powell says, “I’m honored and appreciative of the support the Board has shown in electing me to the Presidency of the CBLDF. Under Chris Staros’ leadership, the Fund has grown tremendously, and I look forward to continuing that work with the support of the Board and our Executive Director, Charles Brownstein."

Setting goals for his Presidency of the organization, Powell says, "The Fund will continue to grow and evolve, finding new and innovative ways to support comic fans, creators, and sellers. We will increase our use of 21st century technology in our mission and fundraising work. We will increase our outreach to new and current members, and increase our ability to share news and information about the ongoing fight to protect the First Amendment rights we all depend upon to do business."

Powell adds, "Working each day with comics retailers from all over the country, I’ve seen the good the Fund can do. We will continue to build retailer membership in the CBLDF so we can continue working to protect them, their suppliers, and their customers."

Larry Marder, creator of the New York Times bestselling graphic novel series Beanworld, comes to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund after over 25 years serving in almost every aspect of the industry. Marder says, "Over the years I’ve drawn comics, published them, and did marketing work for comics shops and distributors. I’ve witnessed how swiftly and arbitrarily comics can be assaulted in the marketplace and now, even the home. I’m really quite privileged to have been given the opportunity to join the Board and add my ideas to its vigorous efforts to guard everyone’s First Amendment rights."

Under the leadership of Chris Powell, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's board are: Joe Ferrara, Vice-President; Milton Griepp, Treasurer; Louise Nemschoff, Secretary; Peter David; Neil Gaiman, Steve Geppi, Paul Levitz, and Larry Marder.

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