During last night’s presentations at the Diamond Retailer Summit, the
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund announced that Diamond’s founder and
President, Steve Geppi, has accepted a seat on the group’s Board of
Directors. Geppi joins Chris Staros, Peter David, Neil Gaiman, Milton
Griepp, Greg Ketter, Frank Mangiaracina, Louise Nemschoff, and Paul
Levitz in overseeing the direction of the non-profit organization.
A veteran of the comic book industry since the earliest days of the
direct sales market, Geppi brings over three decades of experience in
every facet of the business to the CBLDF Board. Today he heads a
broad family of companies that encompass many aspects of the field,
including Diamond Comic Distributors, Diamond Book Distributors,
Diamond Select Toys, Diamond International Galleries, and Gemstone
Geppi is approaching his position as a Director of the Fund with his
characteristic enthusiasm and passion for excellence. Mr. Geppi
commented, “Due to the nature of Diamond’s business, we’re one of the
natural focal points of the industry. Because of this, I’ve been able
to interact with an amazing cross section of publishers, retailers,
and creators. If being in this unique position I can assist the CBLDF
by reaching out with its message, heightening the Fund’s exposure
within the business community, and recruiting new members — then it’s
definitely worthwhile for me to be a part of this important
He concluded, “Since we all read, enjoy, and love comics, it’s
tempting for us to paint our real-life foes as two dimensional.
They’re not. In many cases, they’re not even really villains. They do,
however, represent a variety of important issues that need to be
addressed in a serious fashion. The CBLDF is the kind of organization
that will take on the issues of the day, and with all of our help, it
CBLDF President Chris Staros comments, “The addition of Steve Geppi to
the CBLDF board makes us a stronger organization that will be better
able to address the needs of our community. He and his companies are
pillars of the comics community, and his commitment to that community
will make us better able to face whatever threats to the First
Amendment come our way. It will be an honor to serve with him in the
years to come.”
About Steve Geppi
Born in the “Little Italy” section of Baltimore, Diamond Comic
Distributors, Inc. president and CEO Stephen A. Geppi has risen to
the pinnacle of the comic book, toy and book distribution business.
Throughout his meteoric rise in business, he has never lost sight of
the importance of faith, family and community service.
Mr. Geppi entered the comics business in 1974 when he opened Geppi’s
Comic World, which he soon expanded to four stores. By 1982, his
distributor was failing and he decided to move into distribution. In
just over a decade’s time Mr. Geppi expanded his comic book
distribution business across North America and Europe.
After more than 20 years of service, Diamond has emerged as the
world’s largest distributor of English-language comics and related
merchandise, with a network of strategically-located distribution
centers throughout the world. Today Diamond Comic Distributors serves
as the exclusive distributor for many of the comic industry’s leading
publishers including DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics and
Image Comics. Diamond has also expanded into the toy and book
distribution businesses with the successful start-up of Diamond Select
Toys and Diamond Book Distributors.
In addition to his distribution businesses, Mr. Geppi moved into the
publishing arena with the creation of Gemstone Publishing, Inc. and
now publishes The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, “the comic
industry’s bible of pricing” for back issues. Today, Gemstone also
publishes classic character Disney Comics.
In January of 1995, he opened Diamond International Galleries, which
is the headquarters for an almost limitless array of comics, original
comic art, posters, animation cels and backgrounds, drawings, oils,
antique toys – literally, the world’s finest and most comprehensive
inventory of collectibles and memorabilia. The gallery draws
visitors from all over the world, and has become a popular place to
host events and parties.
A recipient of many prestigious awards, Mr. Geppi has been honored
numerous times in his hometown for his professional accomplishments
and his tireless philanthropy.
About the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
The CBLDF was founded in 1986 as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization
dedicated to the preservation of First Amendment rights for comic book
retailers, publishers, and authors. Since its establishment, the Fund
has provided free legal advise and counsel in dozens of First
Amendment cases and has participated as amicus in several First
Amendment related “Friend of the Court” briefs. Donations and
inquiries should be directed to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund at
P.O. Box 693, Northampton, MA 01061 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More
information about the Fund can be found at www.cbldf.org
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