Women in Comics Month: Interview with Morgan Perry

In honor of Women in Comics Month this March, PREVIEWSworld talks with writer Morgan Perry!

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PREVIEWSworld: Who is your current comics employer?

Morgan Perry: BOOM! Studios

PREVIEWSworld: What is your primary job title? In a quick phrase or two, could you define your job’s key responsibility?

Morgan Perry: My primary job title is Direct Market Representative. Simplified into a phrase or two: I’m BOOM! Studios’ Retailer Liaison.

PREVIEWSworld: Could you please explain how your work helps make comics a reality? (Connect the dots for us. Where are you in the flow of getting a book into reader hands?)

Morgan Perry: I am the day-to-day contact for our retail partners around the globe. I help them with everything from basic customer service, emergency product fulfillment, coordinating signings and events with them, and making sure that they have all the information they need for FOC and On-Sale. I also head up the BOOM! Guarantee, which is our Retail Rewards program in addition to assisting the Marketing Team on promotions by providing feedback from retailers to them as well as my own experience and hot takes on the current market.

PREVIEWSworld: What’s the part of your job you enjoy the most?

Morgan Perry: I enjoy getting to know the retailers the most, and I mean that outside of asking what’s selling for them. I want to know how they’re doing, what they’re reading, and what they’re enjoying right now. I also really enjoy listening to them talk about their current experiences in comic retail, whether it’s in conversations or through their podcasts. It helps me keep gain more perspective and stay grounded now that I’m not behind the counter on a day-to-day basis, and I can start finding applicable ways to incorporate their voices into what I do.

PREVIEWSworld: What comic titles have you worked on?

Morgan Perry: Any title that has come through BOOM! Studios in the last year on an FOC email or Diamond Daily, I’ve had some hand in helping to promote.

PREVIEWSworld: While there are loads of professionals in the comics industry, there are only so many folks who get to do what you do! How did you get started? How did you learn all the skills you needed for your position?

Morgan Perry:  It’s kind of a weird one because it seemed that working in comics was always been the end goal, but how I “broke in” wasn’t how I expected. I was always reading comics and manga as a kid, and that’s never really stopped being a thing now as an adult either. I graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design Sequential Art Program and was already pursuing internships in my field while working part time at Emerald Knights Comics and Games. That was around 4+ years ago, and I was actually a Marketing intern for BOOM! Studios at the time as well. After a year of Social Media and PR work, I really missed working in a comic shop, especially connecting with people over comics. So I quit my job and started working at Earth 2 Comics where I not only got to interact with people who loved comics every day, but I also realized I really enjoyed comic shop retail specifically (and by comic shop retail I don’t mean getting to sit around and read comics all day because that’s not what it’s like to work in a comic shop at all, haha). By that point, I had taken it upon myself to learn as much as I could about how the shop ran on a day-to-day basis from the Owner and his General Manager in addition to providing the best customer service possible and reading almost everything. They really taught me a lot about POS systems, placing orders, backlog management, reading invoices, rack maintenance, merchandising, etc, and eventually I worked my way up to managing one of the locations, taking on several of those responsibilities and helping to train staff. I really loved going to work every day and developing the personal relationships I had with our customers; so it was a bit of a shock when the Owner, Carr D’Angelo, recommended me for the Direct Market Representative position at BOOM! Studios because they were looking for someone who was already stationed in the direct market who had knowledge of the current market and could assist with retailer relations. The Direct Market Representative position was a logical leveling up, as it were, from where I was previously, and I apply a lot of the same skills I used/learned in the shop every day at BOOM! Studios.

PREVIEWSworld: Talk to us about the heroic people in your comics life. Who do you admire? Who inspires you? Why?

Morgan Perry: Seriously, major props to every retailer out there and all the people who visit and purchase from them weekly. You put in so much work to promote dozens upon dozens of titles each week, promote your stores on social media, create events, and work to bring your community together in addition to all the other daily tasks you have to accomplish to make sure your store runs and your staff is taken care of. You’re the real heroes of this industry.

PREVIEWSworld: Please tell us about the coolest experience you’ve ever had thanks to your job.

Morgan Perry: It’s not every day you get to hand sell your favorite BOOM! Studios book, Weavers, to Matthew Lillard, who’s your fancast for Sid. That kind of made my 2017 SDCC.

PREVIEWSworld: Every industry professional has something they absolutely love about comics. Whether it’s a particular title or format or audience or tradition or something else, we’re all hooked. What’s special about comics for you? Would you be willing to share a treasured memory about it?

Morgan Perry: There is a comic out there that can connect to someone at any point in their lives whether it’s through the story, the artwork, or even just a character or scene. For me and a possibly a lot of other people, comics are a medium of expression, and I think that comes mainly from my art background because I’ve been able to communicate my feelings and emotions better than I have in any other way through comics.

Because of this, the character I connect with the most is Raven from Teen Titans, which is also related to the most “treasured memory.” It’s honestly one of my worst moments because I’m usually a pretty composed person, but I was told that Marv Wolfman would come in from time to time at Earth 2 Comics. I hadn’t met him during my entire time there at this point, and to be honest, we got a fair bit of industry professions and celebrity customers so I was normally pretty chill/normal whenever it did happen — no one wants to be bothered like that when getting comics, y’know? So I was working the Wednesday night late shift when Marv Wolfman walks in. I don’t immediately recognize him so I’m making the usual greetings and small talk. After a few minutes of him looking around, I ask if I can help him find anything, and he asks where the new Raven series is. I, being super excited that ANYONE is asking about Raven, immediately show him to my Staff Recommendations shelf, and just going on about how I’ve been enjoying it and how she’s my favorite character ever. Keep in mind, I do not recognize this person. So when he says, “Yeah, Carr usually lets me sign a couple of copies of my work when I’m here.” I stop dead as full realization of who I’m talking to, turn around, and very softly ask, “You’re Marv Wolfman, aren’t you?” He nods, and I think I’ve completely weirded him out at this point so I just said, “Thank you so much for creating someone like Raven,” about-faced, and  left to get him a sharpie, completely embarrassed over the fact that the impression I probably left was “unstable Raven fangirl manager.”

PREVIEWSworld: If you had one comics-related wish—no limits—what would it be?

Morgan Perry: I’ve always wanted to write and draw comics in some professional capacity so it’d be a dream to work on an original or something Raven-related from DC.

PREVIEWSworld: Do you have an online presence we can link to and share with our readers?

Morgan Perry: If you want to follow me on Twitter (@geauxta), be prepared for lots of comics talk, dnd, and roller derby related nonsense.

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