Rich Johnson has been in just about all aspects of bookselling, from store manager to buyer to publisher. He currently is the V.P. of Sales, Marketing and Business Development at Lion Forge Comics and is a publishing consultant, as the Founder of Brick Road Media, LLC.
Johnson is Co-Founder and was the Co-Publishing Director for Yen Press a new graphic novel and manga imprint for Hachette Book Group. There he established a new imprint with a focus on partnering with top Japanese publishers to create a new imprint that focused on manga and graphic novels. He also co-founded Yen Plus a monthly manga anthology magazine.
Previously he was Vice President of Book Trade Sales for DC Comics where he took the forefront in establishing graphic novels in the bookstore market. Johnson is held largely responsible for the creation of graphic novel sections in bookstores and libraries, where previously the medium had little, if any presence in these markets. The expansion into the market helped to popularize an American art form. It is still the biggest growth category in the bookstore market and it had crossed into other mediums. Film and television have embraced the medium, where not only super-hero based properties like Iron Man and Batman break box office records, but where graphic novels become critically acclaimed films and television shows. Most notably The Road to Perdition, A History of Violence and The Walking Dead are all based on graphic novels.
He has worked for such companies as Archaia Entertainment, The Will Eisner Studios, Valliant Entertainment, Legendary Entertainment/Comics and Penguin Random House, Storm King Comics from film director John Carpenter, CME (Creative Mind Energy), Random House Books for Young Readers, Insight Editions, Lion Forge Comics and Diamond Comics.
He has worked in sales, marketing, acquisitions, business development, licensing, foreign rights and editorial.
He is the author of the graphic memoir INVISIBLE and is represented by Judith Hansen of Hansen Literary Agency. He is also one of the founding partners in Atomic Clock Entertainment, a film and television production and development company.
He is an adjunct professor at both Drexel University in Philadelphia and Pace University in New York. He is often a speaker at such shows as San Diego Comic Con, New York Comic Con, BookExpo America, the American Library Association Mid-Winter and Annual Meetings, The Center for Cartoon Studies, and the School of Visual Arts.