Longtime comics and graphic novel publishing executive Rich Johnson has been named v-p, sales and business development at Diamond Book Distributors, the book trade division of Diamond Comics Distributors, one of the largest comics and graphic novel distributors in North America.

In his new role at DBD, Johnson will work with sales and marketing representatives to evaluate new opportunities and expand DBD’s distribution network for DBD publishers. Johnson said, “I have worked with Diamond in various capacities over the years and I am looking forward to joining this amazing group of book and comic professionals in a more official capacity.”

Johnson has been a key figure in the growth of the graphic novel category in the comics shop market and the book trade over the last 30 years. Most recently, he served as president of Brick Road Media, a publishing consultancy he founded that has worked with a variety of publishers. Before that he served as v-p, sales, marketing and business development for Lion Forge Comics; he was co-founder and co-publishing director of Yen Press/Hachette, and he has worked as v-p, book trade sales for DC Comics.

President of Diamond Book Distributors Tony Lukus described Johnson as a “constant advocate and catalyst for graphic novels in the book trade.” Lukus continued: “few have done more than Rich Johnson to introduce the comic arts to American readers of every age. I’m delighted to welcome Rich to the Diamond Book team where he’ll work with our publishers to drive sales and help find new ways to bring their innovative books to an evolving marketplace.”