The founder of Hunt Valley-based Geppi Family Enterprises is returning as president of the nation’s largest distributor of comics and pop culture goods, part of an organizational change announced Wednesday.
Steve Geppi, the firm’s chairman and CEO, said he will re-assume the role of president, replacing former president Stan Heidmann as the company looks for new opportunities in a fast-moving, evolving marketplace.
“I have a strong history of growing and leading this organization for several decades, and I am energized about our next phase,” Geppi said in an announcement. “I fully intend to set all Geppi Family Enterprise brands on a path for robust growth.”
Geppi promised more details in coming weeks. The Geppi business has 11 brands in the United States and United Kingdom, including Diamond Comic Distributors and Alliance Game Distributors. It operates as a publisher as well as running a global distribution network for retailers, publishers and vendors.
Steve Geppi, a native of Baltimore’s Little Italy, began collecting comic books as a child and opened one of the area’s first comic books stores, Geppi’s Comic World, in the basement of an Edmondson Avenue house in 1974. In 1982, he founded Diamond Comic Distributors with one warehouse and 17 retail customers. It grew into the country’s largest comic-book distributor.
Geppi also opened Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, showcasing a pop-culture and vintage comic book collection, next to Camden Yards in 2006. He closed the museum in 2018 because of weak attendance, donating much of the historic collection to the Library of Congress.