Remember how I don't have a rosy view of Diamond, how I have known too many shoestring publishers who went under because Diamond delayed paying them. How they have been instrumental in killing off the indie market. And how the bigs that stay with them as Diamond exclusives keep saying of this bloodletting, "Hey, they're just trying to stay in business." There have been a couple of people in the industry that I was friends with until Diamond upped its minimums and such, and they told me, "They're just trying to stay in business." I didn't just burn those bridges, I scorched earthed the area. (These same people soon found themselves frozen out by Diamond, being told their books wouldn't be carried anymore. No sympathy from me, you said this was acceptable, now live with the consequences of your inactions.)
Today, Rich Johnston broke huge news. Checker Publishing has specialized in reprinting old comic runs, from Crossgen or Alan Moore's Supreme or even titles that never finished their original runs. Suddenly, their books aren't in Diamond and the web site is down. Another victim of Diamond's merciless axe?
From Mark Thompson of Checker: "The website is down for our annual renewal and will be back up shortly. We simply missed the dates and are awaiting our internet provider to reload the site. I have personally cancelled the orders through Diamond with a cease and desist order. (Holy shit! He's playing hardball! -- G) Several months ago for financial reasons we will disclose shortly we had to place Diamond on prepay terms which they declined to agree to. This situation with Diamond is the culmination of nearly a year of being unable to ship product into their warehouse facility AT ALL due to their own internal problems. We began to warn our larger clients in the Spring of 09. Please refer for example; Amazon.com (a direct supplied account) is fully stocked with Checker product for the holidays. West Coast distributor Big Kahuna is fully stocked and ready to fill orders for Checker product. Our U.K distributor TURNAROUND is fully stocked with product and shipping (and paying us I might add). We will be announcing several new distribution agreements which replace Diamond as our distribution partner. The Diamond system is constricting if not collapsing, not Checker."
I wonder what will happen to Marvel and them and their precious exclusive deals. DC is already trying to move to graphic novels for bookstores (Superman: Earth One is the first experiment out of the petri dish), but those places get to return product that doesn't sell. The comic shops don't. Diamond was trying to push publishers to go for GN's instead of monthlies because the profit margin was greater. Looks like they are worse off than I thought (and I thought pretty bad).
All the Have Nots of the comic book world, make your choices, no escape, add your voice, the chant has begun!