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Oh, Yeah, It's On....

The ChicagoCon just got a liiiiiiiiittle more exciting....

Okay, let's start at the beginning.  Devil's Due Publishing is a comic company based in the Chicago area.  Josh Blaylock wastes very little time in building the company up to a decent, mid-tier publisher.  Buoyed by the success of Hack/Slash, they started licensing titles like G.I. Joe.  This made me arch my eyebrows -- generally, any time a comic company starts releasing high profile licensed titles, it means certain doom.  NOW Comics, DreamWave...no one is cringing more that APE is publishing comics based on Shrek and The Penguins Of Madagascar than me, they're a bunch of swell guys there.

So, DDP is one of the companies joining on the "Bookstores are the wave of the future!" bandwagon.  Comic companies couldn't wait to get their graphic novels sold through Amazon, Borders, or Barnes And Noble.  After all, look at all the discount titles they sell.  It looks good on paper -- sell to bookstores that will order plenty as opposed to the thin margins of comic shops, and enjoy the money.  However, they forgot about returns.  DDP found themselves crushed by returns from major chains and having to pay up.

So, bills to Diamond for distributing their comic have to wait.  Diamond doesn't want to wait.  So they start keeping the money brought in from selling DDP titles for themselves against their debt.  This meant no money going to DDP, which had other bills, such as printers and talent, to pay.  (There are also rumors that Diamond lost 20% of their DDP stock, no compensation.)  So DDP started hoping that the good will of the talent would enable them to get their act together.  Then they started suing ("You can't pay me, but you can pay for T-shirts and booth babes?!?"), so that didn't work.  Their most consistent title, Hack/Slack, was creator owned, and the guy jumped to Image.  DDP is, to use a Chicago expression, in the trick bag.

Well, DDP has told Diamond to suck mud.  They are pulling all their books from Diamond.  They used alternate channels to distribute their Reanimator - Hack/Slash crossover, which I suspect was a dry run to set up for this.  This means that Diamond no longer has product to sell and cover a low six figure debt.  And what happens if other publishers decide to pull a similar stunt with Diamond, which is already downsizing and seeing Haven's casual progress start to grab names and former Diamond exclusives like Zenoscope and Moonstone?

Both companies have major detractions, so it's tough to pick a side to root for here.  But with the comic industry in as much trouble as it is, this is the worst time for a number like this to happen.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 7th, 2010 04:00 am (UTC)
This is simple. The "industry" has been over-run by Fanboys who read nothing but comics or derivative material. They have little business sense, get all excited about "GREAT IDEAS" but don't think things through. They live in a nostalgia induced fog, and don't let The Suits tell them that their business plan (HA!) is a bad joke because, well, The Suits will just screw the creator over anyhow...

And now you have the blind leading the blind with the stupid, arrogant and oblivious thrown in for good measure.

I realize this overly broad brush doesn't include everyone in comics today, but the industry as a whole has been happily shooting themselves in the foot for a couple of decades now.

Where are the leaders like Julie Schwartz or Stan Lee with a little help from his Uncle? It is all so damned creator centric that the business aspect of it seems almost an after thought.

I was reading the latest issue of the Green Hornet: Year One (which is now a tired, over done schtick) and shook my head at the insane variant cover crap. This is an industry that doesn't learn from its mistakes because of a lack of REAL WORLD BUSINESS experience.

Feh...don't get me started.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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