ComicMix QuickPicks – January 16-18, 2009
The weekend wrap-up of comic-related news items that might not generate a post of their own, but may be of interest…
* Tom Mason interviews Dan Thompson about his new strip RIP HAYWIRE at Comix 411.
* The Comics Reporter: Dan Vado on the recent changes at Diamond:
…the thing that slaps us up in the face most is the raising of the Purchase Order benchmark to $2500. What that means is that every book needs to generate $2500 of revenue (that would mean a little over $6000 in sales at retail based on the discount we give to Diamond) in order to be listed with Diamond. That does not mean that Diamond is going to cancel or not carry books which appear in the Previews but do not reach that benchmark, but it does mean that if you have a line of books which consistently do not meet that mark, you will not be getting your books listed in the Previews for long…
…what few books we published as floppies will probably not ever see the light of day. While a first issue might sell well enough to meet the benchmark it is more than likely that everything from a second or third issue on will not. Again, I think your average reader might be shocked at how poorly some comics sell. So, if you’re a small publisher or a self-publisher and your plan is to release a mini-series and then collect it as a trade, those plans might change.
It’s a tough spot for everyone to be in. Diamond is in essence asking everyone to sell more in a recessionary environment or find themselves out of the catalog. Short term, a lot of publishers are going to find themselves with no distribution.
Read the whole thing.
* And while we’re getting depressed on comics economics, we have Ilan Strasser of Fat Moose Comics and Games on the Current State of the Comic Market. Via ICV2. Also, who says the Book Business Is Dead? Why, Jason Epstein does… here’s his Autopsy of the Book Business. I’d be slightly more worried if Jason hadn’t been calling the alarm for 15 years… on the other hand, it doesn’t mean he was wrong then or that he’s wrong now.
* It gets even uglier: Anderson News Warns of ‘Implosion’ in Mag Business:
Magazine distributor Anderson News CEO Charlie Anderson is warning of an “implosion in the business” as his company attempts to impose new charges on magazine publishers, according to a report in Folio. Anderson, which represents over 20% of magazine distribution in the
, is demanding that publishers pay an additional $.07 per copy distributed (gross, not net of returns) to return magazine distribution to profitability for his company. “The business has not been profitable and has not been for a very long time,” U.S. said. “What we are trying to do is give some stability in the channel. Short of that, there will be an implosion in the business.” Anderson says he believes that three of the four magazine wholesalers that distribute magazines nationwide are unprofitable. Anderson
* Even uglier than that: theBookseller.com reports that book sales were discounted by nearly a billion dollars in England last year.
* Can it get even worse? According to Tom Spurgeon, yes: more newspapers can fold– the Minneapolis Star Tribune just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy– or they could just cut back on their comics sections. And we haven’t even heard about bookstore returns.
* Exhibits examine ties between Jews and comic books — although it amazes me that I find out about an exhibit at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island by reading a newspaper web site in Richmond, Indiana.
* Sir John Mortimer, the creator of Rumpole of the Bailey, has died.
Anything else? Consider this an open thread.