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• Wolfgang Bylsma, managing director of Australia-based Gestalt Publishing, emailed this morning to say that Diamond Comic Distributors canceled the anthology Flinch without notifying the publisher. He received the news from a retailer.
“I received an email from a retailer in Montreal asking why we were going ahead with the book launch when Diamond had canceled the distribution,” Bylsma writes. “Local (Australian) retailers then confirmed for me that Diamond had informed them the title was canceled.”
The 120-page Flinch features work by Shaun Tan (who illustrated the cover), Justin Randall, Terry Dowling, Ray Fawkes, Tom Taylor, Colin Wilson and others.
Update: Bylsma writes to say that retailers received an automated notification from the distributor, and that his Diamond representative apologized for the publisher not being directly informed of the cancellation.
“I hold no grudge against the rep who initially fought with us to get the book listed in the first place,” Bylsma says. “It is the system and policies in place that appear deeply flawed. Ultimately it is Diamond as a company that are diminishing their own capacity to remain relevant in a shifting landscape, and if we can enable more people to become aware of the drawbacks of their new policies then all the better. I can appreciate that their business model needs to remain profitable, but having essentially cornered the market and then closing out diversity is no way to bolster the industry, and it must surely be evident that a weakened industry would only serve to damage their own longevity and ongoing profitability.”
He notes that orders for the anthology would have Diamond’s previous minimum level “quite comfortably.” However, it “fell short of the new hurdle.”
• Cartoonist Ted Rall announced he’s been laid off by United Media, where he had worked since 2006 as editor of acquisitions and development. During his time at the syndicate, he signed R Stevens, Keith Knight, Tak Toyoshima and Signe Wilkinson. (via The Daily Cartoonist)
• Steve Breen, who won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning, dedicates his award to his colleagues who have lost their jobs recently. “There’ve been so many,” he tells Michael Cavna.