Robot 6

The Middle Ground #11: Devil’s Due Leaves Diamond, But Why?

middlegroundAnd just when I think I know what I’m going to write about this week, Devil’s Due Publishing has parted ways with its exclusive direct market and bookstore distributor, Diamond.

Now, I’m a fan of expanding and exploring alternative distribution methods for comics as much as the next man, but something seemed odd about this news, and the press release that accompanies it. Mainly, this section:

“For almost over a year Devil’s Due has been in an unwinnable situation wherein Diamond garnishes our revenues to pay back returns and fees it claims are owed from 2008 and 2009, making it impossible for us to keep up with payments to talent, printers, and other expenses while maintaining a stable business,” said Josh Blaylock, president of Devil’s Due, who was forced to wind down the company’s publishing rather than ramp up as it originally planned to do when hit with a rough econom in 2008. “We’ve exhausted every resource to get on track, with a primary focus on catching up with talent payments first and formost, but when Diamond controls the money flow, that becomes impossible.”

I read that and thought, I am not entirely sure I understand what’s actually happening here. Is Diamond stopping all payment to DDP until it considers its own debt paid? Is the split to ensure that DDP sees any money? So, I thought I’d ask Josh Blaylock straight out.

I have to admit that my first read of the release left me with the impression that leaving Diamond was the easiest way to get around their withholding money that they believe they’re still owed. Do you still owe money to Diamond? If so, how will this move affect that repayment? Is this move in part to allow you access to money that wasn’t even getting to you through Diamond?

That’s the million dollar question. Diamond will tell you that yes, DDP owes them money. DDP has reason to question that amount, and therefore question the entire way we’ve been forced to conduct business for the past year, even going back as far as late 2008. In the spirit of still hoping to work things out (which I still would love to see happen), I can’t go into details on dollar amounts, but it is significant, and the only way to come out of it is to be able to ramp up publishing, and then KEEP enough of the sales from that publishing to pay our bills, back debts, and marketing.

My priority has always been to get the talent paid before anyone else. I’m sorry, but if you’re any other type of creditor other than basically rent and the most basic of overhead, you have to wait until talent is getting paid. Enter Diamond, June 2009, when we stopped getting payments for six weeks, and then the garnishments began, and that became impossible, because the money goes from the retailers to them first, and we get whatever deemed fit, and it changed from week to week. We’d already been struggling to catch up after the crash of the economy in late ’08. I tried for another six months to make it work, but then there were other surprises in the sales reports and it became clear we would have to call it off.

In 2009 our estimates show book store sales, returns and shortage and damage fees were much much higher in previous years, to the tune of 170% or more of our actual sales in the book market. Yes, you read that right, I said returns were almost two times as much as our actual sales. There was also a great deal of very very old material being returned that should have been past the return point, going as far back as 2006. I’d like to give Diamond the benefit of the doubt, but that is so far beyond the scope of anything acceptable that it would be negligent to let it continue.

Maybe product shortages really did increase by 800% or more from the previous year, and maybe it had nothing to do with the chaos reported about the Diamond warehouses at that time, or product being lost, but if it didn’t, then what does that mean regarding our revenue being docked for the past year? Those are the kind of questions that must be answered clearly before we can restore the relationship.

Is there a payment schedule in place for those you owe money to, outside of Diamond?

That is one of the main reasons this has to be done. The present situation with Diamond has not allowed us to set up a payment schedule with anyone. Funds are withheld at inconsistent levels, and about every six months something seems to happen wherein a serious amount of income is withheld. The has made it impossible to ramp up quality products, caused us to lose licensees, or to let properties go for the sake of the creators – such as Hack/Slash. Not to mention it’s put more than a few gray hairs on my head and seriously harmed my reputation. I didn’t just wake up after 7 years of publishing and decide DDP wasn’t going to pay its bills. I’ve always been afraid to say certain things hoping to keep the ball rolling for the greater good, but at this point its past that and if it’s going to get sorted out, this is the only way.

If not for [Diamond's] withholding of moneys for the past year, according to my estimates DDP would have been able to pay not only all talent owed, but many other creditors as well, plus a considerable amount paid back to Diamond. Instead, funds have been trickled down to us, we’ve had to slash the publishing, and hence each month the ability to rectify the situation gets smaller and smaller. The Barack the Barbarian, I Am Legion, and Jericho trade paperbacks alone would have generated a six figure amount in sales, and by this time we would have also been able to add more profitable books to the schedule.

Do you have any idea what percentage of your sales came through alternate (non-Diamond) sources prior to this change?

A very insignificant amount, because just like with every publisher in our category, we had an exclusive relationship. Diamond moved all of our content to the comic book shops as well as the book stores.

Our overhead is extremely low, though. Over a year ago I consolidated the office and my home into an apartment and cut to the utmost bare essential company expenses. Before that, however, we were generated around $2 Million in sales annually for years, so even at 25% to 30% of that we can start bringing in money to help get square with creditors. Likewise, I’m very excited about the potential of digital publishing with all of the recent developments.

***

For the foreseeable future, DDP titles will be distributed in the direct market by Haven Distributors, and also available through iVerse on iTunes, comiXology and Graphic.ly (with, according to the official release, “the sales from these companies… going in large part towards paying off moneys owed to licensors and talent”). Book distribution information is “coming soon.” As the saying goes, developing

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Comments

48 Comments

Man, I really wish the best for Devil’s Due and hope this works out for them. Loved the books they’ve put out over the years.

And I hope we see a completely translated I Am Legion book in the future (if they still have that license).

Hmmmm, something just isn’t right with this scenario…I get that everyone is in business and wants to make money, but the way Diamond operates almost sounds like a monopoly. I am not a lawyer so I wonder what, if any, anti-trust laws this may or may not infringe upon. Squeezing the smaller publishers may be good for the bottom line for a while, but for how long?

Huh. Bye bye Jericho…for the third time.

Justin, that’s what I’m thinking. But we may be able to buy them directly from the DDP website as well so I will be keeping my eye open for that.

Marc, Diamond IS a monopoly in everything but definition. Because comics are fall under the rules of books/magazines and have the ability to go through news stand vendors (like Archie, even though the kids comics are the only ones who are actively doing that) they’re not considered a monopoly in the eyes of the government, therefore no one looks at them that way.

We are glad to be helping Josh out in a difficult situation, and wish him the best. Im pleased to see him take responsibility and make good moves towards rectifying past mistakes, and look forward to what the future will bring.

“My priority has always been to get the talent paid before anyone else.”

This statement is a BIG FAT LIE. I know many creators that worked for DDP as far back as 2006 and have still not been compensated. I’ve witnessed attempts to contact JB go unanswered for months and promises of payment plans broken with no explanation or warning.

What about the poor artist that mustered up the nerve to take legal action? This particular artist was owed several thousands of dollars from work in 2007/2008. After winning her suit DDP filed a countersuit, and now she not only cannot have the money she worked so hard to earn – she must also pay DDP’s legal fees.

OK, let’s say that the money thing is straightened out tomorrow – what does Devils Due have to offer the industry? Sure, they produced some good product in years past, but it seems that a lot of their financial woes are due to the loss of their cash cows. It can’t help that Diamond may not have paid money that Devils Due claims they’re owed, but the writing was on the wall when they lost the G.I.Joe license. Plus, the loss of Hack/Slash seemed to be a tremendous blow to DDP, as they’d been riding on the wave of an *option* for the Hack/Slash movie. No script, no nothing, but that promise of a motion picture graced the cover of the book for about 2 years. Outside of a book based on a canceled sci fi show with a cult following, and some played out presidential parodies, I’m not sure what DDP has in the can that makes them feel there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Contrary to the tone of this comment, I do hope they succeed, but right now they need to BRING IT, and I don’t think it’s about to be brought…

JS

Regarding the artist you’re speaking of, there was no counter suit filed. That implies we sought serious punishment against someone, and not what was done. Being that I was unable to attend court the first time, the original judgment was simply dismissed and brought back for review.

While waiting in the cue to begin a hearing we were actually given the chance by a judge in the Cook County Circuit Court to utilize a mediator rather than go to trial, but after being pressed by the plaintiff, I chose to take it to trial because I wanted the facts all laid out on the table. As trials sometimes go, it was then delayed by the judge (only after sitting in court all day long), after which time I offered to talk to the artist. Upon seeing all of the facts, a settlement agreement was worked right there on the spot, actually hand writing an agreement on note paper, that was similar to what I originally offered as the most realistic solution for us all to move on. I believe in large part this was from the artist being able to see the reports and information I was able to provide, and that there was no deception going on. This is also directly related to one of the key titles at the center of our financial discussion/situation with Diamond, being that it is something we were never paid (at least not paid fully) for.

As far as artists from 2006, I’m not sure who that would be, and it is news to me. I welcome them to email j.blay@devilsdue.net or call me at 773-506-8912 ext. 707 … you are welcome to contact me as well.

JS is completely right, there have been creators not being paid going back way before the 08 economic down turn. Some of what was owed was up in the 10’s of thousands of dollars to certain individuals, so when Mr. Blaylock says it’s all about getting his talent paid first I have a real problem with that. Especially when a certain level of personal wealth was being maintained on his part. I’m sure there are some legitimate gripes with Diamond , but lets be honest, there were some pretty questionable creative and business decisions that got Mr. Blaylock into an awkward situation well before this last years shenanigans with his distributor

Richard C. Meyer

July 6, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Never worked with DDP but I have worked with Diamond and they have been great both times. Personal attention to my comics and a real excitement about getting new stuff out there. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about Diamond.

Appears that the only way to get money from Mr. Blaylock is to sue. Without distribution through Diamond their days are numbered. I suggest all freelancers lawyer up ASAP and sue Mr. Blaylock.

Blaylock’s statement’s here from the Rosenberg article:
“What’s necessary, what my life has revolved around for longer than I can remember, what this all comes down to is keeping business going after a serious set-back upon set-back for the company in an extremely difficult time. To keep producing new content while trying to take care of old debts, and my priority in every one of those instances is the creators. ”

Well this show’s a complete lack of understanding of business, logic and ethics of hiring people that you have no intention of paying. The sooner DDP shuts it’s doors the sooner the industry might be able to heal.

Evan Meadow sez…
“Because comics are fall under the rules of books/magazines and have the ability to go through news stand vendors (like Archie, even though the kids comics are the only ones who are actively doing that) they’re not considered a monopoly in the eyes of the government, therefore no one looks at them that way.”

Except for the biggies (DC, Marvel, Archie, and a couple of others) comics companies are Direct-only. (Comics shops and bookstores.)
No newsstand/drugstore/supermarket distribution.
It’s the result of doing a print run limited to pre-orders.
In the “old” (pre-Direct Market) days, comics were returnable, and the print runs were much larger.

Diamond IS (for all intents and purposes) a monopoly, but one created by the comics companies who signed exclusive deals with Diamond and ended up driving almost every other Direct distributor (remember Capitol City?) out of business!

On another matter…
I’m curious.
Since comics stores pay Diamond, who then pays Devils Due, how is keeping their contracted cut before paying the remainder to Devils Due a “garnishment” by Diamond?
A “garnishment” is the appropriation of money from OTHER sources for repayment of a debt!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garnishment

Evan–I am in agreement with you…doesn’t hurt to use cautious language in a litigious age.

@Marc C -*Sounds* like Diamond is a monopoly? Haha! That’s a good one! =P

Godhat!! Thank you!

Josh-

DDP has always ALWAYS had a rep for their awful payment habits – DPP has one of the longest turnarounds in the industry.

“2. Devil’s Due shall pay Talent the total voucher amount at the end of the second month after the voucher has been received and processed.” This is a direct quote from a DDP voucher.

If payments were made at all, they were usually MUCH later than the 2 month turnaround. Josh, you have a long history of screwing artists and you know it.

Trying to maintain a public image of innocence is just making you look more and more foolish. Its time to own up to your mistakes.

GH1131-

Although many freelancers would like to take legal action against DDP, hiring an attorney and traveling to Chicago for a hearing (and all the expenses that come with it) would amount to more than the amount owed by DDP.

Oh and Josh, you have to FILE for a dismissal… Judges don’t just dismiss an original judgment because they feel like it.

Making future investments in the hopes they’ll be successful enough to pay off past debts is a Ponzi scheme. Just sayin’.

I have an idea. How about if DDP owes you money, you come out, using your real name, and say so. Otherwise STFU. I love all these anonymous posters taking shots at a company for doing wrong to creators but showing no proof and hiding behind message board aliases. The comic industry needs to grow up and start acting like a real business.

“2. Devil’s Due shall pay Talent the total voucher amount at the end of the second month after the voucher has been received and processed.”

So you have to wait 2 months before getting finally getting paid? It’s a wonder that any freelancer will ever do business with them.

Also, has anyone looked at their website and wiki page?
http://www.devilsdue.net/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_Due_Publishing

What a mess this company is in.

“And I hope we see a completely translated I Am Legion book in the future (if they still have that license).”

Alex, looks like we will, just not from Devil’s Due.

http://www.humanoids.com/album/223

Diamond doesn’t realize they will be the END of the American comic book industry.

I’ve seen how Diamond treats comic book stores and they are not a good business. I don’t believe for a second that they treat the small publishers any better than they treat the small comic shops. They only care about money and stopped caring about comic books a very long time ago.

Anybody else notice that there are five times more shelves with Manga in Borders and bookstores than there is american comics…

Mysterious Stranger

July 7, 2010 at 1:41 pm

I can’t say I’m surprised to see this. DDP has been in a downward spiral since before the ’08 economic crash. Staff problems, losing licenses, it all has been leading up to the point where Josh is going to have to shut down and move on. And that sucks for everyone involved.

Can’t wait for the day when Diamond doesn’t have a stranglehold on the industry.

sounds like CrossGen all over again…

While there is certanly a problem with the direct market in this isn’t Diamond’s fault at all otherwise Darkhorse, IDW, Moonstone, Image, Boom, Archaia, Avatar and several other publishers would also be having similar problems.

This is clearly the fault of Mr. Blaylock throwing bad money after bad money over and over again. He should have walked away from the table, but instead he keeps doubling down and then acting surprised when another one of his business failures bites him in the ass.

Remember Pullbox Online, DDP Pop, Popcults and the other company he had? Maybe he should have worked on one company instead of failing with all of them.

Diamond doesn’t have anything close to a monopoly. Comic books are periodicals. Diamond probably makes up less than 1% of the periodical market. Don’t forget, legally speaking, comics are no different from TV Guide, Rolling Stone, Time, or any other magazine. Comics are a drop in the bucket compared to all periodical sales.

So, yes, they have a stranglehold on comics, but not in any legal way that matters to the courts.

Haven’t bought much stuff from Devil’s Due. I know I’ve heard of people having issues with them, though I can’t recall when that started.

I will say:

1) I work for a large company, and we pay our vendors after 60 days. Yes, most of our vendors have more resources that the average freelancer – just saying that that sort of terms for payment isn’t necessarily unusual in general in the business world, even if it is in the comics world.

2) As Mr. Blaylock is not a lawyer, and is not writing a legal brief, he may not have used all the correct terminology. However, requesting a dismissal and filing a countersuit are two very different things.

3) From Mr. Blaylock’s description, Diamond was keeping their “cut” of the money paid by retailers for DDP product, but then kept much of what would ordinarily be sent to the publisher to cover DDP’s debts to Diamond. NOTE: I obviously can’t say if those debts were reasonable and correct; Mr. Blaylock clearly feels they were not, and that Diamond was charging him for their mistakes.

4) On the other hand: while I don’t know what’s considered normal in the book trade, I seem to recall from old mailing statements in DC and Marvel comics during the pre-Direct Market days that it was fairly normal for a significant percentage of product to be returned. Glancing at numbers from http://www.comichron.com, top names like Spider-Man and Superman normally had 40-60% returns. It does sound like DDP may have underestimated the gamble they were taking.

5) I would tend to think that bookstores would stock more non-manga content if they sold more non-manga content. I would *think*….

I wish both Mr. Blaylock and his legitimate creditors the best.

I have known josh for a few years and consider myself friends with some of his ex employees. From speaking to them and to josh about business as a whole I can ensure you that ddp is not actively trying to screw anyone. Just like many other creators garnering a bad rep with fans stories get told and blown out of proportion by those who have really no business in it. Until you have a complete understanding of a lot of what was going on behind closed doors at ddp don’t assume anything. For those that said losing the gi joe license was the start of their problems you should that ddp continued to do business with hasbro. Yeah maybe josh has made poor ventures but can’t hold that against him. Josh good luck man.

Nick Mailloux

July 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm

does this mean that issue’s 3 through 6 of jericho which I order from solicitations in previews months ago won’t be honored and if my comic shop doesn’t deal with anyone but diamond I’m screwed in finding those issues? I waited three months in between issues 1 and 2 because issue didn’t come in when it was supposed to. I have no Idea when issue three is actually supposed to come out. I had given up on geting issue 2 until it finaly showed up in my pull box unexpectedly. I hope they work things out because I don’t have a credit or debit card and pay for all my comics in cash, so if they are only available digitaly or through online purchace they just lost me as a subscriber and I was even considering adding hack/slash to my pull list because an add in the jericho comic caught my eye.

“I was even considering adding hack/slash to my pull list because an add in the jericho comic caught my eye.”

Don’t let this stop you, Hack/Slash has moved to Image now, the first issue of My First Maniac was released in June, great time to hop on!

Nick Mailoux, Jericho issue #3 has come out and you should look for it at your local comic store.

The other 3…..well that’s what we’re all wondering.

captainamerica4

July 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm

For over twenty years I have been collecting comics and during that time I became close enough with two LCSs that they discussed their issues with Diamond. Both had multiple problems with having to pay Diamond for what was on their packing slip even though the items may not have arrived or were seriously damaged. It would take months for cerdits to reappear i their accounts, something that most shops can barely afford. They also complained about being able to return items that were allowable to be returned based on Diamond policy. I have always considered Diamond a monopoly because they are the direct market distributor for comics, all other forms of periodicals aside.

As for DDP I have no knowledge of their inner workings. I met Josh once at a convention about three months after they brought back GI Joe. Something I thought was a great business move and was terriffic nostalgia for me. So thank you. However, appearances can be everything. The loss of GI Joe then Hack/Slash makes it appear that things were not going well at DDP and continued to decline. With what appears to be such an abrupt departure that the DDP house is in disarray. Diamond appears to be fine since they are still distributing. Again, it is the appearance especially for those of us who read comics.

Whether he was genuine or not (I am not in his head) Josh did post contact information. That is pretty ballsy. Talent that feel slighted should take him up on the offer. If there is a plethora of talent out there that believe that they have not recieved due compensation why not consider a class action mediation? Split the legal fees and try to work something out. If this is not legally possible, sorry, not a lawyer.

Hopefully all parties can reach an agreement that benefits all.

Nick Mailloux

July 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm

diamond must have failed to send issue three to my store because in never showed up on the shelf or my box I hope it comes eventualy. I really look forward to finding out the motivation behind Dale killing Major Petrella.

Nick Mailloux

July 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm

if devil’s due isn’t careful cbs will pull out of the deal they made allowing the show writers to write the comic, because cbs isn’t going to support a project that none of the fans know how to get there hands on. after this fiasco I doubt there will be another jericho story arch after issue six. If there ends up acttualy being an issue six. Plus mabye I’m looking on the wrong part of the internet but it seems like the online fan community spent the months after season two talking about the series trying to sustain interest and excitement about the show but they ran out of things to talk about and by the time issue one of the season three comic hit the stands even big guys in the fan community like rubberpoultry dissappeared. I love jericho but with the comic being release so unreliably If I was CBS I would pull out because it just isn’t a source of revenue for them anymore. which is why this situation is even more sad than it should be. Jericho as a comic had the potential to bring in a couple million fans with it. Over half of which probably had never picked up a comic book. I think it is hard as an avid comic book reader to get my hands on the jericho comic, imagine the frustration of the people who want to read it that don’t regularly buy comics. Most of those people if they haven’t given up already probably will give up now that diamond won’t be soliciting Jericho in previews. The longer this situation persists the more readers and potential customers will be lost. This comic could have if handled properly made devil’s due a growing publishing company with the potential to become as big as image or darkhorse.

I don’t understand the Diamond bashing. I have operated my shop for 17 years and have not had any serious problems with Diamond. If I have damages of shortages, they are credited on my next invoice. I see this simply as a publisher having financial problems and then blaming everyone else for these problems. The talent and the distributor need to be paid before you start anything new. Diamond is very meticulous in their business transactions. I would think that Diamond would have offered a solution to the problem. Diamond benefits when it is selling books. My guess is there was a solution and the publisher could not follow it, maybe through no fault of their own.

So if I were to order a DDP TPB from amazon.com, that money would pretty much all go to Diamond and, therefore, not aid DDP in their efforts to get back on track?

I stand corrected – A dismissal and counter suit are two very different things.

Bob – If you are referring to me – Although I am not a creator DDP’s inability / unwillingness to pay artists has affected me and my family directly.

The content of your post leads me to believe that you have no idea what you are talking about.

Yes, JB put out all his info, but it was hardly a ballsy move on his part. Anyone can access that information on the DDP website or in the phone book. I have personally witnessed several (unsuccessful) attempts to contact JB and DD of DDP accounting… so contacting the company is really a waste of time.

Richard C. Meyer

July 7, 2010 at 8:48 pm

RICKERD sez
“Rickerd
July 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Diamond doesn’t realize they will be the END of the American comic book industry.

They only care about money and stopped caring about comic books a very long time ago.”

I say:

That is definitely NOT true. My first comic did not even make threshold (sell enough comics to warrant distribution) but they still distributed it because they believed in it and they even made it a Diamond Select. On my second comic, my rep spent a good forty minutes on the phone helping me brainstorm ideas for promoting the book.

I know everyone likes to “fight the man” but Diamond has been a very favorable and human company to me and I am no one in the comics industry (yet ).

Man, I hope some day soon they can get back on their feet. I really enjoyed Marc Powers’ “Drafted” series. The first 12 issues were the first of a 3 volume (12 issues each) story. “Drafted: 100 Days” that followed months later was good too I thought, but was really aching for the series to return.

They also published an OGN called “Serpo” that seemed like it was the first of a multi part story that I really enjoyed. As with “Drafted”, it really sucks that it might not ever get to finish.

And also too “The Vampire Hunter D” license was awarded to DDP to tell stories of D from an American locale point of view. I think they announced that back in late ’08. I’m guessing that this is one of the licenses/books that DDP gave back.

I enjoyed a lof of DDP other books and really hope to see them return soon. There was one towards the end before DDP began to shut things down called “Spooks” written by Larry Hamma that really had some potential. And of course “Voltron” and “GI Joe” were good.

Damn it this sucks… I really find it tragic that all this BS has to exist. Why can’t everyone choose the GOOD over EVIL ? Not everything is black and white…

Brian from Canada

July 8, 2010 at 1:15 pm

BrianT: it depends on whether Amazon has arranged distribution via Diamond or DDP for the book. If it’s Diamond then, yes, Diamond keeps the cash and it doesn’t help DDP at all.

As for not understanding the problem with Diamond, John Gavin, every store’s dealings with them are different. I know this for a fact because I’ve worked at two different LCSs in the area. The bigger one had problems that were quickly fixed; the smaller one did not. The smaller one was always shorted on the lottery for non-comic items, got wrong items sent regularly that had to be sent back at cost or absorbed, got screwed on discounts a few times, and when the owner complained enough plus had one cheque bounce by mistiming at the bank, his credit was revoked so that all shipments had to paid for IN CASH when they arrived or they were sent back to Diamond and re-shipped TWO weeks later. (That was a thrill, let me tell you.)

It’s really the same as every other company. One person has different responses than another.

But where the real problem lies with Diamond is the fact that, as a monopoly, it pretty much can do the things Josh Blaylock is accusing them of doing. 170% can only occur with delayed accounting and letting certain retailers get away with too much… like letting Amazon send back books three years later at the cost to the publisher, rather than eating the cost because the publisher didn’t have knowledge of the deal. (And Amazon does have different deals, as do other retailers like Borders and Barnes & Noble.) DDP should have looked at the terms Diamond was giving out and then dealt with it then.

btw, on a side note, I ordered a Marvel trade from my local bookseller rather than my LCS because the bookseller was 45% off cover price. The copy I got? It had the black mark for a damaged copy on it, and a price sticker from another company, meaning that it was a return and resale on Diamond’s part — smooth Diamond, really smooth.

I bet DDP wishes they never left Image now…whoops! The bookstore market is a different beast compared to the direct market. Ouch.

This should be a lesson to all creators out there. Now, more than ever, you do not need the classic publisher/distributor relationship. Create your books and put them online. Get your audience and then offer your comic in print form later. You get the best of both worlds by building up your audience, building your brand and also supplying store owners, publishers and distributors solid data to help sell your comic down the line. Good luck to everyone out there and read those contracts. :)

This is why lawyers exist

July 10, 2010 at 8:02 am

I’m not in the know on the whole comic book industry. Like a lot of people, I did not know anything about DDP until it was announced that it would be publishing the Jericho comic books.

This whole situation sounds like a really bad bar exam question. Unpaid sub-contractors, distributors withholding payments for set-offs and the like. There are common customers, like me, who have been waiting on a promised product already paid for. It will be interesting to see what happens.

I have my doubts that I will ever see the final three books in the series.

Those of wanting more Jericho—there are some really awesome fan fiction sites out there. It might be your only chance to see this story continued.

If you’ve got a claim against DDP, hire a lawyer. These situations are why they exist.

I’d like to know, for a compant determined to pay comic creators, how they can even afford to have a presence at Comiccon this year – and throw a party!

Come on Josh, tell us how you pull all of this off. Flying down to San Diego, booking a hotel and a table. That’s money that could be in a creator’s pocket.

“Come on Josh, tell us how you pull all of this off. Flying down to San Diego, booking a hotel and a table. That’s money that could be in a creator’s pocket.”

Sponsors.

“not a fan”

“This year we owe a huge thanks to Graphic.ly, SkyVu Pictures and iHeartcomix for working with us to make the booth at comic-con possible. For those of you who follow the comic industry gossip, you know we left our distributor Diamond this month, and that things haven’t been so easy, but our partners we’ve teamed with stepped up to the plate, and this Comic-Con is going to be one of our biggest yet.”

http://www.comicbookbin.com/comicnews342.html

Reading people defending Diamond is a complete laugh. I do not know enough about the DDP situation to come down on one side or another, but working at a comic book store, I have seen Diamond drop orders, put the wrong books in orders, charge for things they did not ship, send things that were not ordered, and then the store owners have to raise a fuss to get credited for what they are owed.

They sent out a copy of Tori Amos’ Comic Book Tattoo, in hardcover, which was never ordered. That means the store has to pay both for the book itself, and for the additional shipping cost that a ten-pound book warrants. Then there was the week they sent out ten copies of Hotwire #1, which came out six months earlier, instead of the new Dark X-men. Needless to say, Hotwire did nothing but sit on the shelves, and by the time the Dark X-Men came, customers had purchased them at other stores. In the meantime, my store had to pay for the Dark X-Men TWICE.

Until DD came out with the jericho book, I had never bought any of their product. i loved these three issues, and was looking forward to the other three.IF printed, even if 20 years from now, I’d still buy them, but odds are, some other publisher will have to take the title on.

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