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Lance Stahlberg, director of Haven Distributors, has confirmed to Robot 6 that the independent-comics distributor will shutdown at the end of the month after more than three years in operation. He also pledged that, “I do intend to come back.”
Haven was launched in March 2008 by Chicago-based publisher Rogue Wolf Entertainment a month after it purchased the assets of longtime reorder distributor Cold Cut. Stahlberg, who was vice president of Rogue Wolf, became first chief operating officer and then director of Haven, which signed agreements with such publishers as BOOM! Studios, SLG Publishing, Top Shelf Productions and Red 5 Comics.
On Tuesday, Stahlberg sent an e-mail to retailers stating that he will continue to take orders through Oct. 23 and will fill all orders for October-shipping releases. He also said that most of the back stock had been marked down for liquidation.
In the e-mail, sent to Robot 6 by a third party but confirmed by Stahlberg, he emphasized that he isn’t the owner of Haven Distribution, and he added:
That’s an important distinction to make because I feel that closing the company is a very foolish move on the owner’s part. I still get regular requests for books that our competition claims is out of stock, or failed to carry at all. I still get new customer account requests.
To that end, it is my intent to return to the distribution business at some point in the (hopefully near) future with a business partner who shares at least some of my commitment to the comics industry and shows the desire to properly finance the operation and provide the resources it needs to succeed.
Stahlberg declined to name Haven’s owner to Robot 6, but he did say, “All I can say is, he is not a comics guy.”