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The demise of Haven: The rest of the story

Haven Distributors

It has been about a month since Haven Distributors closed its doors, and Lance Stahlberg, the director of the company, explains why: The owner didn’t invest in the business.

The business did not fail because our discounts were too low, or because there is no room in the market. DC’s new 52 had no impact on us at all. I just couldn’t reach out to enough retailers when I was the guy placing orders, managing inventory, and packing the damn boxes by myself for most of the company’s lifespan. The vast majority of those customers who did make the leap away from the big D became avidly loyal supporters. It was getting more to break their inertia and start thinking differently that took more time than I had when I was juggling so much by myself. Then at points when we were starting to get ahead, that’s when Mr. Magoo would turn off the tap and I had to return to bootstrap financing. And all sense of progress went up in a puff of smoke.

There’s a lot more at the link, but the bottom line is that Stahlberg sees a lot of potential for a second distributor that focuses on independent comics, but without the resources he needed to run the business, he couldn’t reach that potential. “I simply never had the capital that I needed to expand, or to take advantage of any momentum that I managed to pick up,” he says.

That’s not quite the end of the story, though: Stahlberg says that someone else is planning to enter the indy-comics distribution biz—and hopefully this time they will have the financing they need to run the business properly.


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