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February 6, 2013

Bill Schanes Steps Away From DCD VP Of Purchasing Position Into Advisory Role; John Wurzer Promoted

Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. announced earlier today that foundational Direct Market figure and longtime industry fixture Bill Schanes will leave his current position as that company's Vice President of Purchasing on April 30. He will continue in an advisory role on a part-time basis through the end of 2013. John Wurzer, currently the company's Executive Director Of Purchasing, will step into the vacancy. In that role, Wurzer will run the Purchashing and Order Processing departments at the dominant comics industry distributor, one of the fulcrums for the entire Direct Market process.

Schanes co-founded Pacific Comics, one of the earliest distributors of comics and related material, in 1971. Pacific was one of the first Direct Market-oriented independent publishers, coming on board with its own line in 1981. The company went out of business in 1984, and Schanes joined Diamond in 1985. It was a very different market if only in that there were multiple distributors handling material in various regions across the country. In part because of the team that Geppi assembled at Diamond, that company became the industry's dominant -- and arguable sole -- major player a dozen years later, and the Diamond Previews catalog a symbol of the North American mainstream comics industry generally.

The Diamond press release cites vendor relations as a hallmark of Schanes' run in that key position at Diamond. Fans may recall that Schanes was the public face of a tussle between Diamond and the publisher Dave Sim over the distributor declining to carry Puma Blues after Sim moved to sell his "phonebook" collections of Cerebus material directly to fans. While this incident may have painted Schanes as anti-publisher or even anti-diversity, Chris Pitzer noted today via twitter that Schanes was instrumental in bringing his AdHouse Books into Diamond's fold an exclusive.

what once was a modest two-page order form into Diamond’s monthly PREVIEWS catalog, an incredible showcase for the comics, graphic novels, and related pop-culture products our industry has to offer. What’s more, together with John Wurzer, Bill has assembled an experienced staff of Purchasing and Order Processing professionals who are poised to build upon his efforts going forward.”

John Wurzer began at Diamond at their Dallas location in 1990, moving to Sparta as a Regional Manager before going to work in Maryland in 1999. He has held his current position since 2001.
posted 6:00 pm PST | Permalink

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