Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 1, 2009

"I'm Sick Of The Complaints" -- An Anonymous Message From A Comics Insider On Diamond's New Minimums


Editor's Note: I'm not a big fan of anonymity, but I can vouch that the person who wrote it and sent it to me has executive to above status at their company. Also, I've been hearing variations of the following from so many people I thought it might do to have it all in one place. -- Tom Spurgeon

By Anonymous

I'm sick of the complaints about Diamond's new policy. Is it fair? Hard to say. Steven Grant's assertion that "because" Diamond is a monopoly they are obligated to list and distribute everything is total bullshit. Had Marvel never entered the game by buying Heroes World Distro back in the early '90s, the distro exclusive wars probably wouldn't have happened, Cap City would still be here today. Diamond is a business affected by a down economy just like anyone. Are they obligated to keep laying off employees, so that they can continue to list shitty comics?

Frankly, I think there's too much crap in the catalog anyway. (Yes, Marvel and DC glut the market with loads of shit, but the Davids will always and forever have to deal with the Goliaths on the playground.) I used to say, back when the 'zine revolution was in full-force, that just because anyone can go to Kinkos and make a zine, doesn't mean everyone should. Access to means doesn't grant people magically-arrived-at talent.

Another gripe, and something I think Diamond alluded to, is that they are not obligated to market someone's comic. If the producer of a given comic shows a willingness to get out of their mom's basement, work with the Diamond folks (as I did when I first launched XXXXXX), send out review copies, score interviews, and so forth, then I'd wager Diamond might allow under-ordered comics to go through anyhow. Just because they see an effort has been made to sell the fucking comic.

But more to my point, I've long longed for someone -- anyone -- to concept some new ways to get the indy comics / mini--comics out there, and i'm not talking about Haven (formerly Cold Cut) or even the just-announced Ka-Blam gig. (Even though both of those concerns are in a position now to become legit players if they can get their shit together.) Yes, this would take an enormous amount of will, and probably a small amount of trust fund money, but if there's one thing i've learned over the years, it's that you quit fucking complaining, deal with the facts as they are on the ground, and do something pro-active.

Where are the new Spit and a Halfs, the Wow Cools? Or more recently, Global Hobo or the now-defunct USS Catastrophe?

I realize the value of distributors, obviously, but come on, it's not like an independent filmmaker, who makes a "cheap" movie for two million bucks on credit cards, and has to get distribution or he loses his house and wife along with it.

Quit complaining, grow and evolve, or shut the hell up and go away.

Thanks for listening.
posted 4:00 pm PST | Permalink

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