August 2, 2006
In Praise of Diamond: Distributor To Work With PictureBox, Inc. After All
It's my understanding that dominant North American comic book distributor Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc.
has reversed its earlier position whereby it declined to work with small arts-comics and art publisher PictureBox, Inc.
after taking a look at its material, and will now work with the publisher on a series of solicitations. Does this mean I think that PictureBox will be a success in the comic book direct market? No, I think it will be tough for PictureBox. PictureBox's books have thus far been mostly exquisite but most exist at the far end of standard comics expression. Today's direct market recently proved too tough for a comic book starring Jack Kirby's The Thing, Marvel's heroes-with-feet-of-clay Alpha character; something as delicate and odd as Cold Heat
isn't exactly a guaranteed home run.
At the same time, I feel it's extremely important that publishers who have their act together -- and Dan Nadel's attention to production values, consistent and recognizable taste and ability to secure high-end book distribution deals qualifies him on that count -- are given the chance to see what they can do in that marketplace. The more quality comics-first publishers given access to the market the greater the chance the market may grow and change in ways that are important beyond the bottom line. So I commend Diamond for giving Mr. Nadel and his books a chance, and for the courage to change its mind.
posted 1:51 pm PST
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