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

November 15, 2010

Diamond Takes A Pass On Trondheim Set


I don't actually blame Diamond for apparently taking a pass on a discounted Lewis Trondheim three-book set as an application of their long-standing policy not to offer books and items that may not justify their space in Previews via the number of orders they receive. Unless I hear from a half-dozen or so retailers saying they and their peers could sell the crap out of these sets, I doubt there's a substantial market for the offer, no matter how excellent the work is -- and the Trondheim books are a blast. I would imagine that in terms of a strict market judgment, one could suggest with a lot of support from reasonable people that most Trondheim fans have a) already purchased the books individually or b) wouldn't be inclined to do their discount shopping through comics shops in the first place. I get it.

I still wish it was being offered. I find troublesome that any such policy is being aimed in the direction of NBM. I would argue that at this point there should be no backseat driving of longstanding publishers like NBM on anything reasonable they'd like to try in the Direct Market, barring the manipulation of offers in a way that may be systemically damaging. Additionally, I think that Diamond will over time be better off not aiming this policy at significant re-offers and new material because doing so further weakens a core comics shop value of their being the place that has all the comics. In other words, comics shops should be the first place you go to for obscure comics and ambitious re-packagings of same, not the last.

I don't make a lot of commentary on the avalanche of soul-destroying egestion that Diamond offers in the back pages of Previews. I don't like second-guessing how people want to set up their shops, or how/why people buy the stuff they want to buy. I do think that in offering so much material of that kind, and so much material of any kind according to certain outdated, lingering, industry-harmful contracts, it's in the industry's best interest to offer and encourage as much quality comics material as possible, in whatever form anyone with some measure of stature in the industry would like to try. This is not that.
posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink

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