The two definite cancellations — by the publisher or creator, not imposed by Diamond — that I’ve seen as a result of the new, higher Diamond minimums required by the distributor are both things that I was personally looking forward to reading.
Kevin Huizenga, whose “Or Else” was on my list of “best comics of 2008″ has announced he’s ending the one-person anthology series. He told the Comics Reporter: “Obviously the Diamond thing plays into it, but it wasn’t central… yet it kind of is. We could probably meet the minimum if we tried? But Love and Rockets becoming a book felt like, this is it, if there ever was any doubt. The comic book is a weird holdover, like a coelacanth. I guess if I do this right now I can always feel like it was my decision.”
Meanwhile, AdHouse Books is pulling the plug on Superior Showcase #4. From the AdHouse blog:
“The first casualty that I claim is SUPERIOR SHOWCASE #4. I was working on bringing a new issue out this summer that would have been filled with new talents that I’ve met over the last year. People whose voice may or may not have been heard before. But, I’m going to kill that issue now. Why? Well, at $2.95 there’s no way I’d get orders to put it anywhere near the new threshold. Numbers for #3 were not that great, and I can’t imagine #4 would improve.”
My conversations with other retailers indicate nobody thinks the raised minimums will be a huge financial hit to any particular store. But these examples seem to at least indicate there’s some interesting work we’ll no longer see in comic-book format. Most of it will no doubt migrate to graphic novels. But as a long time fan of the stapled, periodical comic book, I hope we aren’t losing something important in the process.
I do want to say that I don’t blame Diamond in the situation: Certainly in tough economic times, saying you can no longer do something that’s basically unprofitable makes a lot of sense.
– Matt Price