Plus: News on Diamond, Art Spiegelman, Dragon Con and more.
Writing for The Comics Journal, Michael Dean has a long article detailing additional allegations against Charles Brownstein, the former executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Dean spoke with many former CBLDF, employees, including former Development Manager Cheyenne (Shy) Allott, who had been under an NDA about her time at the CBLDF until recently.
“My trouble with Charles started three days into my employment, at ComicsPro in Memphis, Tennessee,” Allott said. “Upon arrival at the show, I went to check into my hotel room only to discover that Charles had booked us in the same room together. I was instantly uncomfortable with this arrangement and for the first time, I saw Charles drop his charming facade and switch into an accusatory tone. He stated that it wasn’t fiscally responsible for me to have my own room, as we were a non-profit. I felt like I was misusing funds simply by asking that question.” Brownstein did not respond to TCJ’s request for comment.
The Comics Journal also sent questions to the CBLDF board, which CBLDF President Christina Merkler responded to. You can read her responses here, but one thing she addressed was whether CBLDF was still viable — a question many have been asking over the last couple weeks:
Continue reading “Comics Lowdown | More allegations against CBLDF’s Brownstein brought to light”
Plus: News on #BacktheComeback, TCAF, Heavy Metal, Thought Bubble and the first graphic novel to win the Wodehouse Prize and have a pig named after it.
Diamond Comics Distributor’s parent company has a new president, kind of. Stan Heidmann, the president/COO of Geppi Family Enterprises who took that role about a year ago, will depart the company as Steve Geppi resumes the role. Geppi has been serving as Chairman and CEO since Heidmann joined the company.
“Under my guidance, the executive leadership team will support a comprehensive strategic review to position the enterprise for future growth,” Geppi said in the message posted to the Diamond website. “I feel a tremendous responsibility to our employees and the industry, and I fully intend to set all Geppi Family Enterprise brands on a path for robust growth. I am confident we have the right leadership with talented teams in place and I see enormous opportunities for GFE.”
Continue reading “Comics Lowdown | Geppi resumes duties as president of Diamond’s parent company”
Plus: News on Al Jaffe, Uncivilized Books, awards and more.
With police brutality once again in the public eye, many fans on social media have called out Disney/Marvel to put their litigious muscles to work and prevent cops from using the Punisher logo — a popular emblem with some members of law enforcement, despite the fact that Frank Castle is a criminal and a killer.
First, you can find some history of both the character and its popularity with police here. That piece’s writer, Brian Cronin, is not only a contributor to CBR, but also a lawyer, and he offers his thoughts on why he doesn’t think Disney would have much success in an article titled “There’s Not Much Marvel Can Do About Cops Using Punisher’s Logo.” Cronin writes:
Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Can Disney stop cops from using the Punisher symbol?”
Retailers, publishers and industry react to DC dropping Diamond as a distributor.
DC’s announcement that they’ve ended their relationship with Diamond Comics Distributors in favor of working with Lunar and UCS, the two distributors that sprung into being during the coronavirus pandemic, sent shockwaves through the industry yesterday.
Diamond founder Steve Geppi responded to the news with a message of his own to retailers:
Continue reading “Diamond, others respond to DC’s direct market decision”
After 25 years, DC will distribute their comics to shops without the help of the industry’s traditional distributor.
DC Comics is cutting ties with Diamond Comics Distributors and will use the two new distributors that came into existence during the coronavirus pandemic to deliver comics to retailers.
Lunar Distribution and UCS Comic Distributors, the distributors with ties to comics retailers Discount Comic Book Service and Midtown Comics, will distribute periodicals to stores. Retailers can also order books through Penguin Random House, who handle DC’s trades and graphic novels for the book trade.
“After 25 years, DC and Diamond Comic Distributors are ending their long-standing relationship,” a spokesperson from DC told The Hollywood Reporter. “Moving forward, comic book retailers can obtain their DC books from Penguin Random House, or their books and periodicals through Lunar or UCS comic book distributors. DC continues to be committed to providing the Direct Market with best in class service and the fans with the world’s greatest comic books.”
Continue reading “DC Comics drops Diamond as they shift completely to Lunar, UCS”
The comics distributor launches a social media campaign called #BacktheComeback, with plans to hold a charity auction this summer.
As they prepare to start shipping comics to retailers again, Diamond Comics Distributors has announced a new campaign to “shine a light on the unique relationship consumers have with their local comic and game retailers while raising funds to support restart efforts.” Called the “Back the Comeback” campaign, it already has a website, a throwback logo that recalls the Comics Code Authority and T-shirts, which they are selling to raise money for charity.
“To say these last few months have been challenging would be an understatement,” said Steve Geppi, Chairman and CEO, Geppi Family Enterprises, in a press release. “I have heard from many retailers and everyone is excited about safely reopening, restarting and rebuilding. I truly believe that our comeback will be bigger than our setback and am excited to kick off this campaign in support of our industry and our retailers.”
Continue reading “Call it a comeback: Diamond launches retailer-focused campaign”
Marvel will stagger the release of new comics and collections, as they release their shipping plans through mid-July.
While DC teamed with two new distributors to get their comics back into stores as fast as possible, Marvel has taken a more conservative approach during the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdown of Diamond Comics Distributor. This week the company announced that it will begin releasing new comics again starting May 27, with five single issues, a week after Diamond plans to restore distribution.
As they previously announced, Marvel will release a slow trickle of comics into stores, alternating the first few weeks between single issues and collections. Here’s what their release schedule will look like through July 8:
Continue reading “Marvel plans to release new comics on May 27”
DC will work with two new distributors with ties to comic retailers to deliver comics in late April and the first half of May.
It’s been a crazy day on the comics distribution front. Since Diamond Comics Distributors announced in March plans to temporarily halt comics distribution because of the coronavirus, the question has been when we’ll see new comics start to hit direct market shelves again. Now Diamond has provided an answer, as one of their biggest customers has given a different one.
Let’s start with the Diamond news, which you can find on Newsarama. That article quotes from a letter sent to retailers and publishers, saying that “While there are many steps and conversations that need to happen between today and resuming distribution of new weekly product, we are currently targeting mid- to late-May with the hope that, as an industry, we can all work toward that timeframe.”
The way that’s worded is interesting, as it was not long after that DC put out a press release of their own, saying they planned to have a limited number of comics in shops on Tuesday, April 28, as well as on May 5 and May 12. “After surveying more than 2,000 stores across the U.S. and Canada, it became clear that many comic book store owners are finding new and creative ways to get books to the fans who want them,” the press release reads. They’ve also set up a comic shop tracker on their site so you can see who will have their comics on April 28.
So what exactly is DC doing to get comics out to shops?
Continue reading “Diamond targets May to restart comics distribution, as DC makes their own plans”
Just a handful of digital releases will arrive on comiXology this week.
Although it seemed to take them longer to make a decision than most of the other publishers, both DC and Marvel have indicated that many of the single-issue comics they had planned to release this week digitally have been pushed out.
The news comes after Diamond Comic Distributors announced they would halt physical comics distribution to comic shops due to the coronavirus, starting with the comics originally scheduled for this Wednesday, April 1.
Many comics publishers announced fairly quickly after the news broke that they planned to hold off on releasing their comics digitally until their print releases were rescheduled.
Continue reading “Can Wait for Wednesday: DC, Marvel delay many of this week’s digital comics”