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Has Diamond finally gone too far?, UPDATED 8-10-11
Peter Simeti
post Jul 4 2011, 07:55 PM
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QUOTE (Decapitated_Dan @ Jul 4 2011, 09:55 AM) *
I'll just do a quick update on the situation here:

So he talked to Diamond on Friday. They said that they were still willing to deal with him on a tight leash. SO he basically said no to them and that the ends did not justify the means. It's not worth the added hassle to deal with them if this is what they are willing to do to customers who have been with them for years and years. So now he is talking to Haven to possibly set something up.


Haven is definitely a great way to go. If he's interested at all in stocking any Alterna titles, we can offer a 60% discount AND free shipping.


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Carl Shinyama
post Jul 4 2011, 08:54 PM
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QUOTE (Peter Simeti @ Jul 4 2011, 03:53 PM) *
So as far as a healthy industry goes... I just can't buy into that notion. That'd be like saying someone on life support is healthy.

It's a statement of perspective. While I don't really agree with him, he's saying that it's a healthy industry from the perspective that a lot of comic book companies have popped up through the years, meaning that variety is good, instead of the perspective that the industry is healthy because of total sales of the whole industry, which it is not.
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Mark Ellis
post Jul 5 2011, 05:17 AM
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Has everybody forgotten that since the crash-and-burn of this "healthy" industry in 1992-93, DC has held a buyout option on Diamond?

At any rate, this attitude of Diamond's is not new and there is a lot of blame to spread around for it, but I tend to place most of it on the down-sloping shoulders of retailers.



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Cary
post Jul 5 2011, 11:14 AM
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QUOTE (Mark Ellis @ Jul 5 2011, 06:17 AM) *
Has everybody forgotten that since the crash-and-burn of this "healthy" industry in 1992-93, DC has held a buyout option on Diamond?

At any rate, this attitude of Diamond's is not new and there is a lot of blame to spread around for it, but I tend to place most of it on the down-sloping shoulders of retailers.



The one area I do have issue with retailers is definitely with regard to allowing this mess to happen in the first place. If more brick and mortar stores were willing to not only support Indy comics in general but use alternative means of distribution, like Haven, then Diamond would have to be a lot easier to deal with to keep it's market share. Most owners or managers I've talked to say they don't want the hassle of messing with anyone else, and so they don't bother.


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cougar18
post Jul 5 2011, 02:33 PM
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QUOTE (Peter Simeti @ Jul 4 2011, 08:53 PM) *
healthy industry? wow. haven't heard that one in a while. i get what you're trying to say but let's be honest - it's an extremely anemic industry. comic books as far as the Big 2 go - and believe it they still are the Big 2 because they own the vast vast majority of market share - are just a means to an end. It's almost like a tradition at this point that panders to a small niche crowd and even then it hardly panders as much as it runs through the ringer time and time again. Month after month the comic book industry grows slightly weaker in terms of making true comic readers. The properties, characters, merchandise, and more are definitely strong and that's where the money is. Comics are a loss leader to those 2 companies. Characters are properties now - not creations that have respected histories. To think otherwise is just naive at this point. I'm not being cynical here, I'm just stating the way the industry has been run for quite some time now (at least the past decade or slightly more).

It's not to say that a successful company - even an extremely successful one - cannot be sincere. But these companies have gone down the wrong path far too many times, so it's no wonder that Diamond can do the same thing. In the end, Diamond is way more of a business/corporation than either Marvel or DC.

So as far as a healthy industry goes... I just can't buy into that notion. That'd be like saying someone on life support is healthy.


Yeah, healthy industry is what comes out of my mouth at 2 am without coffee. smile.gif And yeah, would not say healthy either. It's never really grown beyond a certain level of followers.

I suppose what I was trying to say is that there is an equal opportunity out there for all of these companies, and I find that to be a good thing. I was actually saddened to see Tokyopop go down the toilet, and sadder still to see the sign being sold on Craiglist. The reason being that I thought it could allow another venue to get people to read comics. Similar to how kids are buying Shonen Jump. But it seemed more like a similar situation to Harry Potter. Yeah, kids are reading Harry Potter, but not much else. Tokyopop burned bright, overtook regular comic books, and then quickly burned out as sales fell. And yes, I know Shonen is not published by Tokyopop, I was just trying to use a comparison publisher who published manga.

Jim Valentino once described the 90's comics implosion very aptly, 'We thought we were rock stars with a massive following, but we were more like Jazz musicians'. Sadly true.
But what I find worrying is that the arrogance that is so inherent in Marvel, a left over from Joe Q and Bill Jemas horrible era, and which they can get away with in comic books, has now bled to their other divisions. See the whole Kevin Feige vs Edward Norton falling out. That was the worst publicity any company could want, and Marvel should have reprimanded him, or even sent a fruit basket to Norton. They did neither.
Feige may learn that comic books are NOTHING like movies. May learn that the hard way, too.

This post has been edited by cougar18: Jul 5 2011, 06:19 PM
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Decapitated_Dan
post Aug 10 2011, 01:09 PM
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Well it's official. Diamond has caused my comic guy to no longer carry new books. PLEASE READ:

We are not happy to announce that our account with Diamond has been officially closed as of today, August 9, 2011; and we will no longer be able to service you as a subscriber. We apologize for not notifying you sooner, but we were not able to find out anything for sure until today. We had been hoping that we could work something out with Diamond, but they are unwilling to bend and to accommodate their customers. We have told them of our frustration and our un-satisfaction in their service, and their response was “other comic shops have the same problem with damages,” and we should “work around it,” because the other shops do. We will not do that, we are paying for brand new condition product and that is what we expect to receive. We do not expect our subscribers to have to put up with not receiving their books on time and in brand new collectible condition.

This last time that I spoke with them was because of a $1600 billing discrepancy that they refused to remove from my invoice. I have spoken with my credit rep and my service rep and have been told by both that they cannot remove these charges. Charges that were from books that I had received damaged before and had previously returned to Diamond at their request. With this new position that they have taken, I would no longer receive credit for product that I received damaged and that I would have to re-order again, in effect, be double billed for product that I receive damaged. I have also requested that a different shipper be used, even if on a trial basis; I was told that it could not be done. I’ve asked that my orders be shipped in more boxes with smaller amounts of books in each box; it could not be done.

We have spoken to representatives from Marvel about this situation, because we feel that it is in the best interest of everyone if we can get something going to be able to get distributorship for Marvel from someone other than Diamond. A new or existing company that would provide better customer service to it’s account holders.


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Anthony Hochrein
post Aug 10 2011, 01:25 PM
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They do that because they know they have this small industry by the nads. If there were an alternative, they'd hurry up and make sure to take care of everyone with a large degree of flexibility.


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cougar18
post Aug 10 2011, 02:22 PM
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Well that is just the worst kind of business acumen I have ever heard.

No wonder comic shops are going under when Diamond are doing this to them.
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SapphireGypsy
post Aug 10 2011, 06:21 PM
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I'm sorry to hear Diamond is being completely unreasonable in this situation. sad.gif It's unfortunate to see that they are taking advantage of the fact that as the sole distributors they can do whatever they want and shops have no choice.

I'd love to see another option for owners. To make matters worse if the customers want the books they'll end up taking their business elsewhere so Diamond will still get the money from another shop. *sigh* It just sucks.


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Gordon_D
post Aug 10 2011, 10:04 PM
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Sadly, I think behavior like this is going to lead to people relying more on digital distribution - after all, why head to a comic shop when you can have easy access?

Personally, I think some enterprising people need to start their own distribution network with a very DIY punk rock attitude.

Yes, I've been listening to a lot of Clash, why do you ask? smile.gif


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Anthony Hochrein
post Aug 11 2011, 05:13 AM
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QUOTE (SapphireGypsy @ Aug 10 2011, 07:21 PM) *
I'm sorry to hear Diamond is being completely unreasonable in this situation. sad.gif It's unfortunate to see that they are taking advantage of the fact that as the sole distributors they can do whatever they want and shops have no choice.

I'd love to see another option for owners. To make matters worse if the customers want the books they'll end up taking their business elsewhere so Diamond will still get the money from another shop. *sigh* It just sucks.

Yep, that's the sad reality of the monopoly. And sadly, that's one of the problems with the print industry on a whole. Right now, Diamond has everyone reliant on them left with no one else to turn to. And yeah, it would take a lot of little guys to pool their resources to create something to compete with the corporate giant and provide a reliable competitor to distribute through for the big two and the independent creators as well. Sadly, Diamond would take down print and all of the comic shops with them if they were to fold.


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ChadStrohl
post Aug 11 2011, 01:23 PM
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QUOTE (Gordon_D @ Aug 11 2011, 12:04 AM) *
... I think behavior like this is going to lead to people relying more on digital distribution...


Allow me to go all Oliver Stone with this conspiracy. It was through some string pulling shenanigans that Marvel and DC essentially created the direct market, so in effect they forced comic shops into the yoke, and for a while that worked until the advent and rise of digital media.

Now Marvel and DC are superpower coglomerates who probably have a nice little safety net for Diamond should the bottom fall out, but could care less about the shops, other than the fact they want enough removal from them when that bottom does fall... since they pushed them there to begin with.

Basically, the big players dance around each other and give each other deniability, while the small shops decay and blow away in the digital breeze and Marvel and DC no longer have to make those stupid floppy books anymore.


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Cary
post Aug 11 2011, 11:20 PM
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QUOTE (ChadStrohl @ Aug 11 2011, 02:23 PM) *
Basically, the big players dance around each other and give each other deniability, while the small shops decay and blow away in the digital breeze and Marvel and DC no longer have to make those stupid floppy books anymore.


Those stupid floppy books that aren't even remotely turning a profit as well. I know it's kinda crazy, but if you look at it from Diamond's POV, they're tightening the belt because they see the writing on the wall. Why bleed money when they don't have to, and quite honestly can't afford to? Diamond is simply an organism like any other, trying to protect itself. Digital is killing them with a thousand tiny cuts, and I for one will dance on their corpse when they go, because ultimately they've done this to themselves.


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Anthony Hochrein
post Aug 12 2011, 11:41 AM
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QUOTE (Cary @ Aug 11 2011, 11:20 PM) *
Those stupid floppy books that aren't even remotely turning a profit as well. I know it's kinda crazy, but if you look at it from Diamond's POV, they're tightening the belt because they see the writing on the wall. Why bleed money when they don't have to, and quite honestly can't afford to? Diamond is simply an organism like any other, trying to protect itself. Digital is killing them with a thousand tiny cuts, and I for one will dance on their corpse when they go, because ultimately they've done this to themselves.

And unfortunately there will be a thousand comic shops that will be closed and the general populace will no longer know what a comic book is. Remember not everyone is going to spring for a Nook or Ipad.


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Cary
post Aug 13 2011, 12:07 AM
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QUOTE (Anthony Hochrein @ Aug 12 2011, 12:41 PM) *
And unfortunately there will be a thousand comic shops that will be closed and the general populace will no longer know what a comic book is. Remember not everyone is going to spring for a Nook or Ipad.


Well, it's true we'll lose some of them, but I don't think it'll be as bad as all that, at least for the shops that are smart. There's still a HUGE market for graphic novels and trades, and that's where the producers actually make their profits anyway. The digital download will take the place of the floppy, but I don't think we're ready to ditch print completely yet, so there's still a market there. What we will see is a more balanced distribution model where distributors have to actually serve their customers and listen to complaints. We'll also see companies return to putting more special content into trades to entice buyers to pick up books they've essentially already read.

But make no mistake, comics won't die. In fact if anything, they'll get even bigger. Digital downloads do one very awesome thing no one is talking about, and that's open the door even wider for webcomics. This whole thing will also tighten up the entire chain, getting rid of stores that aren't good businesses, and benefiting the ones who pay attention and who make good decisions. It's nothing more than the market leveling itself out after the monopoly dies. In the end I think the people who will really win are the fans.


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ART BOWSHIER
post Aug 21 2011, 05:23 PM
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What kind of cheapo outfit doesn't insure large orders?

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Anthony Hochrein
post Aug 21 2011, 10:59 PM
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QUOTE (ART BOWSHIER @ Aug 21 2011, 06:23 PM) *
What kind of cheapo outfit doesn't insure large orders?

The bully! The monopoly that says, "We're the only supplier and you're gonna take what we give you and you're gonna LIKE IT!"


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ART BOWSHIER
post Aug 23 2011, 10:33 AM
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Does it come fedex or Ups? And what's up with packaging that damages product? Plus shortages.... This needs to go back to newstand distraoution. It shortened the visibility of product and killed most new readership. I AM NO FAN OF MONOPOLIES. They'll say haven is their direct competition. What about their restricting trade by not carrying indy printed books and cancelling books from their roster for not selling enough... Life ain't fair-- where I live fair comes around in August.
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MasonEasley
post Aug 23 2011, 11:34 AM
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Some thoughts;

1. The digital distribution model has proven to work, and has so for over a decade now. Comics like Penny Arcade, PVP, Sheldon, Templar Arizona, and Axe Cop are prime examples of how digital comics can work, and completely bypass the Diamond monopoly. Frankly, the digital method seems to be vastly superior to the Diamond method for independent comics.

2. Comic shops aren't going to go under once floppies die off if they adapt to the industry change. I already see my LCS putting more stock into table top/card/video games, and Manga trades. Pokemon, Magic, and D&D are going to keep LCS' going for a long time.

3. I will dance alongside Carey when Diamond finally drops dead.

This post has been edited by MasonEasley: Aug 23 2011, 11:35 AM


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Anthony Hochrein
post Aug 23 2011, 07:20 PM
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Has anyone heard why all of the ATOMIC COMICS stores just went under?


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