The end of Claypool as a paper publishing company drew some reaction on the web.
Personally, I think this should send a serious chill through the industry. For the first time that I can think of, an entire publishing line has been canceled, not by the publisher, but by the distributor. The distributor should theoretically be the middle man. In this instance, however–again, for the first time that I can think of–the middle man has taken the lead position and shut down the publisher.
There are many possible ways to look at what this means for comics. It could mean that the readership (or perhaps just the retailer community that orders what its thinks will serve that readership) favors short-term stunts over long-term consistency…or maybe that it favors Big Names, period. All comic publishers who aren’t DC or Marvel have had to contend to some degree with a mindset out there that holds that if it ain’t from the Top Two, its worth is suspect. There are also the views — and I don’t suggest that either is invalid — that the market is simply glutted and that it’s in sorry need of a second major distributor.