The Baltimore City Paper has a in-depth profile of Diamond owner Steve Geppi and his struggling but amazing museum:
Resentment against Geppi runs deep in some sectors of the comics industry, mostly by small presses whose books’ demand doesn’t meet the $425 minimum order necessary to secure distribution by Diamond, but also by enthusiasts who blame the decline in readership on the prominence of the direct market. When comics largely stopped being sold at newsstands, these critics charge, they stopped being impulse buys for kids and became collectibles for an increasingly closed market of adult readers who wanted the same-old superhero stories, squelching innovation among publishers not willing to risk unfamiliar material on a shrinking audience, which led to further specialization and finally the ghettoization of comics as the pablum of a geeky subculture. Add to that the considerable infusion of cash Geppi has injected into the collectibles market (he’s famously offered $1 million for a near-mint copy, should it materialize, of Action Comics No. 1) and you’ve got the recipe for a serious case of sour grapes among enthusiasts who resent the shift from comics as a living art form to a precious commodity. Seen in that light, a cynic might regard the preserved comics proudly lining the walls of the Geppi’s Entertainment Museum as akin to a big-game hunter’s wall of trophies of a species they’ve successfully hunted out of existence.