Chris Butcher adds thoughtson the news that Cold Cut Distribution is up for sale:
Y’see… The writing’s been on the wall regarding…something…happening for a little while now. About a month ago, I stopped receiving Cold Cut’s weekly update of new product. I just figured my e-mail was bouncing or something, but… nope. No new product coming in. I also noticed that earlier this year (maybe?) the company was down to one (excellent) employee named Matt. I sincerely hope that whatever happens, Matt ends up okay because his customer service is top-notch, and he worked really hard for our business. And I’ve been wondering for a little while now how the new shipping charges in the U.S. (basically: everything through the U.S. Postal Service just got a whole lot more expensive) were going to affect anyone doing mail-order/distribution… I wonder if that contributed anything? I have a feeling we’ll never know.
Meanwhile, Matt High, the lone Cold Cut employee, has this sage observation at his blog:
(PS In other news, I’m pretty much keeping my public mouth shut about the comics news that hits much closer to home – selling of Cold Cut. But I do find it slightly amusing but entirely not unexpected that various people are speculating about this-or-that, without ever contacting us in any way, shape or form. It’s not like we’re hard to get ahold of, people!)
UPDATE: Dan Vado writes to Spurge and pretty much pisses in everyone’s Wheaties
This is more on the subject of your pondering about the industry and boom times more than it about Cold Cut. I have never seen the stratification of the industry as bad as it is right now. While, historically speaking, the business has always been dominated by the top two companies, there always seemed to be something of an audience left for everyone else. The comics business in general and the direct market in particular seems to have become a zero sum game, where gains on one side result in losses on another. One thing which I think is killing the direct market is a combination of non-returnability of unsold product and a dangerous reliance on pull-lists and the Diamond Previews. As it stands right now the retailer eats what he doesn’t sell and has no incentive to take chances or even attempt to attract a wider and more diverse audience. The client base seems to be expected to always order out of this giant, ugly catalog two to three months in advance based on not much other than general listings and sample smaller than a postage stamp. We aren’t really in a boom time, it’s just that our standards of success have become lower as our expectations have been driven further and further into the dirt.