While it makes big news when acclaimed cartoonists like Sammy Harkham and Kevin Huizenga don’t make Diamond’s new order benchmarks, rest assured, there’s lot’s more where that came from. Calvin Reid catches up with Asylum Press, which is self-distributing Steve Mannion’s FEARLESS DAWN.
In a move that is part necessity and part protest, indie comics publisher Asylum Press has been forced to distribute the latest issue of its tongue-in-cheek adventure comic, Fearless Dawn, direct to retailers after the issue failed to meet Diamond Comics Distributors’ new minimum order.
Frank Forte, publisher of Asylum Press, an indie comics house based in Hollywood that specializes in superhero, horror and humor comics, said although Steven Mannion’s Fearless Dawn did not make the Diamond minimum, there was demand for the publication. “Although we received 1,200 orders for Fearless Dawn #1, we simply didn’t meet Diamond’s purchase order benchmark, “ explained Forte. “1200 is a significant order for us especially considering the state of the market place.”
To be honest, we never heard of FEARLESS DAWN, so we can’t really say how much of a following it has. In fact, we’d never heard of any of Asylum Press’s books — or at least didn’t remember hearing about any of them. Will self-distribution work for them? Is there an audience for this kind of material that will make the effort to find it? We shall see.
Simon Jones recently looked at the size of the latest Previews:
Speaking of Previews, the text order form lists only 1764 items, a huge drop from the last issue… it seems Diamond really is cutting a huge swath of relists even from the premiere publishers. However, the catalog itself is still over 420 pages (based on the text file… I don’t have the actual issue in front of me yet.) I don’t know how much money Diamond is saving by cutting relists (substantial, I’m sure), or how much retailers appreciate having to deal with a shorter order form (quite a bit, probably). But as far as making Previews a leaner, meaner catalog, the new policies don’t seem to have a huge impact. It’s still a phonebook. There may be more changes for Previews on the way, but at least now we can say that the weight of the policy changes wasn’t borne solely by the back of the catalog.
There’s going to be a lot more fallout from Diamond’s changes in the weeks and months to come; on THAT, you can rely.