It’s been no secret that even as comics have been enjoying better-than-those-around-them economic results in the Great Recession, a few companies have been late with creator payments. Bleeding Cool has been doing the best job of covering these stories, and interviews Devil’s Due head Josh Blaylock on what is a huge debt, blamed on the elephant in the room: bookstore returns.
We’re still dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars in book store returns that rocked us in late 2008 and into 2009, right in the middle of an already aggressive restructuring. This lasted for almost the entire year, and subsided only a few months ago. Now we’re dealing with debts incurred by the distributor from those returns that are still being passed down to us. To stabilize the business all of these debts had to be set aside, to be paid off over time, while we focus on expenses related to current titles. This will continue for approximately another year by my estimation. Were it not for the returns I believe we would have had a very solid year, but as it is for much of the rest of the world. We showed a loss for 2008 and will as well for 2009, which is the case for many companies right now. Payments will be made to termed-out debts either as publishing profits come in or when there is a cash influx of any other sort that would allow it.
Blaylock is pretty upfront abut the problems, to his credit.
Today, Rich digs into the Dabel Brothers’ ongoing problems paying creators and finds that Dynamite, which has just acquired the Dabel business, will go about trying to make things right:
. Dynamite has instigated a deal to all those owed money by the Dabels that either they will find a compromise payment that will settle all matters in full, or Dynamite will make a downpayment on the debt and commit to paying the full debt off over time. Considering that Dynamite had no legal necessity to pay a bean, and that the debt was solely down to the Dabels’ operations, this is one hell of a step up for the company.
We agree: That’s a very upfront move by Dynamite.