Sammy Harkham says that CRICKETS, his comics series from D&Q will end its current format; Diamond’s new policies is once again the reason.

Wanted to just let those favorite few of you out there to know that my comic book, Crickets, has been cancelled due to changes made by the major comics distributor that effectively made it impossible to continue in the comic book format. Crickets #3 will come out in some DYI form in the next couple months…after that, I dont know exactly. While I am really bummed about this, as I feel I never even really got started on it, I appreciate all the people who supported it when it was coming out. Thanks. To the future.

Kevin Huizenga told the Comics Reporter that Diamond’s new minimums were partly behind his ending OR ELSE, as well:

“Obviously the Diamond thing plays into it, but it wasn’t central… yet it kind of is. We could probably meet the minimum if we tried? But Love and Rockets becoming a book felt like, this is it, if there ever was any doubt. The comic book is a weird holdover, like a coelacanth. I guess if I do this right now I can always feel like it was my decision.” He added, “I’ve been thinking about it for a while and now seems like a good time.” He also suggested that maybe the traditional alt-comic, one-man-anthology format wasn’t a particularly good one for him, either, “and probably not for comics in general, going forward.”

So the new economic realities have already killed books by Harkham and Huizenga. This is NOT the kid of trimming we were hoping for. And if you want to know the kind of trimming we WERE hoping for, just hit us up on IM, but the short version is: stinky movie comics, meaningless celebrity comics, somebody’s badly-drawn horror book, and all those other ultimately forgettable books that languish on tables in endless artists alleys of the id. And yes, there are good books to be found there, but you should ask yourself: Are these really as good as Kevin Huizenga?

Over the last week or so we’ve noticed a dramatic increase in pr from people hoping we’ll go look at their comic book .pdf and give it some attention. Clearly, everyone is desperate for some buzz. We are sad to say that we here at The Beat are going to have to be extremely stingy with our buzz from here on out. There is only a finite amount of it to go around, and the good books are going to be the ones to get it. We cannot allow our buzz catalog to expand indefinitely.

Above and beyond this, yes, the indie pamphlet is dead. More on that…later.


  1. The only way to make today is to publish new projects online and through web traffic determine if a strip is worth printing or not. If you buy it comic form and then trade form, it’s like double dipping. Just go straight to the source. Share ad space with the creator if their creations generate traffic. I think it’s fair to the reader. Look at Wimpy Kid, from online to book form. It’s a proven winner. There are ways, time to change the way comics are printed. The story is what counts, not selling dead trees. If a story is worth reading, then it’s worth putting it down on paper. We all save in the end.

  2. Heidi,

    “And yes, there are good books to be found there, but you should ask your self: are these really as good as Kevin Huizenga?”

    Isn’t that a bit unfair? Huizenga is almost in a class by himself. His potential is just huge and with his body of work so far, he’s shown an unbelievable understanding of the comics medium. There are a lot of good artists out there who aren’t as good as Huizenga.

    But yeah, less Ben Templesmith, less Wayne Osborne/ John Byrne bullshit, etc is a *very* good thing. In the process, I hope we don’t lose people like Jim Rugg, Frank Santoro, and all the other awesome small press guys with talent.

  3. “But yeah, less Ben Templesmith, less Wayne Osborne/ John Byrne bullshit, etc is a *very* good thing. In the process, I hope we don’t lose people like Jim Rugg, Frank Santoro, and all the other awesome small press guys with talent. ”

    Whoa! That’s not fair! Don’t start lobbing cheap shots at people like Templesmith and Byrne. No creators deserve to go down with the sinking ship. I wouldn’t wish unemployment, lack of sales, canceled books or diminished opportunities on anyone, especially not in this economy. The way The Beat’s been listing canceled books and other bad news, a very gloomy picture is developing. Every company is going to be affected and changed.

    Frankly, I think that for artists like Harkham and Huizenga, this is a setback. They’ll find some new way to get their work out here to us readers, whether it’s on the web or in collected editions or in pamphlets some time down the road. Looking back, there are stories that Moebius left unfinished and untouched for years until they were collected for his Epic graphic novels. We just gotta remember to take the long view and be patient, that’s all.

  4. I wish every comic creator/writer/artist could make a living in a stable, healthy market…not just the ones who produce the kind of work I like. As the comics biz contracts, there are fewer opportunities for everyone.

  5. I think Ben Templesmith and John Byrne have paid their dues in this business. And I may be biased since I hired the guy several times, but NO WAY Less Ben Templesmith.

  6. I get the feeling from Huizenga’s comments that while the Diamond minimum is a factor, he’s actually using it to make the leap into more of a book format. Or am I being naive.

  7. Harkham was just interviewed at Inkstuds where he talked about his plans for Crickets. This stinks. Crickets was a cheap comic so it probably couldn’t meet the minimum where Huizenga’s book is pretty expensive for such a small book and maybe could have met the benchmark. If indie “stars” can’t continue doing floppy comics then nobody has a shot. The indy floppy is responsible for a lot of the successes in comics over the last 20 years- without Eightball we wouldn’t have had Ghost World, Art School Confidential, Dan Clowes on the Simpsons, etc.

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