Thursday, August 03, 2006

Claypool Comics

I have to admit that I was disgusted beyond belief when I read this. Claypool Comics has been around for years now - well over a decade - and have been a staple to a lot of people. You don't produce 166 issues of a title if no-one's reading it. So what happened?

Diamond Distributors. I can understand that a company runs to make a profit. But what I cannot understand is how a company can establish itself as a monopoly, eliminate the competition via coercion, threats and buy-outs and then dictate the market. Even Microsoft was pulled up when they started that, however it seems that no-one is able to challenge Diamond. Perhaps I am thick, but I can't work that out. Diamond can close down a company, which they've done with Claypool, and deprive people of their livelihood because that company isn't making enough of a profit to suit them. And Claypool ran at a profit - just that Diamond's cut clearly wasn't enough.

Claypool wasn't a company without any established names. Let me run some of the by you: Richard Howell, Peter David (yes, THAT Peter David), Dave Cockrum, Jim Mooney, Ricardo Villagran, Al Milgrom - the list goes on. They had, no, HAVE, a damn good line with solid comics and they entertain. No gimmick covers. No gimmick stories. Just comics like us old farts remember. If Claypool is allowed to fold then what message does that send to anyone wanting to start a comic book company up? Better grease the Diamond machine because if you don't then you'll be backing beans in no time.

So where do Claypool go? They can't go to another distributor because there aren't any. Diamond has seen to that. They go to web-based comics and sales, but web-based comics and sales won't make the money that they need to survive. What the comic book industry needs is another, valid, distributor to challenge Diamond and not give into their bully boy tactics. Either that or someone really needs to explore the prospects of legal action against Diamond. Sadly, due to the way Diamond works, neither of those two acts will happen.

You want to find the true villian in the comic book industry? Look no further than this site, ran by people who know little about comics and care even less. Just a pity that those cowards refuse to host a forum.

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