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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fantagraphics Goes Diamond-Exclusive for Direct Market -- Tom Spurgeon has a great news article up on this move, rumoured the past few days.

I won't pretend to understand the ins and outs of Fantagraphics' decision, except to say that I hope Eric Reynolds, Fantagraphics' expert publicist, is right when he says it will benefit the company and readers (like me) who buy their wares through the direct market.

Respected retailer Chris Butcher has serious concerns, and lays them out well in his comments in Spurgeon's story. My experience has been that Diamond has not been particularly conscientious about serving non-Marvel/DC publishers and the readers who order their titles, so I definitely will reserve judgment and again, hope that Fantagraphics really does know what it is doing.

I don't know much of anything about Tony Shenton, apparently an independent distributor who handled Fantagraphics publications and is seemingly being shut out by this deal. I hope he is able to ride out this change without a disastrous effect on the way he makes his living. Like I say, I don't know much about him, but if he's been distributing Fantagraphics publications to comic book stores these past few years, he has to be one of the good guys, and I wish him well in the wake of this rather amazing announcement.

Update: Chris Butcher has posted his full response to Tom Spurgeon's questions on his own blog.

Updated Again: Eric Reynolds responds, quite convincingly, to Butcher's concerns.


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