Sat. Oct 31st, 2020

Ben Dunn Comics

Action Manga Star

It’s BEN DUNN Before 6/8/2020

3 min read

So DC Comics have divested from Diamond Comics. How does this affect the direct market? Well, it’s hard to say. It is not easy to lose almost 30% of your market overnight and not hurt. I am not privy to the decision but it seems odd that they would take this tact. It would seem that they should remain with the #1 distributor of comics AND try to expand their distribution would be the sensible move. The reason for the cut-off maybe beyond DC Comics control but the timing seems odd. However, the result is that we now have new distributors. What will happen remains to be seen. AP is considering their options. Unlike the Premiere Publishers that Diamond had signed as exclusives, AP remained independent because we felt that this would be a dangerous precedent in the long term …..and now here it is.
Look, DC Comics has every right to decide its own future and must live with its decision. Diamond’s relation with AP has always been professional and while I wished they would have promoted us more I can understand that they had to give priority to their exclusives. AP will continue to do business with Diamond but we now have the flexibility to explore other options since we are not tied to any exclusive contract. Which begs the question: will the exclusive publishers REMAIN exclusive publishers. DC Comics broke from Diamond, who ironically, was one of the FIRST to sign an exclusivity deal with Diamond so if they can go, who is next?
I am a firm believer of the FREE MARKET. Whenever you have a de facto monopoly it becomes a slippery slope and now we are seeing the results of that. Will monthly comics survive? Probably not. My prediction is that the big publishers will start treating them like books following the European model. Smaller publishers will continue doing floppies as it is less of a financial risk and they no longer have to do large runs.
So what does the future hold? Well, here are my predictions:
I think we will see more crowd funding. Why would any creator hitch their wagon to the big publishers if they cannot own what they create. I think more and more creators will demand that they get a share of whatever new characters they create for the big publishers. Also, crowd funding is the ulitmate free market where the public decides the success or failure of a product.
PRINT ON DEMAND could be the wave of the future. For those who want a physical copy this maybe an option. I have no doubt that digital comics will become bigger but the problem is you do not actually OWN a digital comic. You are really just RENTING it. The digital provider can pull it at anytime or it simple disappears. I bought a digital comic from ALTERNA but when I tried to read it again, it simply vanished. So, there is something to be said to be able to OWN a comic. I think once digital printing technology becomes cheap enough I could see a kiosk at a comic story have a cue of comics you can print and bind while you watch. Also, this makes it cheaper if you are in areas that are hard to ship to. Print on demand can be set up in foreign countries where you send a file to a printer there, they print it and ship ti from there thus saving huge expense of shipping from another country. Also, you can send translated versions of that comic to be printed there. We have already seen printers that can do this. The issue now is size and cost but that will be solved if there is demand.
We are living in challenging and changing times. How we adapt and change with it will determine our future. Let’s hope we are up to the task.

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