Sun. Mar 29th, 2020

Ben Dunn Comics

Action Manga Star

It’s BEN DUNN before LOG ENTRY 2/5/2020

2 min read

As Antarctic Press continues to celebrate its 35th year in publication it gave me pause to reflect on decisions I have made over the decades. Perhaps one of the most fateful decisions I ever made was to turn down DIAMOND COMICS offer to make it an exclusive publisher.
For those who get the Diamond Previews catalog you will notice that publishers are separated by sections instead of alphabetical and Marvel has its own catalog inserted. They have it’s premier publishers and the rest.
Back in the mid-1990’s Marvel attempted to distribute it’s own comics by buying Hero’s World distribution. This sent panic throughout the comic industry. Suddenly, all the comic distributors at the time just lost about 40-50% of their business. At the time there were about a dozen comic distributors and it was healthy competition. Diamond became proactive and signed exclusive deals with as many publishers as they could. AP was offered a position but I turned it down. The reason I thought was that it was wrong. I knew if publishers became exclusive then that would effectively put all the other distributors out of business and i believed in healthy competition. The Marvel’s attempt to self distribute was a complete disaster. They came back to normal distribution but the damage was done.
Now Diamond is the sole distributor of comics to the direct market as all the other distributors went out of business. Do I regret that decision? I could have made AP a premier publisher and who knows how that would have affected AP. I do ask myself “what if” but I felt “exclusives” is a detriment to the industry. But it is what it is. However, the industry is going through growing pains. As technology takes over access to comics it may be entering a brave new world.
I do not know if AP will survive another 35 years? Maybe. I would like to think it could last forever but even I know things eventually everything comes to an end. Let’s enjoy the ride while we can.

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