Diamond Cancellations

Isn’t it interesting, now that more comics are getting cancelled for not meeting order minimums, that Diamond stopped putting the monthly cancellation list in the Previews customer order booklet? You have to go to their site to see it. (Where they currently have last month’s PDF linked in error, but if you change JAN09 to FEB09, you’ll find it.) Perhaps that’s just a page count problem … the cancel lists have been getting longer, so they take up more room. Then again, if fewer things are offered for order, they’ll win back some pages that way.

Also, for those who were curious, there are a variety of reasons given for cancellation. 1 is lateness, but you don’t see this one used very much. The four most common are:

2: Will Resolicit. This is what DC uses, for example, on All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder when Frank Miller is running late again. It means they’re going to relist it later, once it’s ready. I would expect something that’s being rescheduled for later in the year to bear this code, which is why I find Tokyopop’s explanation about their recent cancellations, that they’re just balancing their schedule, a little suspicious.

3: Cancelled by Previews. This seems to be what’s being used for those items that don’t get enough orders to be worth carrying.

4: Cancelled by Publisher. Exactly what it says. When listings for more than one installment of a series are included with this code, you know the series has been cancelled. There’s a 9, Series/Product Line Cancelled, for use in that case, but I think the last time I saw that was when some company (maybe Speakeasy?) went out of business and they listed everything still open from them with that code. Sometimes you’ll see a mix, like issue X of something will be cancelled with a 4, while issues X+1 and X+2 have a 9.

6: Sold Out. Mostly shows up on DC and Marvel collections and graphic novels when they’ve sold through their stock. (There’s also a 5, Out of Stock, but I never see that used.)

7 Responses to “Diamond Cancellations”

  1. Bill Williams Says:

    This story is breaking a lot faster than I thought it would.

    Its hard to argue that when the list of dead product goes from three pages to eight that nothing happened. While the DVD and T-Shirt categories took hits, a load of books and comics are going out the stores as well.

    Diversity does not mean a wide variety of Wolverine titles.


  2. Ray Cornwall Says:

    While I’m not a fan of Diamond’s mood, if you study the list, a lot of the cancellations are for non-comics stuff; DVDs, t-shirts, and the like. Personally, I never even look at the Previews catalog past the beginning of the comic magazines section (not the comics section- the comic magazines section that’s the first category after the independent comics publishers). If Diamond’s killing that category off…well, I can’t argue that. Do retailers really use Diamond for general market books and DVDs?

    Other than the already-reported Tokyopop cancellations, the biggest “name” cancellations are arguably Slave Labor’s cancellations. A lot of Gargoyle books are gone, but wasn’t there licensing issues there? (I could be totally wrong.) Lenore #14 is also cancelled; that’s a shame. I hope that’s just a temporary condition.

    Hermes Press, a nice little company that makes some nice books about comics history, has some cancellations. The biggest of that group was Will Eisner’s PS Magazine. I had emailed the publisher some months ago about this, as my Amazon pre-order had been cancelled. He had told me that the book was still coming out. These solicitation codes are very old (going back to 2007), so it could be that the books will eventually be resolicited.

    I’m not so sure that we’ll see the real effects of the Diamond move on the cancellation sheets. It’ll be in the books that never make it to Diamond.

  3. Dan Manser Says:

    No conspiracies, the list was just too long for a few months to run in the customer order form. We try to keep it to a strict page count of 64 pages.

    Thanks for pointing out the link problem on the PREVIEWSworld.com site, we’ll get that updated.

  4. Johanna Says:

    Oh, wow, thank you, both for the fix and the information. I’m assuming that means that the list will be returning to the pages of the order form, which makes me glad — I find it easier to use that way.

  5. ShockerToys Says:

    We were hit as well so Kabuki and other indie action figures are now available through Haven Distribution and direct.

  6. Dean Burns Says:

    The cash flow issue at Diamond appears to be more than just the 4% drop in sales – it appears to come from more than one of Steve’s businesses (the museum, Gemstone, etc)… but the issue remains:

    More money is flowing OUT than is flowing IN… for a small business (even one with one business that has a pseudo-monopoly as Diamond does) that can mean big trouble. And with cash hard to get at the bank (and Steve not wanting to kill his entire retirement fund) things have to change.

    Whether increasing the minimum order was a good idea or not… it was one that makes sense: they CANNOT make enough money from selling books that do not make the minimums. Interestingly enough (and this often goes unsaid) – NEITHER CAN THE CREATORS AND PUBLISHERS.

    Comic books is often a business of passion… creators and publishers will create and publish in the absence of logic (i.e. when there is really no market for their product)… and will continue to create and publish when the market has gone on to something else but their passion keeps them going.

    The inherent problem is that they will often keep producing EVEN WHEN they should logically have stopped (and now THEY are only losing money with each item that gets made.)… Think of an easy parallel… if a house builder continues to build MORE houses than he or she can sell… they lose money no matter how GOOD the houses are… comics are no different…

    So now, Diamond (who is losing money) steps in and says to the product creators “enough is enough” and cancels some titles because it doesn’t make sense for the creators or the distributor to keep at it…

    Should Steve and the powers at Diamond have been expected to have the foresight to try to find other businesses to expand into so that they can move the people to that business rather than fire them? That is the” ideal world model” but one that I have never seen in real life (except in very socialistic societies where it is really hard to lay someone off – and that is not the USA)… and if the owners of construction companies, mortgage brokerages and the banks don’t have that same foresight, how can Steve and his team of people that sell comics for a living? ? (no offense, Steve)

  7. Diamond Agrees to Ship What It Offers » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] never arrive, making for disappointed customers and bookkeeping headaches. Unless they checked the cancellation list several months later, they might not even know why the comic they wanted never showed […]




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