May Previews for Books Shipping July 2009 or Later

Order Problems

The Previews cancellation pages used to be full of reason codes 2 and 6. That’s “will resolicit” (which I usually took to mean “the creators are running later than we expected, but you’ll see the book eventually”) and “sold out” (never a bad reason). Now, it’s all 4s (“cancelled by publisher”, which sometimes means “we can’t afford to do it with those numbers”) and the dreaded 3s (“cancelled by Previews”). That last one means “we didn’t get enough orders to make Diamond enough profit”, and even knowing that they were cracking down this year, I had no idea it would grow this quickly.

Hope Falls cover
Hope Falls
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Take, for example, Hope Falls. The miniseries, written by Tony Lee, had a collection planned for release this year, but it fell victim to “not enough orders”. Yet Markosia is still publishing it — they’ll sell it through Amazon, Diamond UK, and direct themselves.

That’s just one of many. Rumor has it that Diamond’s in trouble, like most companies in this economy, and it’s understandable that they need to tighten up, but driving customers to other venues doesn’t do Diamond’s customers, the direct market comic shops, any good. And having to stay on top of the status of various projects individually in order to figure out who you’ll get it from and when … that’s no fun. It defeats the purpose of centralized orders, whether from retailer to Diamond or reader to retailer.

Another Stupid Wizard Article

Bwa ha ha! Wizard is plugging an article on “How to Get Your Girl to Read Comics”. Leaving aside the assumption that all of their readers are heterosexual males… I’m not sure I believe anyone immature enough to read Wizard magazine would *have* a girlfriend. But the picture shows her holding a huge stack of Marvel, DC, and Image collections. I don’t really think most women are going to be as interested in The Punisher, Invincible, and Green Lantern as they might be in something, oh, non-superheroish. What about indies? Art comics? Manga? Works in other genres, like science fiction or romance? Heck, if you must show superheroes, what about Birds of Prey or Wonder Woman? And if you’re going to be that terribly cliched, go with Sandman and Strangers in Paradise.

What I’m Looking Forward To

Eh, enough griping. Let’s go to things I’m positive about, starting with Venus Capriccio Volume 2. It surprises me no end that, just when I’m ready to give up on all DC publications, I’ve found a couple of their CMX manga series I really like, this one and The Name of the Flower.

Suspended in Language cover
Suspended in Language
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If you haven’t read it before, be sure to check out Jim Ottaviani’s Suspended in Language (GT Labs), a true-science graphic biography of Niels Bohr, the father of quantum mechanics. The art is mostly by Leland Purvis with additional work by Jay Hosler, Roger Langridge, Steve Leialoha, Linda Medley, and Jeff Parker, talented artists all. It’s a fascinating example of just how wide-ranging comic storytelling can be.

I’m looking forward to The Big Kahn, by Neil Kleid and Nicholas Cinquegrani, from NBM. When a respected rabbi passes away, his family finds out that for 40 years, he’s been lying to everyone: he’s not even Jewish. It’s a story about grief and faith and family and finding one’s own way.

My gracious, how the mighty have fallen. Tokyopop has two pages of Previews, that’s it, with 12 listings. It’s a far cry from the days where they’d have page after page, one or two books per.

The Surrogates: Flesh & Bone cover
The Surrogates: Flesh & Bone
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Top Shelf is preparing for the late September debut of The Surrogates movie with a re-release of the graphic novel with a new cover; a new prequel story, Flesh & Bone; and a super-deluxe hardcover containing them both. Good for them!

The Middleman graphic novel The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse (Viper Comics) promises to serve as conclusion to the much-missed TV show. I want to read the comic, but it will only remind me of how much I miss the series.

Peter David’s book about Writing for Comics (Books section) is updated and revised. I don’t know about specific changes, but I thought the first one was pretty good, so I’ll still recommend this version.

What are you anticipating?

14 Responses to “May Previews for Books Shipping July 2009 or Later”

  1. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Diamond has already driven me out of the direct market for manga. Now their going to drive me out of the direct market for comics too? My LCS doesn’t have enough to worry about in this economy, now he has to worry about his distributor driving customers to other venues? As the old saying goes, with friends like Diamond, who needs enemies.

  2. Don Vanni Says:

    Comics for your girlfriend? How about Love and Capes?

  3. Johanna Says:

    Beautiful choice!

    Too often, when superhero-centric publications deal with this topic, they aren’t really answering “what comics might my girlfriend like?”, they’re answering “how can I get my girlfriend to like the comics I love?” Which somewhat biases the answers.

  4. Dave White Says:

    You know, maybe they should switch the focus of these articles from “how to get your loved ones to read comics” to “how to stop pestering your loved ones to read comics because you’re just annoying the hell out of them every time you thrust a so-called graphic novel into their hands.”

  5. Justin Says:

    I am wondering if my wife’s scrapbooking magazines have articles about “How to get your husband into scrapbooking” I sincerely hope not. Just let people find what they like.

  6. Johanna Says:

    Both of you made me laugh!

    Unless one of these articles starts out with these two questions, it’s worthless:
    “Is your SO interested in trying comics, or are you pushing this on them? What does your SO like to read or watch on TV or at the movies?”

  7. StevenRowe Says:

    “how to get your girl to read comics” would mean how to get our daughters to read comics wouldnt it? I confess that the women in my life never were interested in comics (one did suggest that the covers of Previews did have anatomy impossibilities – but then she was teaching anatomy at that time.) there are comics around (and history books and 19th century liberal religious books, etc), but why try to make someone read something? I have showed various pages of Where’s Michael and Cats in Bags (or whatever the Jeffery Brown book is called) and they at least got more mileage than anything else so far.
    and speaking of so far, so far Diamond is saving me $75 a month – at that amount Amazon is getting some (for Lucky Luke and Iznogaud) but most of it is now going to savings (thanks diamond!)

  8. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » May 5, 2009: Hope fell Says:

    […] Johanna Draper Carlson catches the news that Diamond has decided not to distribute the Tony Lee-written book Hope Falls. […]

  9. Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources - Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment » Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes Says:

    […] Publishing | Diamond Comic Distributors has decided not to carry Markosia’s collection of Hope Falls, the miniseries by Tony Lee and Dan Boultwood. However, the publisher still will sell the book through Amazon, Diamond UK and other avenues. [Comics Worth Reading] […]

  10. Paul Moua Says:

    To tell you the truth, Diamond probably doesn’t want to sell anything other than Marvel, DC and Dark Horse.

  11. Alan Coil Says:

    I don’t buy Wizard, but if I happen to come across an issue, I just look at the pictures.

    The shiny, glossy pictures of my heart’s desires.

  12. Kat Kan Says:

    Right now Amazon’s listing of Hope Falls says it’s out of print, with limited availability – that’s not too hopeful. I bought the comics issues as they came out, so I at least have those.

    Yeah, I tend to laugh at those articles – I have a HUSBAND who doesn’t like comics. I did get both sons hooked, though (heh heh).

  13. Johanna Says:

    I hope that’s a data glitch or a case of Amazon not yet having the new information.

  14. Good Comics Out July 27: Mostly Books This Time » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] began in issue form in November 2007. The UK origin of the series caused shipping snags, and the 2009 collection‘s orders through Diamond were cancelled for not being high enough. Yet with determination, […]




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