Most will see this as a very bad sign, an indicator that business isn’t going well, but at least the company is being open about the announcement. Digital Manga has posted a message from their president that says
… effective January 1st 2013, the print editions for our DMP, June Manga, DokiDoki, and 801Media imprints will be placed on a temporary hiatus. Please be advised that none of our licenses are cancelled, simply postponed. We will be resuming the distribution of our print editions in June, 2013. This hiatus will allow us to coordinate our production schedule for 2013 and temporarily shift our focus to our digital publications. I am sure our fans are shocked by this announcement, but I would like to extend my gratitude for their continuing support and patience.
The post continues with a list of all their planned books with release dates shifted out seven months. There are a few exceptions — Unico and Atomcat, for instance, which were funded by Kickstarter, are still listed on schedule. They’re already paid for, so I’d hope that the company would meet its delivery promises.
The digital focus takes on new light when you realize that back in August, DMP spent a week sending out a flock of press releases announcing that their works were available on every possible digital platform, including some I’d never heard of. While making comics available to readers on their preferred venues is a good thing, it felt that they were desperate to wring every possible bit of money out of their online works.
Now, one wonders if they really need to reorganize, or if they can’t pay their print bills. The problem with delaying releases to this extent is that you can’t count on the orders to still be there when you return, so you risk entering a descending spiral.