Blogs and Ends: Friday Night Popculture Roundup

Blogs and Ends: Friday Night Popculture Roundup

Swoop night speed blogging.  I got to be on the road an hour ago. 

Ready?

Too bad if you aren’t.

FIRST

Flash!

Marvel Dumping Diamond!

Okay, it’s not much of a flash this came out yesterday. But this one is not a rumor; Marvel Comics is now moving their direct market to Penguin Random House.  Retailers can still buy from Diamond as a wholesale customer of PRH.  The thing is while you can order from either one, Penguin won’t charge you for Freight

On top of that, there is the issue of the retailer discount. Diamond set the wholesale discount on a sliding scale.  The smallest of the small fries only get a 35% discount, that wholesale discount slides all the way up to 50% for the big accounts and 59% for the whales.

However, Penguin is offering a 50% flat rate to all customers.  The biggest accounts might want to stick with Diamond or they might not, depending on how the shipping costs shake out.  While it might look like a no-brainer for the small fries, it’s not quite that simple.  Diamond Distributors acts as a bank for those guys, letting them skip payments for shipments received now and then.  But if you are not in hock to Diamond, can you really afford to stay with Steve Geppi out of sentiment?

This was coming since the lockdown started in March of 2020 and Diamond announced it was ceasing all deliveries and it wasn’t going to pay the comic book publishers what was owed to them either.  

DC dumped them immediately for Lunar but that turned out to comedy of rushed errors on their part.  Marvel said at the time it, “was absolutely sticking with Diamond Distributors, no matter what,” (because it is necessary to get behind someone in order to stab them in the back).

This deal appears to be better thought out than DC’s rush to dump Diamond last year.  

However, the big question is motive.  Was this in the works since Diamond shut them off last year? Or did this get put on a front burner because the rumors are completely true, and Diamond is about to buy the publishing rights to DC Comics?

NEXT

Is Diamond’s deal for DC Comics in jeopardy?  

Possibly.  

Not long ago I reported the strong possibility that Diamond Distributors was putting together a deal to buy the publishing right to DC Comics.  Given how deep and extensive the layoffs had been at DC as well as Diamond’s need to restore DC comics to their distribution system.  This story seemed pretty likely.

However, there was also a rumor back when this story first made the rounds that there was a counteroffer being put together by “fan-creators.”  The source of this rumor was Ethan van Sciver, who does indeed have decades worth of contacts in the comic book industry.  However, the grain of salt I would have to take with this rumor was too large to comfortably swallow. I wouldn’t report it, not without a major name connected to the “fan-creators” part.

That name has now been supplied.  Robert Kirkman, the creator, and author of the Walking Dead comics, as well as Invincible.  He does have plenty of cash and is probably more liquid than Steve Geppi.  Invincible has given him a working relationship with Amazon, and this means a relationship with Comixology.  

On top of that, (and I can’t guarantee this means anything), he stopped writing the Walking Dead cold in its tracks.  He ended it, without any warning.  And Warner Media is frantically desperate for HBOmax streaming content.  They were counting on George R.R Martin and he absolutely failed to deliver for them. A creative deal with the creator of the Walking Dead would be a godsend for Warner Media and as part of that bargain, several million could be chopped off of the price tag of a subsidiary they wanted to dump anyway.

Just to be crystal clear, this is a license exclusively for the COMIC BOOK rights, nothing more. Warner Media would retain ownership of the characters as well as movie and TV rights. 

The biggest issue remains Wonder Woman.  If DC ever stops publishing her, ALL of Wonder Woman’s IP rights to include Movies and TV revert to the Marston estate.  Admittedly, there are loss-leader ways Warner Media can still do that, but it means she probably couldn’t be part of the package depending on how the original contract was written.

NEXT

Somebody did NOT get bribed.

Or maybe somebody else DID, I have no way to tell. 

Sony’s deal to buy Crunchyroll off of Warner Media just hit a major stumbling block.  Rather than pester the actual monopolies of the California software industry, the Justice Department’s anti-trust division has chosen to justify its existence by blocking the purchase of an anime company by another anime company.  

Now, Sony’s acquisition of Crunchyroll would make them the biggest anime distributor in the USA. The only two competitors left in the field would be two tiny, struggling little upstarts named…

(*ruffles notes*)

…NETFLIX AND FREAKING AMAZON!

Forgive me for stating the obvious but these two companies aren’t minnows about to be eaten by a shark.  If anything, Sony needs to acquire Crunchyroll now if they are going to stay relevant in the anime business long term. 

Regardless, with the JD putting a block on the deal, the sale of Crunchyroll goes back up in the air.  If it’s delayed long enough, Warner’s corporate overlord, AT&T will have to give up on this idea and just feed Crunchy Roll into HBOmax.  Which I can see being Plan A for quite a few people.

Developing.

LAST

James Gunn’s Suicide Squad just had a trailer drop.  I will grant that it looks slightly more promising than the first one.  However, this is a DC film and it has not yet gone through the studio-driven death-of-a-thousand-cuts that attends most of its releases.  

This is a red band trailer so it’s NSFW. Swearing and gore.  Also, it’s by James Gunn and that would be reason enough for me to miss it entirely if I didn’t have to watch everything with a superhero in it these days.

Regardless, it’s nice to see that Doctor Who didn’t kill Peter Capaldi’s career.

Okay, I’m in the wind. See you Monday.

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Comments (4)

  • doug whiddon Reply

    Something is wrong with the universe. The Suicide Squad trailer looks good.

    March 27, 2021 at 2:43 am
  • Nova Centum Reply

    The biggest issue remains Wonder Woman. If DC ever stops publishing her, ALL of Wonder Woman’s IP rights to include Movies and TV revert to the Marston estate.

    I don’t believe that’s the case anymore. I can’t find anything 100% definitive, but Kurt Busiek “addressed the rumors” surrounding the rights to the character:

    They are no longer true, but they were true for a long time – as I understand it, the terms were that DC had to publish at least four issues with “Wonder Woman” as the banner lead feature or rights would revert. That’s why DC did the LEGEND OF WONDER WOMAN mini-series that I wrote and Trina Robbins drew – the Perez revamp was in development, but coming along slowly, and they had to publish something to fulfil the contract terms.

    They specifically didn’t want something that would be attention-getting, because they didn’t want to undercut the revamp. So they wanted something gentle and nostalgic, and we had fun doing it.

    In the intervening years, though, I’m given to understand that at some point DC bought the character outright, and thus those contract terms are no longer in force.

    <a href="https://www.cbr.com/comic-book-urban-legends-revealed-1/3/"Source

    The “Legend of Wonder Woman” miniseries was published in 1986, when the old rules still applied. But I would bet they did purchase the rights soon after.

    To bolster that contention, consider that DC Comics had been licensing the rights to Captain Marvel (the real one) and associated characters like Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. for decades, but in 1991 DC purchased the characters outright. And this was not that long after DC bought all of the Action Heroes from Charlton Comics.

    So I strongly doubt DC hasn’t done something by now to get Wonder Woman firmly under their control.

    March 27, 2021 at 5:09 am
    • Nova Centum Reply

      Ack, sorry I messed up the html there.

      March 27, 2021 at 5:10 am
  • Wazdaka Reply

    James (pedo) Gunn is probably the right person for suicide squad. Decent trailer, although as you said there’s plenty of time for a committee to de ball it

    March 27, 2021 at 9:24 am

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