Blogs and Ends: Friday Night Popculture RoundupThe Dark Herald
Swoop night speed blogging. I got to be on the road an hour ago.
Too bad if you aren’t.
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?
Is Diamond’s deal for DC Comics in jeopardy?
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.
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…
…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.
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.