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Comics 411: Is Todd McFarlane Right About Diamond Comic Distributors?

September 29, 2021 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Diamond Comic Distributors

Welcome back! I’m Steve Gustafson and if you enjoy discussing anything comic book related, you’ve come to the right place. Each week we cover something in the industry and I always enjoy your input in the comment section below.

Previously on…

Last time we discussed Fantastic Four #35 Here’s what some of you had to say:

Tayo Jones: “What a/stupid retcon. What up there with the long lost “sister” of Peter Parker and the Starks not being the actual parents of Tony. Stop fucking up the family trees of your heroes Marvel”

Ken Wood: “I’ve never much cared for FF or even the Avengers outside of rare appearances inside other comics I do care about. Most of the characters are fine, but FF have just never drawn me in. It’s cool to see them show up in a Spiderman comic, or whatever. But, beyond that, I just don’t really care.

This doesn’t do anything for me.”

Benjamin Kellog: “To make a long story short, no, I’m not an FF regular, as I am not with most regular comics because trips to my LCS are still sorta up in the air depending on how severe the local COVID forecast is. I’ve sampled bits of Slott’s run here and there, but it hasn’t compelled me to check out more. I did think about picking up #35 this past week along with Kang #2, but by the time I arrived, it was already sold out. I’m reserving my FF anny enthusiasm for the Tribute issue and “#1 Panel by Panel” book in November.

The issue having major revelations about Kang does make it more appealing to me, especially given the ongoing bombshells provided by the Kang mini and its upcoming “Timeless” sequel. We’re already seeing Kang confronting his historical personas by the metric ton, his longtime love Ravonna being repeatedly reincarnated then cut down by his alternate selves (that would embitter anyone, surely), and now a tease of a team-up with Apocalypse which seems huge enough already. The Scion stuff sounds interesting, but what I want to know is if any of it squares with what we’re learning in the Kang mini and how much of a deal it’ll be for 2022.”

“Filthy” Jake Fury: “I only read in trade and FF hasn’t been on my list for awhile now.

Not a fan of these long lost secret storylines and new family members.

If it’s Nathaniel’s second family wouldn’t it be Reed’s half sister?”

Some awesome comments last week! Go and check out the rest, if you can. Thanks for the input and keep it coming!

This week we discuss…

Is Todd McFarlane Right About Diamond Comic Distributors?

Whenever Todd McFarlane gives an interview, you know he’s going to give you something good to chew on. The Image Comics president has been making the rounds and talked about the break-up of Diamond Comic Distributors in the comic book Direct Market which is the network of retail comic book shops that make up the majority of comic book periodical sales.

McFarlane co-founded Image comics and the imprint is exclusive with Diamond in all areas. “I think it’s pretty much what makes the world go round and that’s people think they can make more money doing it another way,” McFarlane told Newsarama.

“I wish the world we live in is based on loyalty, but I can’t say that. So if somebody says to you, ‘well if you do it this way we can save 4%,’ that’s 4% off a huge amount of money. These are big companies and they just make economic decisions, good, bad, or indifferent.”

Surprisingly (or not), McFarlane isn’t totally convinced that DC and Marvel made the right decision in the long run.

“…let me just say this,” McFarlane continues, “every big company, every CEO who make these decisions, they’re not fucking right all the time. They’re big, powerful, and have success at certain times, but if people in big companies were so fucking smart then even PanAm would be around today. Just take a look at the Dow Jones from 1965 and a third of those companies aren’t even around anymore; they don’t even exist on this planet.

“I’m sure people at that time thought they were so smart and made all the right decisions, but that’s not always what happens. So I think they’re doing what they think is smart for today, and history will show us what happens next.”

For some context, DC left Diamond in 2020 for a new national distributor it helped establish called Lunar, followed by Marvel Comics and then IDW publishing both for exclusive deals with Penguin Random House Publisher Services this year.

Fallout is still being felt and it will be some time before we see the short and long term pros and cons of the decision.

I like when Todd does the interview circuit. He’s worked with all sides and has insight that relatively few have. I pretty much agree with his sentiments and think as time moves on, he’ll be right about DC and Marvel.

What do you think?

That’s all the time I have. See you next week!