Distribution shuffle: Geppi’s response, and PRH’s majority share

Comic News

A little surprise this morning as Dark Horse announced they would be moving to PRH (Penguin Random House) for periodical distribution to the direct market, joining IDW and Marvel.

As soon as the story broke, Diamond Comics president Steve Geppi released his own statement, pointing out that Diamond would continue to be the distributor for Dark Horse’s very extensive merchandise line, and then throwing in a little shade about how they were only losing 1% of their volume. Oh snap!

Dark Horse has been our valued partner for close to thirty years and we are pleased that Diamond remains a key source for Dark Horse comics and graphic novels to the Direct Market domestically and internationally. We are also pleased to maintain our role as distributor of Dark Horse merchandise worldwide. 

It is important to note that while Dark Horse is an established name in the industry, the expected impact of this change to Diamond’s Dark Horse direct market sales represents only approximately 1% of Diamond’s top line sales inclusive of comics, games, merchandise, and pop culture items. We are so much more than just comic book distribution! Diamond and all the Geppi Family Enterprises companies have worked strategically and successfully to diversify over the years, with our most recent example being the launch of Overstreet Access, an online subscription comic collection management platform and price guide.

I remain proud of the role Diamond plays in the industry and steadfast in my commitment to the Direct Market. I look forward to our continued service of the Direct and book markets as well as the continued growth of the GFE portfolio of companies.

In the letter to retailers, Geppi also encouraged them to attend this October’s Diamond Retailer Summit, and that will be interesting.

Losing Marvel, DC, and now 2 more of the Top Five comics periodical publishers, Diamond has been retrenching for a while, putting more emphasis on its role as a toy and game distributor, and continuing to be a wholesaler for Marvel, IDW and Dark Horse. Despite worries that they may be in danger, these seem to be sensible moves aimed at long term survival.

But as numbers cruncher John Jackson Miller pointed out, this has led to a bit of a true shocker: PRH will soon be the biggest distributor to the Direct Market!

Image

Lots more fascinating info in this thread.

Nearly a year ago I fashioned a “distributor scorecard” – time to update!

Publisher Comics Shops Bookstores
Ablaze Diamond ?
Ahoy Diamond, Lunar S&S
Andrews McMeel ? S&S
Aftershock Diamond ?
Archie Diamond PRH
AWA ? S&S
Behemoth Diamond S&S
Black Mask Diamond S&S
Boom Diamond S&S
Dark Horse PRH PRH
DC Lunar PRH
Devil’s Due Diamond S&S
Dynamite Diamond Diamond
Heavy Metal Diamond S&S
Hiveworks ? S&S
Humanoids Diamond S&S
IDW PRH PRH
Image Diamond Diamond
Keenspot ? S&S
Kodansha Diamond PRH
Legendary Diamond S&S
Mad Cave Diamond S&S
Marvel PRH PRH
Oni Diamond, Lunar S&S
Rebellion Diamond S&S
Red 5 Diamond S&S
Rocketship ? S&S
Scout Diamond, Lunar ?
Seven Seas Diamond PRH
Source Point Diamond S&S
Titan Diamond PRH
TKO ? S&S
Valiant Diamond ?
Vault Diamond ?
Vault Diamond S&S
Viz Diamond S&S
Yen Press Diamond Hachette
Z2 Diamond, Lunar PRH
Zenescope Diamond ?

Additions and corrections welcome in the comments. I’ll update when I can.

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