Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Comic Foundry Magazine: REJECTED!

So, I've got some news. Diamond has chosen not to carry Comic Foundry Magazine. This, as you might guess, is quite bad.

What are you talking about?
Many of you know that for the past six months or so, we've been working on creating a new comics magazine. It'd feature brand new concepts, ideas, formats and presentations, to help breathe life to something fresh and exciting. I want to find new ways to cover comics and create something the readers deserve.

What does being rejected mean?
Well, it means we're almost all dressed up with no place to go. We've got no way to get from here to there. For those not familiar with the process, Diamond puts out a PREVIEWS catalog that goes to every comic store. I'm sure you've seen it. It's from this catalog that comics stores order their stock of books and magazines. You have to apply to be in said catalog, and alas, we were rejected.

Why was the magazine rejected?
According to Diamond: "a B&W title at the price you're using just won't work well in the current market we believe." Fact: our cover price is $6.25 for an 80-page B&W magazine. Now they might not think that will sell, but it isn't consistent with what they're already approving. Such as Issue 14 of Draw! magazine, that's 80 pages, B&W and retails for $6.95. Same with issue 15 of Write Now! Both same specs, but 70 cents more.

I called Diamond for more clarification and spoke with Tim Huckelbery, who let me know the news in the first place. He said, among other things, "When I was looking though it and reading a magazine of that type, which is about comics, which has lots of images of comics characters, that is looking to be timely and topical, I was expecting color. That, just for me, is how my brain is wired." So, to be a timely magazine with topical content (and feature images of comic characters) it has to be in color? I'm sorry, I've thought about this all afternoon, and I don't really see how this makes sense. What about The Comics Journal or Comics Buyers Guide? Neither of those are full-color, right?

Where does that leave Comic Foundry Magazine?
Up the creek, sans paddle. Diamond is the major distributor in comics. Without being in Previews means a serious hurt in circulation. Can the magazine survive without Diamond? I certainly hope so. I've got a will, I'm just looking for a way.

Please we want to help. What can we do?
If you believe in Comic Foundry, or you want to see a new comics magazine on the market, or you are ready for new ideas and a fresh take on things, now is your chance to be heard. If you want to help, please write to Diamond to tell them you support Comic Foundry Magazine and want to see it in their Previews catalog. If you're like me and this is something you believe in, we have a rare opportunity to not only be heard, but to make a difference. Click to write to Diamond's Tim Huckelbery.

I usually try to stay even-tempered, but I got quite peeved when talking to him when he compared the mag to Wizard. Eesh!


Blogger paperghost said...

"When I was looking though it and reading a magazine of that type, which is about comics, which has lots of images of comics characters, that is looking to be timely and topical, I was expecting color. That, just for me, is how my brain is wired."

tell him you're only covering black and white comics and watch his brain fry.

7:57 AM  
Blogger comrade said...

Dude - this should not stand. Diamond should give you a chance to make your fortune or fail in the process...either way, the risk is yours, not theirs. I sent an email and have encouraged my comic buddies to do the same.

1:19 PM  
Blogger jashar said...

Hey Tim, sorry to hear that. I bought a few printed issues of Comic Foundry from you at MoCCA several years ago and I still enjoy them. I hope things work out.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Bill Cunningham said...

Tim -

I think this B&W situation could be analogous to the situation with B&W films in Hollywood. There are so few B&W movies in Hollywood because they aren't as marketable as color movies. People look at B&W movies as being old.

Those movies that are B&W are trying to recreate an old aesthetic -- i.e. THE GOOD GERMAN, SIN CITY -- something you don't want in a magazine that is timely and topical for TODAY'S audience. You want color.

And the reason that CBA and CBG and COMICS JOURNAL get away with B&W is because they mimic scholarly journals or newspapers...

To get around all this, do what the folks do with VIDEO BUSINESS --make a free digital PDF with all sorts of ads in it to pay for it. That way you don't have to deal with print, you still make money by signing up advertisers and subscribers and get wider distribution than print ever could...

But you know all this.

Don't get hung up on print the same way some people pass up a great DVD deal because they are holding out for a theatrical release. Your first obligation is to be profitable, not to be in print.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Brocka said...

Hey man. I posted this at popcultureshock. Hope this gets to you.


Let's all stop the bus and calm down. It's 3am here, so my formatting is going to be a little goofy. Bare with me here people. Tim Leong of CF is whining that he didn't get picked up by Diamond at the price he wanted? Naw, ima call you out son. Let's break it down shall we?

"Fact: our cover price is $6.25 for an 80-page B&W magazine."

Wait, wait, so you want retailers to buy your $6.25 magazine? Ok I can get behind that. $6.25 is pretty steep for and 80 page magazine though. Sounds a little on the light side don't you think?

"What about The Comics Journal or Comics Buyers Guide?"

The Comics Journal #282
200-page (48 pages in full color, 152 b&w) squarebound $9.95

Hey thats 48 more pages of color then you have man.

Comics Buyers Guide $5.99 180+ pages and color and b/w.

Wow. That 100 more pages for 26 cents cheaper.

"Fact: our cover price is $6.25 for an 80-page B&W magazine. Now they might not think that will sell, but it isn’t consistent with what they’re already approving. Such as Issue 14 of Draw! magazine, that’s 80 pages, B&W and retails for $6.95."

Draw! is the professional "How-To" magazine on cartooning and animation. Each issue features in-depth interviews and step-by-step demonstrations from top comics professionals.

According to the Diamond guy your magazine is "a magazine of that type, which is about comics, which has lots of images of comics characters, that is looking to be timely and topical...". While Draw! magazine is quarterly and a how-to mag comics and animation. I don't think Draw! does in depth coverage of Planet Hulk or Crisis.

Look I can understand this dude is pretty passionate about what he does and stuff, so I am going leave him some advice. I just don't want to be ripping on him, though it was pretty fun.

First off 80 pages is not a magazine, thats more like a halfway house between a Kinkos fanzine and Protoculture magazine. Protoculture magazine is 100 pages (full color) $5.95 by the way. Find a better, cheaper printer either in the US or China to print your mag. That's way too much to charging for 80 pages. Diamond turned you down because retailers really won't order it at that price and format. Do you want an order for 37 units or an order for 3200?

Diamond isn't the only game in town. Try out Last Gasp, they are pretty good indie distributer and have a broad reach. Look them up.

And finally, stop being a pussy on YouTube. Seriously stop it, that is going to come back and haunt you. I think you were doing Jazz Hands on that last one.

5:25 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

See, this is what you get for slagging off Wizard in the past (i.e, you've been stitched up like a kipper).

8:05 PM  
Blogger Magnatude said...

Interesting, have you considered using Lulu.com to perhaps test the waters a bit?
Check it out and see if people will buy it as a printed product or as an electronic download.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh man. Diamond will solicit anything, too.

that must REALLY make you feel bad about yourself.

if only you could go to a second ink--maybe a dark and moody red--that way you can match your lame ass EMO mood in print.

black and white. oh man. people still print in black and white? ha ha ha. i gotta take a note about that on my Apple Neuton.

lame ass.

11:38 AM  
Blogger chronoselectros said...

Interesting comments since your second and third issue went to color. Maybe that will help sales. I actually enjoy your magazine...MORE than Wizard. Wizard has been around for twenty odd years and something new needs to be in the mix to make them understand people' taaste change. I like the honesty and language of Comic Foundry although it is God awfully hard to find in any of my local comic book stores. No one seems to want to take a chance on it. Maybe that will change after this so-called recession period ends.

8:12 PM  
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