Sunday, July 02, 2006

No reviews yet, or at least here. I did write several yesterday and today that will appear first on PopCultureShock, in my review column with a new spiffy name. What will that name be, you ask? Stay tuned.

So what do I want, you may also be asking. I suppose that in order to maintain my good standing as a card-carrying member of the Comics Blogosphere (U.S. Pat. Pend.), that I should put my two cents' worth in on the ongoing discussions at hand, hence the Comic-Con post last night, and this other controversy: Diamond's apparent jobbing of Dan Nadel's PictureBox, Inc., specifically their refusal to distribute a clutch of PB,I.'s comic book offerings. Here's Nadel's take, and here's Tom Spurgeon's summary and opinion on the matter. I tend to fall in with the Spurge- it doesn't set a good precedent for Diamond to summarily dismiss a company that has what seems to be as good a pedigree as PB, I., which apparently extends beyond fly-by-night floppy pamphlet publishing into fine art and design, even Wilco's A Ghost is Born CD package. Of course, Diamond is a business like any other, and they would assert, I'm sure, that they have to have some sort of standard- a line in the sand if you will- and while they wish that they could distribute anything and everything, sometimes they have to say no for reasons that need not be disclosed.

See why I could never be on a debate team? I always see both sides of these things.

Anyway, perhaps Diamond should rethink their standards a bit...but I would like to point up, before I exit stage left, that judging by the samples presented on Nadel's website (big-time design jobs and clients notwithstanding) that those are some really junky-looking and amateurishly drawn covers on those pamphlets. And I know it's judging a book by its cover, sure, and the interiors may be so wonderful and extraordinary that it would make strong men cry, angels dance on the head of a pin, and cause warring people of all lands to lay down their arms and embrace world peace forever...but I doubt it. And I can perhaps see why the person or persons put in that judgmental position at Diamond might deem these books unsellable. Perhaps. But then again, Nadel & Co. still deserves, as Spurgeon said, an opportunity to get them out there and see what happens. I suppose what it boils down to is that the current system, with Diamond as the virtual monopoly, is deeply flawed and unfair. But until someone arrives with the money and the clout to provide an alternative, we'll just have to live with it.

Anyway, there's my two cents. As usual, no stand-taking on my part. Make of it as you will.

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