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Subject: Disney comics in hiatus....

Written By: woops on 05/05/09 at 8:56 pm

Disney Comics are on hiatus

This appeared in Lying in the Gutters at on March 30th:

Jeff Vaughn, Executive Editor/Associate Publisher at Gemstone posted: "There's one major problem with this story: Gemstone isn't closing. We've had some changes, and like a lot of companies some of these changes have been painful.
"I can't comment on the other material in the article at this point, but I am certain that both the EC line and the Disney line will continue in one form or another.
"We actually hope to have some very positive news about the Guide soon, and we'll be glad to share it at that time."
President of Gemstone Steve Geppi posted the following response:

"In the past few days, there have been a number of rumors circulating about Gemstone Publishing. As has been the case with many businesses across a wide array of industries, there has been a reduction in staff at Gemstone, and this included the departure of many valued employees. This, however, is not the end of Gemstone Publishing,
"Our flagship title, The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, remains a vital tool for comic book collectors throughout North America and around the world and it continues to be a highly profitable item for the retailers who carry it. I look forward to making announcements regarding new developments for the Guide's 40th anniversary next year.
"At this time, no final decision has been made regarding The EC Archives or our comic books featuring Disney's standard characters, but it seems certain that both lines will continue in some form, We all anticipate resolving the issues facing us and moving forward, and I will be happy to announce the specifics once things have been finalized."

So far, I have heard nothing different since then, and I personally believe that both the Disney and EC comic lines are currently dead (along with Gemstone).

As far as Amazon is concerned, Gemstone did solicit those issues in question, but Diamond Comic Distributors has cancelled all orders, so it looks like Amazon has yet to get the message.

One of the reasons I go for the back issue... I have 5 of the expensive issues, which I actually enjoyed "Jean Therapy", where Gyro invents pants that changes the person's mood, and the "King of the Bungaloos" where Horace Horsecollar goes to a place where he's literally treated as a fool.

To be fair to Gemstone, when they re-started the Disney comics line they did offer some regularly priced $2.99 comics, along with the more expensive Comics and Stories and Uncle Scrooge. Gemstone also offered a manga-sized title as well. Unfortunately, neither the regular titles nor the manga-sized book sold very well and were cancelled.
I don't disagree with you that the current issues are too expensive at $7.99 a shot. The books included at least one Carl Barks reprint in just about every issue, and Don Rosa (Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge) and Floyd Gottfredson (Mickey Mouse) reprints were also quite prevalent. These reprints were mixed in with newer material mostly from European artists, where Disney comics are much more popular.

The trouble with this approach is that in trying to appeal to everyone, it ends up pleasing no one. The Barks, Rosa and Gottfredson fans would rather have dedicated collections devoted to them, rather than just one story per issue. And newer stories that might appeal to younger readers are mixed in with reprints in books that are way too expensive for younger readers to buy.

Also comics are now pretty much a niche market  and mostly dominated by superheroes.

As for lack of sales, X-Men, Batman, Spiderman, etc. are still viable to the public from movies & tv and Mickey & Donald are only known as corperate mascots and that Disney is mostly pushing their teen idols more towards the youth market. Not to mention lack of exposure iof the  cartoons (yeah, I know Donald is different in both mediums, but still). Well, atleast DVDs are still sold and handled better than Warner Bros since they have sets that aims towards both the collectors and causual viewer/kids.

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