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AiT/Planet Lar, Oni Choose Diamond for Bookstore Distribution in Wake of LPC Collapse

by  in Comic News Comment

When LPC
Group filed for bankruptcy on April 2
, independent comic companies lost
their top distributor for bookstore and other mainstream retail outlet
distribution.

With the growing importance of the trade paperback segment of the comic
industry, as well as the desire on the part of many publishers to reclaim
market share outside of specialty shops, the bankruptcy was a serious blow,
and a near-crippling blow to companies like Drawn &
Quarterly
.

Friday and Monday, the dominant specialty shop distributor, Diamond
Comics Distributors, announced that two of the independent comic companies,
Oni Press and AiT/Planet Lar have entered into a contract that makes
Diamond their US exclusive distributor for bookstores and other mainstream
retail outlets.

Given that Diamond doesn’t have a strong history in the bookstores,
although the company is now making a more aggressive push into that segment
of the market, the decisions by AiT/Planet Lar and Oni may have caused a
few to scratch their heads in confusion. Perhaps foreseeing such confusion,
AiT/Planet Lar publisher Mimi Rosenheim sent a letter to the creators the
company publishes this week and shared it with CBR News:

“Hello AiT/Planet Lar Creators!

“I wanted to update you on the mass market book distribution situation.

“AiT/Planet Lar has signed with Diamond Comics Distributors to be our
exclusive North American direct AND book market distributors. After LPC
went bankrupt, we had many, many distributor options. Both David Wilk and
Robert Boyd were very helpful in talking about the pros and cons of the
different options and we had very serious discussions with CDS (the vendor
that managed the operational side of the distribution for LPC that also is
a full-service distributor to the book trade). While CDS has signed big
comics companies like Marvel, Cross-Gen and TokyoPop, we felt that Diamond
presented a more powerful partnership opportunity.

“Diamond has signed many publishers for book market distribution
including Dark Horse and Top Shelf. Both we and Diamond are committed to
growing each other’s businesses and understand that we need to work
together to do so. Diamond has hired a number of sales and marketing folks
with years of experience at book publishers as well as graphic novel buying
experience at some of the major US book store chains. Larry and I will be
meeting with the brand managers and sales force to discuss past sales with
buyers, upcoming books, and marketing strategy. Diamond is a smart, solid
business, with people who know and love comics. We’re a smart publisher
with amazing creators who are putting out extremely creative work.

“Together, we’ll all make comics better.”