In a dramatic expansion of a relationship that has brought outstanding and diverse works of graphic storytelling to the marketplace for more than two decades, Dark Horse Books has selected Diamond Book Distributors (DBD) to handle distribution of its graphic novels in the U.K. and international book markets, effective immediately.
Furthermore, Dark Horse has selected DBD to handle distribution of its M Press and DH Press imprints in the North American, U.K. and international book markets.
"With Dark Horse's U.K. bookstore sales more than tripling over the last three years, there couldn't be a better time to begin this new chapter in our long relationship with Diamond," said Dark Horse Comics Vice-President of Business Development Michael Martens. "Dark Horse Comics has been doing business with Diamond Comic Distributors since our company was founded in 1986, and Dark Horse Books was the first major graphic novel publisher to sign on with Diamond Book Distributors. Both of those relationships have been extremely fruitful, and we look forward to expanding that relationship as DBD takes our titles into the U.K. and other international book markets."
"All of us at DBD are very excited to be working with Dark Horse in this new capacity," said DBD Vice President of Sales & Marketing Kuo-Yu Liang. "In 2006, our sales in the U.K. and other international territories have experienced high double-digit growth. The addition of Dark Horse's robust and wide-ranging list will allow us to deliver some of the finest graphic novels and prose works to retailers and consumers worldwide."
With international book market sales of more than a quarter of a million graphic novels in the past two years, Dark Horse Books has expanded global consumer awareness of and appreciation for the art form through a number of high-profile, best selling releases from such renowned comic-book writers and artists as Frank Miller (Sin City, which has sold more than 500,000 copies worldwide), Mike Mignola (Hellboy), Neil Gaiman (The Last Temptation, Murder Mysteries), Kazuo Koike (Lone Wolf and Cub), and others whose works are often turned into motion pictures. A prime example is Frank Miller and Lynn Varley's 300, a widely acclaimed epic tale of battlefield valor that has over 200,000 copies in print to date - a number poised to skyrocket in the wake of 300's motion picture adaptation from Warner Brothers. [The film grossed a record-breaking $70 million on its opening weekend in North America, and is set for release across key international territories - including the U.K. (March 23) and Japan (June 9) - over the next three months.]
Dark Horse Books also holds publishing licenses to several of the world's top entertainment properties, including the worldwide rights to Aliens, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Predator and - outside of the U.K. - Star Wars.
Many more of the world's most recognizable pop-culture properties are being transformed into prose by DH Press with exciting results, as demonstrated by its line of novels based on the anime blockbuster Vampire Hunter D: Line of Light (which has sold nearly 200,000 copies to date.) DH Press also provides handsome showcases for a number of the comic industry's most popular artists, such as Yoshitaka Amano whose art books have sold nearly 25,000 copies.
M Press publishes a diverse list of both fiction and non-fiction by authors with a unique voice. Its first release in 2004, Ursula Bacon's Shanghai Diary (her account of her family's flight from Hitler's Germany to Shanghai), has sold more than 15,000 to date and is under option for a film. The imprint also publishes the insightful, ongoing Playboy Interview series, and is preparing new titles by widely read film critic and historian Leonard Maltin, a volume by renowned artist LeRoy Neiman, and a biography of filmmaker John Landis, for 2007.
Diamond's Sales Managers for the U.S., Canada, U.K. and International divisions will immediately begin working with bookstores, mass merchandisers and libraries to bring Dark Horse Books to consumers in these markets.