• Retailer Christopher Butcher reports that Diamond Comic Distributors is dropping from its backlist nearly 1,000 manga published by Viz Media, including volumes from such series as Boys Over Flowers, Case Closed, Drifting Classroom, Golgo 13, Hot Gimmick and Prince of Tennis. That means those products no longer will be available through Diamond. (Butcher has the complete list of products.)
In the blog's comments section, Matt High, formerly of Cold Cut, points out that the de-listed volumes are "all slow-to-no-sellers": "... Most of the books on this list we would sell 2 or fewer copies per year. ... Sorry, but you gotta draw the line somewhere. Not everything can be kept in stock and carried forever. Yes, there are plenty of ‘good’ books in this list, but critical acclaim does not pay the bills."
Tom Spurgeon considers the pruning in light of Diamond's new threshold for publishers. "I don't understand what's driving the company to move this quickly unless it's fear, there are some outside financial factors involved, or they know about a game-changing move in the works at one of their suppliers. While this does push Diamond more towards a clear Big Picture identity along the lines of 'we provide the newest comic books,' I'm unconvinced that's the best one available to them and confused they felt they had to make such a choice right now."
• Surprising enough, some publishers are actually hiring. DC Comics, which just cut some positions -- including Senior Editor Bob Schreck -- as part of layoffs at parent company Warner Bros., is searching for an executive director, publishing operations. Harry N. Abrams wants an editor for Abrams ComicArts line; Viz Media wants an editor, too. (via Comix 411 and ANN)
• The tone and wording of this essay at CHUD is very link bait-y, but the writer expresses some sentiments about rising prices and the "death of the monthly comic" that seem to be picking up steam.