More more Gemstone thoughts

Daniel van Eijmeren dve at
Tue Nov 21 15:53:03 CET 2006

Rodney, 20-11-2006:
> Of course they're making commercial products, but Daniel, do you
> REALLY think that there is much money to be made in publishing
> magazines with a circulation of 6000 a month with enormous licensing
> fees?  Yes, it's a commercial product, and yes, they want to make
> money from it, but really their money could be invested in a much
> better way.
Then why don't they just invest their money in a better way? Now readers can't
complain without being reminded of charity. The Gemstone people make
commericial products but we should be thankful that they are making these
products, even though their products are expensive and contain material that a
lot of people already have. That makes Gemstone invincible. When they do
something good, readers should be happy that they're great. And when they do
something bad, readers should be happy that they're doing something anyway.
People should be happy. Happy or not. How to get out of this?

If business for American Disney comics is so bad nowadays, that it needs
philanthropists, cheap fillers (reprints), and overpaying custumers to keep the
products appearing, then it would be all the more a reason to be critical about
these comics and their contents. If business is so fragile, then it's clumsy to
put reprints in an all-new comic. Such a formula (or lack thereof) raises
complaints. What are the Gemstone people thinking? That they can educate an
audience into their taste and policy?
A lot of complainers will be wiser than me and just desert the comics. And I
don't know why I'm even trying to get my complaints across. Years ago, in the
late 1990s, people were having a party here because American Disney comics were
back. Rather soon thereafter, there were already complaints about their
reprints-policy. What have the Gemstone people done with this? They just keep on
doing it, ignoring complaints. The fact that Gerstein writes "I think we're
doing pretty well!" (15-11-2006) shows to me that he must have shells on his
eyes. His statistics of reprints he listed surprised me, because I didn't know
that Gemstone has become that bad.

Maybe the majority of the readers will love this situation, but what is a
majority? A  majority is any number above 50%. A company should try to get as
much customers as possible, especially if they're in an emergency situation. A
majority of readers is not enough. And there are also many non-readers
(potential customers) outside which are not counted.

Other complaints about Gemstone are that, why they do publish a long new story,
they publish it in multi-parts. Particularly new Don Rosa-stories have been
divided over three months, in three issues, with about 8 pages each episode. In
Europe, three issues would have taken only three weeks. And even three weeks
takes a lot of time.
It's obvious that Gemstone is trying to get as much as possible out of new
Rosa's, so much that the joy of reading new stories is destroyed. In short,
Gemstone gives the choice to wait for
- an old Rosa that you've already read
- a new Rosa that you can't read because it takes an eternity (and a fortune) to
receive and read the individual parts.

I'm too much of a comic book lover to keep on looking at this. American Disney
comics are back, but the editors don't try to get the best out of it. It would
need creativity to make each comic interesting. Recycling Barks is cheap. As if
Barks has to do the real work once again, even though he's dead.
Even Gemstone's choice of European comics leaves a lot to be desired. European
comics are rapidly getting worser and worser, but Gemstone peope seem to have a
talent to pick out the worst of the worst of the worst. And what they use gets
frauded because an editor (Gerstein?) changes the translation into some
"canonical" reference to whatever other story, frauding history. Even Barks got
frauded into the elusive Gemstone vision, with Leach writing some weird campfire
story to fraud Barks's classic(!) 'The Magic Hourglass'. (Doesn't artist Van
Horn have any pride?)

And the collector gets frustrated anyhow, because Barks stories (and who knows
what else) are being retouched without notice. This already happened with a
collector's(!!) edition like The Carl Barks Library. And we collectors shouldn't
complain. Reading the CBL, one can only guess if they're looking at original
Barks or some frauded version. Is that a policy to take an audience serious? I
felt terribly cheated when I bought the CBL. It's a terrible collection, only
useful for people who don't care about Barks.

>  They chose to do it this way because they LIKE Disney
> comics and because they are/were in a position to keep these
> publications in print.  Believe it or not, there are many people who
> do things with little/no chance of making a substantial product, and
> they do it simply because they know that people enjoy it.
No, I don't believe they do it simply because they know that people enjoy it. It
sounds too much like a fairy tale to me. It turns a commercial product into
Editors are not the easiest people.

> David was on the DCML long before he was a Gemstone employee.  Gary
> Leach was subscribed to this digest when there were no Disney comics
> published in America.  They are here ultimately because they LIKE
> Disney comics.  I've met David and his excitement over this medium
> far exceeds whatever publication his employer is releasing that
> month.  They rarely mention their products unless someone actually
> asks them a question directly, and yet, you act like their sole
> purpose in being here is simply to advertise their work.  It's really
> unfair.
When Gary Leach and David Gerstein are writing as Gemstone employees, they are
writing in function, in the name of their company. David wrote in plural form
when saying ""I think we're doing pretty well!" By saying "we", David makes
clear he's writing in function, as employee of Gemstone.

I have met David several times as a friend, as I saw it. David has visited me at
my home, here in The Netherlands. To me that is David as a friend.
Do you see the difference? Or am I mistaken and is David of Gemstone (at work)
just the same fellow as David as a friend (in his spare time), according to you?

Deanmary, 20-11-2006:
> I in no way said or implied that Bruce Hamilton, Steve Geppi, Gary Leach, or
> David Gerstein are saints.  I *will* say explicitly that I am thankful for all
> of them and appreciate what they have done, are doing, and will do.
I see it as the other way around: The Gemstone people should be thankful to
their customers, because these customers keep them in business. We're paying for
Leach's and Gerstein's food.

Thankful is a word I'd reserve for matters like health and life. I'm thankful to
be alive, for example. But I am in no way thankful for commercial people, or
their products. These products are being paid for.

> I greatly appreciate the fact that David and Gary both have contributed to
> this
> list.  I think the fact that they do so is wonderful.  I don't know many other
> companies or businesses that I deal with where people at the company will
> participate so openly or honestly.  They don't even have to be *members* of
> this
> ML, let alone contribute to it!
Indeed it's great that Leach and Gerstein contribute to DCML. But if that would
mean that we just have to praise them and censor ourselves in our complaints, it
would destroy the whole picture of them being open and helpful.
I think that Leach and Gerstein are professional enough to know that they are
not just friends when writing as Gemstone employees. We pay for their work. We
are not just their friends here, but customers.


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