Gladstone/Marvel cataclysm

Dwight Decker deckerd at
Fri Jan 20 19:02:00 CET 1995

All I know is what I read in CBG, but Hamilton did go on to say that
Gladstone had found ways to make up for the loss of the Marvel deal.
What he meant, I have no idea. My gut feeling is that losing Marvel's
distribution can't be good. Gladstone had real problems with its
newsstand distribution in the '80s because it was just a small
company with only a few titles, even if they were Disneys. There
were sizeable areas of the country where Gladstones weren't even
distributed (including, if I remember right, the New York City
metro area) because of Gladstone's headaches with the distributors.
Bundled together with Marvel, the theory was that Gladstones would
get the same penetration that Marvel did and would enjoy the
benefit of Marvel's marketplace clout, at the same time letting
Marvel worry about getting honest accounting and handling the
returns. Marvel's interest was having more titles for its kiddie
line, along with its own Disneys and things like Barbie. But if
Marvel has canceled the deal and it's just Gladstone and its
handful of bimonthly titles up against the godfathers and wiseguys
of newsstand distribution...yow. Get your comics at your local
comics shop, guys, 'cuz who knows where they'll show up in the
rest of the country.
	But as I said, I don't _know_ what's going on. I just read
CBG like the rest of you. All I can tell you is that I just got
paid a few days ago for that 39-page Italian Mickey Mouse "which-
way" story I translated for Gladstone, and a note on the check
said "D&M #32."  That's what...roughly eight months from now?
Anything can happen between now and then, of course, but it
seems to indicate to me that as of late last week, Gladstone
was still planning to publish at least four more issues of
Donald & Mickey. The note on the check didn't say "inventory"
or anything like that (which I have seen on checks I've gotten
from other companies for projects I've worked on that got
cancelled after I turned in the work).
	Well, I hate to speculate, since I do have dealings with the
company. I know just enough to get in trouble, and not enough to
be authoritative. I like David's idea that perhaps Gladstone could
hook up with Archie for newsstand distribution (after all, Archie's
got real-world penetration -- there seem to be Archie digests at
every supermarket checkout stand in the country), but even so, the
deal probably wouldn't be as good as the Marvel one was (would
Archie buy the print run outright and eat the returns?). All we
can do at this point is await further developments, I guess.

--Dwight Decker

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