Gemstone Cancellations

ZeldasTriforce at ZeldasTriforce at
Wed Oct 25 09:11:08 CEST 2006

I feel about as happy as Donald Duck in a knitting circle, read on....

To be run in the November-shipped issues of Gemstone comics:

You’ve stuck with us through several years of good news, readers—news about 
exciting stories, modern and classic writers and artists, comics and specials 
we’ve been bringing to market. Unfortunately, now we’ve got some bad news to 
deliver. We’re hoping you’ll stick with us through this, too.

It all starts—like a lot of bad news—with the almighty dollar. Paper prices 
are going up... in fact, they’ve been going up for awhile. Until now we’ve 
dealt with the fallout as best we could, but at last it’s "put up or shut up" 
time: we must either take an unfeasible price hike on our $2.95 32-page comics 
and $7.95 Take-Along books, or else cease publishing Mickey Mouse and Friends, 
Donald Duck and Friends, Mickey Mouse Adventures and Donald Duck Adventures 
for right now.

After serious cogitating, we’ve decided to take the latter option. Should 
paper prices fall, or better marketing opportunities present themselves, we might 
return to some of the suspended series. In the meantime, though, be of good 
cheer. For we have good news, too.

Firstly, our prestige titles—Uncle Scrooge, Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories
, and various specials—are as successful as ever, and the economics of 
publishing in this format are such that we can get away with a relatively small price 
hike: the first since 1997, and only a matter of fifty-five cents per book 
(from $6.95 to $7.50, starting in two months).

Secondly, we're moving full steam ahead with plans to make our Walt Disney 
Treasures TPBs an ongoing series; to introduce two new 80-page annuals; and to 
release several thick-but-inexpensive Shonen Jump-style black and white books 
per year—some specially targeted to collectors, others to all ages. Bringing t
hese onto the schedule means that we’ll actually be publishing more Donald and 
Mickey in 2007 than we did in 2006!

Watch for news about our new titles in the coming months. And look forward to 
the future; we do, even when—as Carl Barks once put it—"Times are tough, 
huh, bud?"

- The Gemstone Staff

I think I could curse enough to make Scrooge in his Klondike days look like a 
nun, but I'll refrain. @#^Q!%!$%!

This isn't nearly as bad as the dark days of 1999-2003, but it is unsettling 
to say the least. It's a struggle to type coherent sentences.  *insert 
ineffable cry here*

Let's pray for a collapse in paper prices. Because if the last three years 
are any indication, marketing opportunities will appear only by Herculean 
effort, luck, and/or a miracle. And even then, it would be doubtful.

How high would the prices of the $2.95 and $7.95 books have gone if they had 
continued? Unless it was to be more than say $3.50 and $8.95 respectively, I 
say keep going! We're already paying top dollar (except the 32 pagers, they 
were priced in line with other companies' comics), another dollar wouldn't kill 
me surely.

Argh!!! I mean, yes, there is good news! Treasures will be a regular series. 
Hurray! :) And a couple of new 80-page annuals  will be released (I guess 
they'll be at least $8.95, but hey, no more DDA/MMA so money's freed up there. :p 
)  And there will be several black-and-white collections forthcoming (though I 
wonder what the paper quality on those will be).

So there'll be more Disney comics in the future than there were before. Great 
news, just delivered in a slightly depression-inducing way.

So I know I'm overreacting, but when you've bought every single solid, 
Gemstone Disney comic ever produced and you find out that some of your favorite 
titles have been cancelled, it's just awful. That because some American or 
Canadian or whatever, deforestor thinks their wood/paper is worth 50% or whatever 
more than it was last year, thus contributing to cancellation.

This reminds me of the Gladstone days, where first they went to cheaper 
covers, then to canceling all but two titles, then even those two. While the 
Gemstone situation is more akin to taking away, but giving back as well, it's still 
a bit unsettling.

I have an idea. As a way to raise money for Gemstone, maybe they should 
publish some ultra-rare, variant, CGC-graded editions of Disney comics. Something 
that'd go for like $5,000-$10,000 each. Those buyers are the discerning-type. 
But make sure it's a 9.8 and not 9.6. A 9.6 would result in at least a 95% drop 
in value. :p

Anyway, to wrap this email up, thanks to the Gemstone staff for all they've 
done and will continue to do. I'll still keep buying everything that comes out. 
But it's still a sad day as far as I'm concerned.

Derek Smith
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