Non-payment updates: Devil’s Due, Dabels

It’s been no secret that even as comics have been enjoying better-than-those-around-them economic results in the Great Recession, a few companies have been late with creator payments. Bleeding Cool has been doing the best job of covering these stories, and interviews Devil’s Due head Josh Blaylock on what is a huge debt, blamed on the elephant in the room: bookstore returns.

We’re still dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars in book store returns that rocked us in late 2008 and into 2009, right in the middle of an already aggressive restructuring. This lasted for almost the entire year, and subsided only a few months ago. Now we’re dealing with debts incurred by the distributor from those returns that are still being passed down to us. To stabilize the business all of these debts had to be set aside, to be paid off over time, while we focus on expenses related to current titles. This will continue for approximately another year by my estimation. Were it not for the returns I believe we would have had a very solid year, but as it is for much of the rest of the world. We showed a loss for 2008 and will as well for 2009, which is the case for many companies right now. Payments will be made to termed-out debts either as publishing profits come in or when there is a cash influx of any other sort that would allow it.


Blaylock is pretty upfront abut the problems, to his credit.

Today, Rich digs into the Dabel Brothers’ ongoing problems paying creators and finds that Dynamite, which has just acquired the Dabel business, will go about trying to make things right:

. Dynamite has instigated a deal to all those owed money by the Dabels that either they will find a compromise payment that will settle all matters in full, or Dynamite will make a downpayment on the debt and commit to paying the full debt off over time. Considering that Dynamite had no legal necessity to pay a bean, and that the debt was solely down to the Dabels’ operations, this is one hell of a step up for the company.


We agree: That’s a very upfront move by Dynamite.

Comments

  1. I thought trade paperbacks differed from regular old paperback in that retailers couldn’t them. Is this not the case?

  2. The Beat says:

    Rick, I’m dying to know what your missing word is! Suspense!

  3. michael says:

    I hope this means good things in the future for these two companies and hope that they don’t have things end up the way the crazy Crossgen head ended things with lots of people.

  4. Oh geez, that’s what I get for commenting while watching the teevee. What I meant to ask was that I thought trade paperbacks were different than regular paperbacks in that retailers could not return trade paperbacks.

  5. The loss of the G.I. Joe license pretty much signaled the end for DDP. They were putting all of their eggs into that basket along with Hack/Slash, and this is where they’ve ended up. Hack/Slash was bound to get a push when the movie came out, but the “soon to be a motion picture from Rogue Pictures” banner was added to the books back in ’07, and there’s been no movement on said film.

    Knowing that G.I.Joe was their salvation, they even went after the license for The Corps, AKA “G.I.Joes for Poor Kids”, but nothing surfaced other than a #0 issue. It’s nice that Blaylock was straightforward but, like the creator said, that honesty isn’t paying his bills or putting food on his family’s table.

    Trades can definitely be returned by book market accounts, which is what happened here. These returns can be pretty sizeable in cases where book accounts order books to have onhand when a comic-inspired movie is about to hit, and then the movie release is bumped. Since book market distribution centers can’t sit on the books, they tend to get sent back and forth, racking up shipping and warehouse costs for the publisher.

  6. Way to go, Dynamite! Even if it’s just PR, I think it’s hella cool to do that. They also put out some good books too and are a nice alternative to the big two. Really, am I the only one who misses Highlander? The only consistent non-suck, non-TV stories. XD

  7. “What I meant to ask was that I thought trade paperbacks were different than regular paperbacks in that retailers could not return trade paperbacks.”

    My understanding is that trade paperbacks are returnable as far as regular bookstores go. The difference is that, with pocketbooks-style paperbacks, the retailers only need to tear off the front covers and return them to the distributor/publisher to claim credit (just like with magazines). On the other hand, trade paperbacks need to be returned in whole.

  8. mike crowell says:

    “Dynamite has instigated a deal to all those owed money by the Dabels that either they will find a compromise payment that will settle all matters in full, or Dynamite will make a downpayment on the debt and commit to paying the full debt off over time. Considering that Dynamite had no legal necessity to pay a bean, and that the debt was solely down to the Dabels’ operations, this is one hell of a step up for the company.”

    sorry to burst anyone’s bubble about dynamite’s awesomeness, but after talking with dynamite president nick barrucci, i’ve discovered that they have no intention of doing what is stated in the above-mentioned quote.
    despite the claim that they would “find a compromise payment that will settle all matters in full, or …make a downpayment on the debt and commit to paying the full debt off over time,” mr. barrucci informed me that they will only be handling debts incurred after the dabels parted company with marvel. in other words: 90% of the people owed money by the dabels will be left out in the cold. again.
    this was a nice publicity stunt by dynamite, but nothing more than that. the VAST number of people owed money by the dabel brothers will get NOTHING from this deal.
    kind regards,
    mike crowell
    inker and color editor of “the hedge knight”
    still owed $25,000+

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