Tom Spurgeon goes over George Khoury‘s history of the direct sales market, and disagrees on just what happened in the 90s.
While the other points are disagreements, this one is more of a strong objection. While there’s indeed plenty of blame to go around for the degree and nature of the industry’s slow period in the late ’90s and into the 2000s, to even suggest that somehow “everyone” was to blame is such even-handed for the sake of being even-handed nonsense it makes me suspect that Marvel and Ron Perelman were punked on more than DC and Image simply because they’re not around anymore to get upset about being singled out.
I have one question for Tom myself, in that he seems to use the term Marvel as synonymous with Ron Perelman-era Marvel. I don’t think think the Michael Z. Hobson era Marvel would have had much interest in owning Heroes World, Panini, Fleer , SkyBox Welsh, and Malibu; Perelman used the same junk bond mentality on Revlon, with equally disatrous results. While nearly everyone in comics was as dumb as a sack of rocks in the 90s, Perelman — still the 28th richest man in America — was a ringleader of bad business.