Trouble Ahead #3: Platinum

We’ve had some fun at the expense of DJ Coffman over the years, but he has always been a good sport about it, so it give us no gloating thrill to report that Coffman, who has been the biggest supporter of Platinum Entertainment over the years, now sadly announces that he has suspended HERO BY NIGHT because of ‘financial issues,” apparently non-payment:

It makes me very sad and depressed to report this news, but I want to be as transparent with the fans and supporters of Hero By Night as possible here. The ongoing print series has been suspended BY ME due to financial issues at our publisher. I couldn’t keep this on my schedule, because frankly it’s gotten to the point where I need to make hard decisions to be sure my time is spent on projects that pay me on time and have some security to them. Up until this point, Platinum has been rock solid and something I could bank on contractually and I enjoyed that security. While the plan had always been to stay on schedule through Issue 7 (a Christmas issue), and the book hadn’t been officially canceled by Platinum Studios, I couldn’t in good faith keep going when behind the scenes I knew that there would be books solicited that would not be coming out on time– our issue 4 wouldn’t be coming out because Jason had to make the hard decision to stop coloring Hero By Night for the same reasons, so my book was sitting uncolored and i knew we’d be missing the print deadline dates. 

Coffman goes on to reiterate that Platinum has always been great to him, and how this has slowed up many of his other plans, so we can definitely sympathize. Colorist Jason Embury has also stopped work on the book, and Coffman is negotiating to get the publishing rights back.

Do you see a pattern emerging here at all?

Comments

  1. Eric Reynolds says:

    I hear Tokyopop is hiring.

  2. “…see a pattern emerging here at all?”

    Hell yeah, and it looks just like the one from the ’80′s. This is the benefit of being in comics for 20+ years: you get to see the same thing over and over again.

  3. The Laughing Man says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!!!!!!!

  4. Benefit or curse, Lea?

    I’m just glad that extricating myself from Speakeasy was as simple as a call to the then-head of the company. Bad enough as it was without having to make anything more complicated.

  5. Oh, benefit all the way.
    The beauty of being an old hater fart is that I am one because I STAYED IN COMICS.
    I do love that.

  6. @ Laughing Man, your eloquence leaves me speechless. I have nothing to say that could possibly top that.

  7. It will be interesting to see if he gets the rights back.

    I’d not have expected a public announcement like this from a party who is in negotiations for something as sticky as that. It’s a testament to DJ’s transparency that he is willing to risk irritating the party he’s in negotiations with in order to tell the blogosphere about his problems. Most professionals keep mum when they’re in the process of negotiating something, especially if the circumstances are less than pleasant, until those negotiations are complete. I sincerely hope that that works out for him. It would be nice to see a happy ending to this story. It really would.

  8. I agree with Joey. I have had my disagreements with DJ, but I hope, sincerely, that it works out okay for him.

  9. This industry has had a great run, but something had to give. When it bleeds red at Quebecor, sooner or later it will hit the publishers and the talent will be the ones to suffer. The housing crisis affects everybody. These publishers have houses and debts like everybody. Having had the pleasure of touring Quebecor a few years ago, I could easily see the fall of the Roman Empire of the comic book printers. Everybody is going to suffer.

    As Quebecor cleans itself and starts to auction parts of the printing empire, the little guys will suffer as reported in the above report. I am not surprised. Thank god for Hollywood to rescue the industry, Marvel put their claws into the receipts of Iron-Man. Full control is the way to go.

    I had to sign all kinds of paper work to just print a small run of 5000 comics. Quebecor lost the papers time after time. To make a long story short, I offered them cash, cold hard cash. They did not want it. There was so much paper work for nothing. I hope they get their act together. I’ll make you a bet, either DC or Marvel might buy them out and just print the comics themselves. Let’s hope for the best.

    It’s always the the small guy that suffers.

  10. James Patrick says:

    Joey,

    DJ felt fans of the book and online comic deserved and explanation as to why it wouldn’t be there anymore Especially since the online comic had been getting over 100,000 hits a day since FCBD. He didn’t want all those people to one day have a comic and then the next day not to and there be no explanation.

  11. James Patrick says:

    Joey,

    DJ felt fans of the book and online comic deserved and explanation as to why it wouldn’t be there anymore Especially since the online comic had been getting over 100,000 hits a day since FCBD. He didn’t want all those people to one day have a comic and then the next day not to and there be no explanation.

  12. Hi James!

    Don’t get me wrong. I think DJ’s transparency is commendable. I hope it doesn’t get in the way of his negotiations.

  13. It’s good that Platinum is willing to negotiate the rights back. I hope it works out!

  14. DJ seems like a real good guy. That is all.

  15. You do wonder what this means for the rest of the company as well as everyone else who will no doubt be trying to get their properties back.

    Hopefully they can somehow finish the minis already in the pipeline and then go ahead call it a day I guess.

    And they thought that going solo from Top Cow was the right idea? Notice how almost every company that eventually decides to walk away from Image just never does quite as well cause they get tossed to the back of the Previews catalog.

  16. Rick Rottman says:

    Isn’t this *exactly* what people said would happen?

  17. Best wishes for DJ: I hope his new project for the FloBots works out and that he is successful in getting the rights back on Hero By Night. It would be yet another sad statement about Platinum if DJ’s comments on the situation derails his regaining control of HBN. I would be curious if the staff and management of Platinum are not getting paid (or reduced pays) or, as usually, is it just the creators bearing the brunt.

    Didn’t Platinum just go “public,” and shouldn’t they have a fresh infusion of money from the stock sales? I wonder how all that works? I would have to speculate they must have had some huge debts that need to be covered first.

    I believe that Platinum is also the owner of the Drunk Duck webcomic hosting site. It will be a real blow if all the site’s
    web creators have to find a new hosting site should Drunk Duck go down as well.

  18. 100,000 hits a day sounds pretty huge. In fact, the traffic measuring site quantcast.com reports Drunk Duck’s traffic at only 26,600 unique visitors per month.

    Best of luck to DJ Coffman. This has got to be incredibly frustrating.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] [Publishing] More from last weekend’s BookExpo America in Los Angeles: Publishers Weekly’s Jim Milliot confirms that the turnout was down from the previous year; Boris Kachka caught up with Art Spiegelman, who’s reading more manga these days; and Heidi MacDonald heard awful rumors about Tokyopop, but she isn’t going to tell you. (MacDonald also has the latest gossip on DramaQueen and Platinum Studios, in case you’re interested.) [...]

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