AiT/Planet Lar, Oni Choose Diamond for Bookstore Distribution in Wake of LPC Collapse

Wed, August 28th, 2002 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Beau Yarbrough, Columnist

When LPC

Group filed for bankruptcy on April 2, independent comic companies lost

their top distributor for bookstore and other mainstream retail outlet


With the growing importance of the trade paperback segment of the comic

industry, as well as the desire on the part of many publishers to reclaim

market share outside of specialty shops, the bankruptcy was a serious blow,

and a near-crippling blow to companies like Drawn &


Friday and Monday, the dominant specialty shop distributor, Diamond

Comics Distributors, announced that two of the independent comic companies,

Oni Press and AiT/Planet Lar have entered into a contract that makes

Diamond their US exclusive distributor for bookstores and other mainstream

retail outlets.

Given that Diamond doesn't have a strong history in the bookstores,

although the company is now making a more aggressive push into that segment

of the market, the decisions by AiT/Planet Lar and Oni may have caused a

few to scratch their heads in confusion. Perhaps foreseeing such confusion,

AiT/Planet Lar publisher Mimi Rosenheim sent a letter to the creators the

company publishes this week and shared it with CBR News:

"Hello AiT/Planet Lar Creators!

"I wanted to update you on the mass market book distribution situation.

"AiT/Planet Lar has signed with Diamond Comics Distributors to be our

exclusive North American direct AND book market distributors. After LPC

went bankrupt, we had many, many distributor options. Both David Wilk and

Robert Boyd were very helpful in talking about the pros and cons of the

different options and we had very serious discussions with CDS (the vendor

that managed the operational side of the distribution for LPC that also is

a full-service distributor to the book trade). While CDS has signed big

comics companies like Marvel, Cross-Gen and TokyoPop, we felt that Diamond

presented a more powerful partnership opportunity.

"Diamond has signed many publishers for book market distribution

including Dark Horse and Top Shelf. Both we and Diamond are committed to

growing each other's businesses and understand that we need to work

together to do so. Diamond has hired a number of sales and marketing folks

with years of experience at book publishers as well as graphic novel buying

experience at some of the major US book store chains. Larry and I will be

meeting with the brand managers and sales force to discuss past sales with

buyers, upcoming books, and marketing strategy. Diamond is a smart, solid

business, with people who know and love comics. We're a smart publisher

with amazing creators who are putting out extremely creative work.

"Together, we'll all make comics better."

CBR News