Future of US Disney Comics in JeopardyPosted on February 19th 2009 in Publishers, United States
Bad news from Gemstone Publishing, the publisher of Disney comics in the United States and the only publisher in the world that still publishes English-language Disney comics that are easily available. The economic recession has hit the Baltimore-based publisher hard as it is being sued for unpaid bills. Creditors Trade Association is suing Gemstone, Diamond and owner Steve Geppi for $373,000 on behalf of Global Interprint, which is the print broker for many of Gemstone’s deluxe editions such as the EC Archives. Gemstone owes the large sum for printing bills that were run up between December 2007 and September 2008.
This is bad news for Disney comic fans in the United States who rely on Gemstone’s Uncle Scrooge and Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories for English reprints of new European Disney comics material as well as reprints of classic stories by such artists as Don Rosa and Carl Barks. Gemstone had just recently announced a new Carl Barks collection as well as a Don Rosa collection that had excited fans around the world. Let’s hope that Gemstone and Steve Geppi will be able to overcome these bad times and that Disney comics will continue to live on in their native country.
Disney comics have a rich history in the United States. By the mid-1950s Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories was the best selling comic book, with a monthly circulation of over three million. Gemstone Publishing picked up the Disney license in June 2003 from Gladstone Publishing after an absence of Disney comics in the United States of 4 years.
Steve Geppi is the President and CEO of Diamond Comics Distributors, Gemstone Publishing and Geppi’s Entertainment Museum in Baltimore. Diamond is the largest comic book distributor serving North America.
I think it’s sad that Gemstone is having financial problems. I’m sure going to miss Disney Comics when they go out of business.
How do comics like Sonic the Hedgehog survive and even flourish, while Disney Comics flounder? Is it marketing? Restrictive licenses?
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