Devil’s Due Leaves Diamond. Industry Shudders.

Bleeding Cool has run a number of articles about publisher Devil’s Due’s woes. How the publisher became victim to increasing number of bookstore returns. How it began to owe Diamond Book Distributors more than it was receiving and how Diamond Comics Distributors began to recover that debt throught comics revenue. And how Devil’s Due found itself unable to pay bills as a result, running on the good will of its contributors. Until they began to sue.

Today, what Diamond were fearing has happened. Devil’s Due Publishing has pulled its distribution of comics and graphic novels from Diamond Comic and Diamond Book Distributors. Naturally Devil’s Due have other distribution models planned, and it’s not as if there is no precendent – when there were legal rumblings over the Reanimator Hack/Slash crossover, the company distributed them outside of Diamond.

But the company now has full time distribution plans outside of Diamond, including challenger Haven distributors. And Diamond now have a low six figure debt with no revenue coming in to service it. Though on Devil’s Due side, it seems that Diamond have lost a fifth of Devil’s Due stock for last year. There are a lot of people who are not going to be happy with any of this.

Will Diamond sell the Devil’s Due stock, even if Devil’s Due order them not to? Will they take it in lieu of debt? Can Diamond absorb losing that debt so easily? How will their deals with other companies be affected, if they fear that another publisher couild do the same? Will any other publishers follow suit? The tremors are already being felt. And reaction has been a mix of people calling Devil’s Due irresponsible and foolish, damaging everybody, to others being, well, envious.

Diamond did not choose to comment at this time. Not to the press, I mean. You can bet they’re doing an awful lot of commenting internally.

This is, as they say, developing…