Epitaph Records To Distribute Comics Nationwide

Ryan King writes for Bleeding Cool from WonderCon. Even though it’s finished, this piece of news doesn’t seem to have made it out much…

UPDATE: Steve Niles clarifies this report here.

At Sunday’s WonderCon panel “Spotlight on Steve Niles,” the famous horror writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre, Mystery Society) made an announcement that he will be partnering with Epitaph Records to distribute comics.

“We are partnering with Epitaph Records who is run by Brett Gurewitz from Bad Religion,” Niles said. “We’re talking about distributing comic books and it looks like it’s going to happen.”

Like any dedicated punk rocker, my ears immediately perked up at this announcement. Epitaph Records is a California based independent record label that features an eclectic roster of vintage and contemporary musicians (Social Distortion, Weezer, Pennywise, Rancid, Dropkick Murphys). Since my teenage years, Epitaph Records has remained a keystone in my record collection and has introduced me to some of my favorite musical artists (Street Dogs, Tiger Army, Slackers, Hepcat) and now it sounds like they intend to work with the comic medium. Perfect.

Niles continued with the announcement: “We’re going to form a partnership because I have been living in fear for… how many years? I don’t know if you know, but comic books only have one distributor—Diamond. And if they go under?”

Little was said about the specifics of how Epitaph Records plans to begin comic distribution. Niles remained incredibly positive and excited about working with Epitaph and making comics for them.

“These guys saw the potential and that’s really what it’s about,” Niles said. “When I see the shrinking number of comic sales I just see potential. People just don’t know comics are out there—how to find them. I grew up with spinner racks. You literally couldn’t avoid comics.”

From my standpoint as an audience member, I got the impression Niles and the Epitaph team has explored the potential in the current industry and from Niles’ vague wanderings, Epitaphs’ musings in the world of comics started as early as the middle of last year.

“I am really excited about this,” Niles said. “Because what this means is we are finely going to get the chance to at least see. We are going to get a chance to get comics in front of the age group that 52-DC was trying to get. They decided they would shoot for what, 18-20? And they hit 35 year old male.”

Well, Niles and Epitaph Records certainly grabbed my attention (but they held my interest long before this big announcement). Well readers, what about you? Do they have your attention?

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