Earlier this week, Bleeding Cool ran a piece on the Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer: Artist’s Edition
As well as the attractiveness and quality of the work, reproducing as much as possible Dave Steven’s original art boards from The Rocketeer in a new oversized format – and the possiblility of more Artist’s Edition work to come, the project was controversial for another reason. That it would only be sold direct to customers, bypassing Diamond Comic Distributors and comic stores completely. This is likely due to a combination of profit margins on the book, as the direct market generally takes 60% of the cover price and concerns about shipping – these will be expected to be in pristine condition.
The last time a work of this magnitude skipped the direct market to such an extent was the Cerebus trade paperback, High Society, which caused market-wide friction and saw Diamond drop the Michael Zulli title Puma Blues in retaliation.
Everntually Diamond relented, and even more eventually Dave Sim made the volume available through retailers, but it was one of those key moments in the battle between creator and industry that entrenched Dave Sim’s views on the matter. And probably Diamond’s as well.
However as a result of some urgent discussion and negotiation, between prominent retailers, publisher IDW and Diamond, I understand that the book will now be rush-solicited through Diamond in the next few days.
It will be offered at a lower-than-normal discount, but it will be available internationally; this means that stores will be able to stock the book and that customers can get it through comic shops without having to go elsewhere.
Like San Diego.