I heard three times from three senior industry figures at New York Comic Con, and it seemed to be all abuzz in the late night bars. But while I am most definitely a rumour monger, I'm not an irresponsible one. Well, not always.
Thankfully, when I heard the rumour that Barnes & Noble were buying Diamond Comic Distributors, it did make a kind of sense. From the doldrums a few years ago, Diamond has boomed on the rising sales of comics in the direct market and, well, the rising sales of The Walking Dead in bookstores – for which its Diamond Book Distributors is the exclusive distributor. Comics sales are on the up when print book sales are on the down. And single owner Steve Geppi's financial state has often been considered… indeterminate.
But rather than spread that gossip any further, I was able to head to the show floor and, as the booths were being taken down, ask Diamond's Chris Powell, VP – Retailer Services. He was very sure "there are no discussions". Which could be seen as a weasel word, that there had been discussions in the past, or that it is happening now and no need to discuss it.
But maybe he was just being careful. I got the word back from Diamond VP – Sales and Marketing, Roger Fletcher who was more definite, saying "Not sure how this one got started. There is zero to it."
So there you go. Rumour stomped on.