Cliff Biggers & Ward Batty Sell CSN To David Witting & Brad Gile

Comic book store owners Cliff Biggers and Ward Batty have sold Comic Shop News, or CSN, the weekly print newsletter covering comics as sold in comic shops, and distributed across the direct market by Diamond Comic Distributors for decades. It is the longest-running and highest-numbered comic book-related print publication, since 1987. And it plans to still go strong.

On Facebook, Cliff Biggers writes "As many of you have deduced from my earlier vaguebook post, Comic Shop News has been sold. I am proud of what Ward and I have done with CSN, and I am happy that it will continue under its new owners/editors/publishers. I am remarkably lucky to have spent 35 1/2 years writing something I loved and talking about comics, and I so much appreciate the support from my friends, the customers at my store, and the many stores across the nation and around the world that have carried CSN. For those stores, there will be no difference–CSN will continue each week as always, without a break! While the deadlines have been unrelenting (I missed one issue–the week I had my heart attack and heart surgery), I have not resented them. But now I have reached the point where I want to put my time into other things–including just spending time doing things with Karen–and this opportunity makes it possible to do just that."

Ward Batty is quoted as saying "Comic Shop News has been sold and will continue. We have two more issues and the new owners take over with 1847. They have big plans and I'm excited to see what they do with it. They will get to publish the 2,000th issue and the 40th annish is only 4 years away. The new guys, David Witting and Brad Gile are very enthusiastic and have exciting plans. Dave Witting started his career in television animation, having worked for Fox, DreamWorks, and most notably, working on the first three seasons of Disney's "Gargoyles" series. Dave then switched to producing video games for Hasbro before fully transitioning into the tech world, having most recently built and run Rocket / DEPT, a digital agency that builds software for clients like HBO, FX, and the X Games. Brad Gile taught high school English for thirteen years before opening Stairway to Heaven Comics in Exeter, NH in 2013. Located in Newington, NH for the last seven years, Stairway to Heaven is fortunate to have continued growth with regard to space, clientele, and inventory. David had just closed out the deal to sell Rocket / DEPT, and was pondering his future when the issue with the story that Cliff and I were looking to sell CSN arrived. He has been reading CSN since he was a teenager. This all feels very right and that there was some kismet involved."

Cliff Biggers confirms "Our last issue, 1846, should be in comic shops at the end of the year. David & Brad's first issue follows a week later." And if you want to go back to 1987 to see where it all began, the very first issue can be found here…


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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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