UK graphic novel publisher Crawford Coutts of Insomnia Publications has issued the following statement;
I am writing to advise you that due to cash flow issues within the
business I recently formed the opinion that continuing to trade was no
longer viable. Sadly, the recession and credit crunch has resulted in
a reduced demand and lengthening lead times for orders. No matter how
much we adapted to the changes and challenges we faced, as a small
business this has been catastrophic. Regrettably therefore, I must
inform you that Insomnia Publications Ltd ceased to trade from 30th
May I take this opportunity to thank you for your support and
enthusiasm over the past four years. It has been a pleasure working
with so many fantastic creators.
I hereby release each of you from your contracts with immediate
effect. I would like to request that you please pass this message on
to your fellow Insomniacs to ensure all those with an Insomnia
Publications Ltd contract is aware in case I have missed anyone.
I wish you all the best for the future and hope that you can fulfill
your dreams in the comic industry.
Of course all your comic book creators pulling their books because they no longer have confidence in you as a publisher can't have helped, recession or no recession. But Crawford's statements about contracts will help a lot of people avoid expensive legal fees.
Bleeding Cool has reported a number of stories concerning the viability of Insomnia as a publisher over the last few months. It is sad that they couldn't turn it around, but in many ways it seems that they were the author of their own misfortune.
I undeerstand that Martin Conaghan, contributor to Bleeding Cool, and co-creator of the Burke & Hare graphic novel, sent Crawford a letter before action yesterday from his lawyer saying he was to sue Crawford Coutts for loss of earnings and that he was going for a court order at 4pm today, UK time. Martin tells me "the threat of court action undoubtedly prompted the response after almost a month of silence."
Titles such as Burke and Hare and Cancertown are still on the Insomnia Playstation Comics Channel however.