This evening I got a note from my bank informing me of a new direct debit being set up in my name for Diamond Publishing Ltf. I had no knowledge of such a thing, so I rang up. Turns out it was just the transfer of my existing direct debit from Dennis Publishing to Diamond Publishing for my subscription to Viz Comic. Because Diamond Publishing is the new publisher of Viz Comic.
Two things, Viz Comic has nothing to do with manga publisher Viz Media. Viz Comic is the best selling comic book in Britain, a scabrous, scatological, satirical take on British society that has been running for coming up to forty-five years. And Diamond Publishing is the consumer magazine sub-brand of Metropolis International, publishing titles such as Record Collector and Best Of British, and has nothing to do with Diamond Comic Distributors.
Originally self-published by its creators, it was picked up by Virgin in the eighties, only for Viz employee John Brown to poach the comic for his own company John Brown Publishing and saw sales soar to seven figures. In 2001, Viz was acquired as part of a £6.4 million deal by I Feel Good (IFG), a company belonging to ex-Loaded editor James Brown. In 2003, it changed hands again when IFG were bought out by Dennis Publishing. In July 2018, Dennis Publishing was bought by Exponent, a British private equity firm, but remained published by them. Viz and several Dennis Publishing titles including Cyclist, Expert Reviews, and Fortean Times were retained by Exponent when the company and most of its titles were sold to competitor Future plc in 2021, operating as Viz Holdings Ltd, part of Broadleaf Group. And now Metropolis International has acquired several titles from Broadleaf Group in including Viz. And today it was made official that Diamond Publishing is the new publisher of Viz Comic.
Here's a preview of the new Viz Comic #314, out this month.