When A Comic Distributor Burned Twelve Hundred Graphic Novels Rather Than Send Them To Stores

A long time ago, I self-published a comic called The X-Flies Special. Featuring a couple of flies. Fox Fly and Scully Fly. You can probably guess where I was going with this. Twenty years later, Boom! published by Avengefuls series. There wasn't much between them.

Anyway, while it was listed perfectly fine in Previews, on Diamond's retailer order form it was listed as The X-Files Special. And the name of my publisher, Twist And Shout Comics, was directly beneath the X-Files comic publisher then, Topps.

You can guess what happened next. I got 30,000 preorders and that basically paid for my year. We filled the order, Diamond will have realised their mistake and… somewhere will have disposed of around 27,000 copies. Maybe next to all those ET Atari cartridges. Thankfully the first Image comics titles were coming out around then which should have covered the costs a bit.

jeffreyThere were lots of odd things going on around then. And Hart D Fischer talks about one of them to Bloody-Disgusting.com. Actually he talks about lots of things. But here's a good one to start.

When Capital City Distribution burned over 1,200 copies of Jeffrey Dahmer: An Unauthorized Biography of a Serial Killer instead of shipping them out to the retailers who paid for them… now that… that really stands out to me.

I mean… How the fuck do you deal with that?

My distributor paid me for a book then burned them? The WHOLE ORDER?!? I couldn't believe it when I got that phone call. I was just reeling. It truly stunned me… that… When the 2nd largest distributor of comics would rather destroy your books, without the permission of the retailers who ordered them. It's crazy. It's Anti-Business. How do you answer actions like that?

The shit the industry threw at me was mind boggling.

Then there was the time the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, after having me spend serious cash to fedex legal papers & the comic book to ALL of their board members, told me that they wouldn't handle my case because they couldn't get behind my politics…

My politics? What the fuck does that mean? My book as ANTI- SERIAL KILLER, what politics were they talking about? I was a publisher who needed help fighting a censorship suit, they told me to get lost after spending a couple hundred bucks of my $$$.

It wouldn't happen now. But that, partially, is because of the work of Hart D Fischer…

About 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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