Jeff Mason of comics publisher, Alternative Comics, has released a public letter asking readers to help his company. The letter urges readers to buy Alternative Comics books now to help the company get through temporary financial issues.
Read on for the full letter.
Please buy our books from your local comic book
store to help Alternative Comics survive!
Dear Comics Fans:
I’m Jeff Mason making a direct appeal to you, our
faithful readers, in a time of serious financial
difficulty. If you could find a way to buy some
of our books listed below, you would greatly help
in our time of financial crisis. Please check off
the books you want below and then buy these books
from your favorite retailer. You can also use the
checklist in the back of your copy of Alternative
Comics #2 that was given out by your local comic
book store on Free Comic Book Day. If your retailer
does not stock our comics and books, they can use
this form below as a way to order our in-stock titles
form any of our distributors.
Alternative Comics is suffering some very dire cash
flow problems and I am turning to you for help. In
the spring of 2002 our book trade distributor, LPC,
filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy owing Alternative Comics
a lot of money. I had hoped that I could weather
the storm by taking money from my savings and by
borrowing on credit until receiving the agreed-upon
42% of what LPC owed us. Now over two years later,
LPC is still in bankruptcy proceedings and I am
completely out of savings and credit.
In the past (prior to LPC) I had ample working capital –
I had great credit terms with my various printers. Now
(post LPC) I have absolutely no working capital and must
pay up front to print every book.
For each publication, I now wait for all of the retailer
advance orders to come in to Diamond, then I contract
Diamond to assign the payment they’d pay to me to my
printer to print the book. This contractual agreement
costs money and cuts into our razor thin margin.
Lack of cash on hand has also caused me to have to shrink
print runs on some books. This increases the cost per
unit of each book, and speeds the looming reprint costs.
I’ve been increasing my publishing schedule over the last
two years, and in hindsight, I expanded too quickly.
Alternative Comics is moving forward with a much more
reasonable, much more foresighted publishing schedule,
with some really amazing projects in the works!
Alternative Comics’ cash flow problems have been the
only reason for not yet reprinting Bipolar #1 and Humor
Can Be Funny as well as having been the only reason a
number of books have been arriving late or re-solicited.
I am asking you to please buy Alternative Comics books
from your local retailers. In my fanciful imagination,
the best result would be for retailers to quickly sell
out of all Alternative Comics books in inventory to
customers and hurriedly place nice reorders with
Alternative Comics has no staff other than myself, so I
am unable to handle orders directly. I ask that readers
buy from your local comic book retailers, and retailers
to buy from your favorite distributors.
The single most important variable for our publishing
efforts is the number of comics or books advance ordered
by retailers. Retailers decide their advance orders of
books based on what you, the reader, let them know you
want to buy.
If you can find it in your hearts to help Alternative Comics,
I will be eternally grateful.
Publisher – Alternative Comics