Buzzscope has an article on the comic publisher Speakeasy Comics and the effects on Diamond’s stricter policies. Speakeasy publishes the print version of webcomic Butternutsquash, the first issue is to hit the shelves on December 28.
Speakeasy’s business model is similar to that of Image’s of offering to be the middleman dealing with printers and Diamond, but unlike Image with financial responsibility resting on the creators if the comics fail to break even. Interesting to note is that Speakeasy is looking at the web as an alternative for comics that don’t sell enough copies.
The independent comic books are just not selling well right now (look at many peoplesâ€™ sales),â€ Fortier conceded. â€œPrinters are changing their policies, Diamond is changing their policies; it means we have to think outside the box and offer alternatives.â€
The primary alternative, the option to publish canceled issues electronically, in their entirety, via Speakeasyâ€™s web site, raises other questions, though, not the least of which is the status of creatorsâ€™ contracts with Speakeasy should they opt for another solution, perhaps self-publishing or moving to another publisher.
â€œIf we are looking at publishing the book online,â€ Fortier explained, â€œwe agree to waive our publishing fee for that issue. Should a creator choose to take their book elsewhere, we would have to discuss the canceling of the contract, and I can’t really get into specifics of what that would entail to each creator.â€