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  1. #1
    Gotham Guardian Captain Jim's Avatar
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    Default Regarding Gemstone's cancellation of four titles

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Johnston
    Gemstone have cancelled four of their ongoing Disney comics titles, and have let all their freelancers go "until things get better." A number are still owed thousands of dollars, and there has been uncertainty as to when they will be paid. Maybe February, "but we can't promise."
    The above quote comes from this week's "Lying in the Gutters." On the one hand, the cancellation is not exactly "news", as we had a discussion of this matter some time ago in a thread on this forum (inexplicably locked). What is news (at least to me) is the bit about letting freelancers go, persons who are allegedly owed thousands of dollars. Okay, I admit it; I'm confused. Gemstone has freelancers? I thought all their stuff was reprints from European material? Can anyone shed some light here?
    Jim Zimmerman
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  2. #2
    The Stargate Sorcerer Hintermann's Avatar
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    Don Rosa has been 'freelance' for many years. Although he initially moved from Disney to Egmont in the early 1990s, at some stage he finished his contract with them and has been a free agent since then. I think he does stories for publishers like Egmont, Piscou and even Gemstone on a story-by-story agreement. I have a feeling that William van Horn and some others might be in a similar position.

  3. #3
    Gotham Guardian Captain Jim's Avatar
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    But haven't all of those Rosa and Van Horn stories appeared previously in the European market? And Rosa told me once (though admittedly this was years ago) that he got nothing extra for a story when it was reprinted in the US.
    Jim Zimmerman
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  4. #4
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    I bought their stuff from time to time, but they were just way too expensive for a corporate kiddy comic type. They should be the same price as the Archies. The quality is the same. So I'm not surprised that they're in trouble.

  5. #5
    The Stargate Sorcerer Hintermann's Avatar
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    Has Gemstone's high cost something to do with the fact that they have to 'buy' the stories off their Euro counterparts after initial publication and then sell to their own English speaking subscribers in such a way as to make a profit? That might explain things a bit. They would not delibrately shoot themselves in the foot, would they?

  6. #6
    Gotham Guardian Captain Jim's Avatar
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    I was always under the impression that they got the rights to those stories as part of their Disney license (which I always understood was pretty expensive). I could be wrong on that account though.

    I think the profit question is more a problem of sales not being great enough to generate a profit given the licensing cost.

    Btw, the prices really aren't that outlandish. Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse were each 2.95, the same price as most other US comics. Uncle Scrooge and WDC&S are thick books. Do the math and you'll find the per page cost is less than the others.

    You can gripe about the prices, but back in the day when Gladstone had the license, they tried every kind of format conceivable (including removing the glossy covers and printing the whole thing--covers included--on newsprint). The only format that was consistently profitable for them was the "prestige" format.

    And Gladstone could *never* get a Micky Mouse book to be profitable.
    Jim Zimmerman
    Co-moderator, CBR Batman Forum

  7. #7
    The Stargate Sorcerer Hintermann's Avatar
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    =Captain Jim;4076503Btw, the prices really aren't that outlandish. Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse were each 2.95, the same price as most other US comics. Uncle Scrooge and WDC&S are thick books. Do the math and you'll find the per page cost is less than the others.
    I always thought so. $7.50 would convert to 4 in the UK and most monthly magazines cost more here.

    You can gripe about the prices, but back in the day when Gladstone had the license, they tried every kind of format conceivable (including removing the glossy covers and printing the whole thing--covers included--on newsprint). The only format that was consistently profitable for them was the "prestige" format.
    True again. Most collectors like me like the prestige format despite the price. When Gladstone shut shop, I recall there were several messages on some boards saying that they would pay $10 an issue if only English comics returned to the market. Now that they have come back, the price gripe has started again. Considering that $6.95 was first begun in 1997, it is not a bad hike to go up by 55 cents.

    And Gladstone could *never* get a Micky Mouse book to be profitable.
    That is almost entirely their fault. They assumed that Floyd Gottfriedson's Mickey Mouse would attract the same following in modern times as did Carl Barks' Donald Duck et al. Nothing is further from the truth. Despite a small hardcore fan club, FG's Mickey is very very dated. They were considered dated back in the 60s when I was a kid and the 'new format' Mickey of Paul Murry and Jack Bradbury was more popular.
    And of course, Donald Duck & Uncle $crooge got Don Rosa in the 80s. There is no one even remotely close for Mickey Mouse.

  8. #8
    Gotham Guardian Captain Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hintermann View Post
    That is almost entirely their fault. They assumed that Floyd Gottfriedson's Mickey Mouse would attract the same following in modern times as did Carl Barks' Donald Duck et al. Nothing is further from the truth. Despite a small hardcore fan club, FG's Mickey is very very dated.
    I guess I'm one of that small harcore fan club. I love Gottfriedson's Mouse, especially the early stuff. :)

    They were considered dated back in the 60s when I was a kid and the 'new format' Mickey of Paul Murry and Jack Bradbury was more popular.
    Of course I like Murry and Bradbury as well. That's who I grew up on too. To me, Murry was "the good mouse artist."

    And of course, Donald Duck & Uncle $crooge got Don Rosa in the 80s. There is no one even remotely close for Mickey Mouse.
    I agree. And I hate to say it, but most of the new European mouse stories that Gemstone reprints leave me cold.
    Jim Zimmerman
    Co-moderator, CBR Batman Forum

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