Two years ago when the country voted to leave the EU, the US Dollar gained about 20-25% against the Pound. This forced a similar price rise to all UK retailers. For two years things have remained calm, but in the past few months, as we seem to be heading for a ‘no deal’ exit, the Pound has once again lost value against the Dollar and Euro, falling another 10%. For this reason most retailers had been expecting the following message from Diamond Comics UK, who supply all UK retailers and European retailers:
“For the past 3 years we have been doing our best to maintain pricing levels. However, after the substantial reduction to the value of sterling last week and the continued increases in freight and general running costs, after careful consideration, we will be increasing our UK prices with effect from Friday 30th August 2019.
“The price changes on this occasion will only be implemented on specific products and not across our entire range; the products affected are comics and supply items.
“Our aim continues to provide you with the best possible service and we do hope that these measures will be enough to see us through this current period of instability, mainly due to the adverse effects on the exchange rate, together with rising costs, as a result of BREXIT.”
I will attempt no political comment as this has been done to death by all and sundry. Here at ACE Comics, we will not be profiting from this increase, but unfortunately we will need to pass it on, which on a standard $3.99 comic means a rise of 15p. On higher dollar comics this amount will be slightly higher, and on lower priced items it will be proportionately lower. As always, we will strive to keep all extra costs to a minimum without any impact on our service to you. We sincerely hope that you all can live with this increase and that your hobby can continue.
The new prices take effect from items invoiced out from 3rd September 2019 onwards and are as follows…
Copyright and Personal Dispute Comic Cancellations
Due to fears of litigation over copyright, the Conan comic Cimmerian: Queen Of The Black Coast has been pulled from the Diamond Distributors Previews listing. The comics publisher, Ablaze, are convinced that Conan is now in the public domain as it is over 70 years since Robert E. Howard died. Certainly in Europe it is in the public domain, but in the U.S. the Conan trademark is owned by Conan Properties – Marvel produce all their titles under license from that company. The Ablaze title is an English translation of a series originally published in Europe. Diamond Distributors avoid all chance of being involved in any litigation disputes and have immediately pulled this series until the publishing parties resolve their dispute. The only winners here will be lawyers!
A more intriguing and unpleasant dispute involves Brian Wood (Aliens, The Massive, Sword Daughter, Starve) and Comics Alliance EIC, Laura Hudson. Nothing is known as yet as to the full extent and type of dispute, but Dark Horse Comics will now not be publishing Aliens: Colonial Marines – Rising Threat. This personal issue has been raised before and has not caused Dark Horse to stop employing Brian Wood. For this to happen now would imply more proof of indiscretion may be about to surface.
DC Comic of the Month
The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage is a personal favourite as it will be addressing the divided nature of our current social landscape. Though set in Hub City in the U.S., a lot of the social comment will ring true here in the U.K. too. I do not want all my reading to bring the very real world into my fantasy escapism, but every now and then comics can make a clearer case than any TV political commentary. Back in the 1980s, Denys Cowan and Dennis O’Neil questioned society as it was then. This time around Jeff Lemire and Denys Cowan will take hard cues from 2019. It may not be fun, but it will be interesting.
Indie Comic of the Month
Vault comics have some of the best new talent and new series of the 2010s. This month, Black Stars Above by Jenna Cha will be a refreshingly different story in a beautiful art style. It starts with a fur trapper in 1887… now buy it and read on.
Mission for the month:
Blimey! Summer is gone and autumn is blowing in!
Shorter days maybe, but less jobs outside to do, so more reading time… I am a glass half full type of guy!