By | Monday, January 08, 2007 Leave a Comment
ComicsPRO recently released a statement, issuing some suggestions for Diamond Distributors to better accomodate issues like we saw last week with many west coast U.S. shipments being delayed due to weather. The suggestions seem, for the most part, fairly obvious in nature and shouldn't be difficult to implement. But it's got my mind thinking about Diamond and ComicPRO in general.

As a rule, I don't like unions. I think they have a tendency to cater to the lowest common denominator and discourage honest attempts at individual improvement. My father was in a union for his entire career and The Wife has been in a union since before we were married; neither of them felt it was particularly beneficial, and only joined because they were required by their employers to pay the dues regardless, so they may as well enjoy whatever benefits of the union might be present. I can distinctly remember my father openly complaining at the dinner table about the "damn fools" during a couple of strikes -- he just wanted to do his job.

Mind you, I wouldn't want to make unions illegal! I just think, here in 21st century America, they don't do nearly as much good, or are nearly as effective, as a simple, open-market system.

ComicsPRO, for lack of a better word, is a union. (See their web site for full details about who they are and what they do.) It's essentially a collective organization of comic book retailers who try to use their combined leverage for the betterment of the industry. I don't know that I'm necessarily in favor of ComicPRO per se, but I'm certainly not against it in the way that I'm against most unions. Why, you may ask, would I make a distinction?


Diamond Distributors, as I've mentioned before, is a monopoly. As such, it's effectively be given a pass by the government to do business however it wishes. Let me note here that I don't believe Diamond is an evil organization in the same way that a Microsoft or a Wal-Mart is. But because Diamond is operating without any competition, it is not inclined to spend extra time/money/effort implementing better ways to serve their clients. Why bother, after all, since they're the only game in town? The fact that ComicPRO even exists seems to me further evidence that something needs to be done to diversify the comic distribution end of the industry.
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