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Claypool Comics declares emergency

27/11/2005. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Independent sci-fi comic publisher reaches out to readers and retailers.

Diamond Comics Distributors has told Claypool Comics of plans to cancel the Claypool titles DEADBEATS and SOULSEARCHERS AND COMPANY, starting with the issues shipping in April 2006, unless Claypool can push their sales up.

That move would wipe out much of Claypool's line.

This news comes as Claypool is in the middle of a group of special issues. SOULSEARCHERS #76 and ELVIRA #153 (shipping in January) and DEADBEATS #76 (shipping in February) are "Jump In" issues written and drawn especially for new readers. Last year, when Claypool inaugurated the "Jump In" issues, the firm said they sold very well.

Claypool has asked retailers to order an extra copy of each "Jump In" issue. In addition, Claypool has asked readers to buy Claypool titles now and request that the retailers order the "Jump In" issues.

DEADBEATS, by Marvel veterans Richard Howell and Ricardo Villagran, is a punk vampire soap opera that should appeal to fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and 30 Days of Night. SOULSEARCHERS, written and co-created by Peter David, is a super-hero satire featuring a group of supernatural investigators, featuring art by Joe Staton and covers by JSA Classified: Power Girl's Amanda Conner.

Claypool editor Richard Howell told SFcrowsnest, "Claypool Comics has always had a dedicated base of fans, most of whom are literate and educated people whose needs aren't always met by the current comics marketplace. A retailer who puts our comics on the shelves will most likely find that they continue to sell month after month. The consistency of our sales is undisputable, and we have every indication that if our books got more exposure, they'd sell strongly for many, many more retailers. Claypool Comics are and always have been a labor of love - love of comics, that is. We're committed to good comics, and that makes our readers committed to us. Any retailer who wants to profit from that dedication and goodwill is enthusiastically invited along for the ride."

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