Steve Geppi of Diamond Comic Distributors made a return to Dan Shahin’s Comic Book News YouTube channel yesterday to further discuss what’s happening with the comic book industry and comics distribution currently in the wake of the coronavirus shutdowns. He was joined by a number of publishers, including Gary Groth of Fantagraphics, Mark Richardson of Dark Horse Comics, Ross Richie of Boom Studios, and Dirk Wood of IDW. Noticeably absent was Mark Waid, publisher of Humanoids. Waid had been announced as one of the participants, but was no where in sight, and neither was viewership. Only a couple of hundred viewers bothered to tune in for the much ballyhooed livestream yesterday, which seems… quite low.
Nick Barrucci of Dynamite Comics wasn’t interviewed, but he was in the chat, so was Heidi Johnson of Comics Beat, but overall, the chat and comments section was where the best questions were being asked. Even ‘Uncle Rich’ had some tough questions, which were completely ignored. Nowhere to be found were any prominent comic book professional creators in the chat watching the live video. Shahin, the former owner of Hijinx Comic in San Jose, effectively gave a softball interview, never challenged anyone, didn’t pull any relevant questions from the chat, and essentially proved that his fledgling Youtube channel is just another shill-media outlet looking for access. Perhaps the worst aspect of the interview was when Shahin piped up to announce that there were a lot of people who were in the chat that “didn’t know how comics work!”
Here’s when it went off the rails>> So.Much.Cringe.
Everyone had been pretty well behaved in the chat, and then the host Dan Shahin, acted like a fool when Richard Meyer (aka ‘ya boy Zack’) asked some questions, commented, and Dan seemed angry that Richard hadn’t agreed to be interviewed on his Youtube show. After that, the video and especially the comment section descended into chaos. When you see the comments Shahin made, you can bet that his interview with Meyer wouldn’t have been ANYTHING like the kid gloves he wore for the livestream with Geppi and friends.
Then here’s the video in full:
Did this video reinforce the idea that it’s the consumers, and even the #ComicsGate movement, along with challenging media outlets and Youtube channels that don’t care about getting access who actually care more about the comics industry than the access media? Did this Comic Book News host think he could embolden the CG faithful in the chat with his meltdown? Do we need another comic book news Youtube channel, especially one that is unwilling to speak truth to power and really hold the industry to account? This was nothing but bowing to the monopoly that is Diamond, which has been a problem for the direct market for years!
For a great rundown on the discussion on what went down, Kneon chatted with Aaron Sparrow today about the Geppi interview, which they thought was boring and borderline glad-handing. Really a missed opportunity overall.