Wednesday, April 03, 2002

Books Going Bankrupt
This disturbing missive from Top Shelf crossed my in box this morning:

We have just been informed this week that our book trade distributor has filed for bankrupcy (Chapter 11). They will continue to operate and hopefully recover -- and we will support this all we can (as our industry needs them, and they are good people) -- but unfortunately, this has happened at a time when they owed us an enormous sum of money (more than $80,000 minus returns). And to make matters worse, the most recent check they cut us, for almost $20,000, bounced this week, in turn causing the last 30 checks we wrote to printers, conventions, cartoonists -- practically every aspect of the business -- to bounce (or be held) in turn.

To put it bluntly, even with all the hard work we've put in over the years, if we don't raise $20,000 this month, it could realistically force us to suspend publishing operations for the foreseeable future. It's hard to believe, but a big domino has fallen right on top of us at the worst time possible. So, that leaves us no choice but to be honest and ask for your help.

If 400-500 of you can find it in your hearts to each spend around fifty bucks on our core list of books, this would literally pull us through -- we mean that. We've got such a strong future schedule, and so many cool things to announce soon (including two more Alan Moore projects and two film and TV projects), that I'd hate to think that we'd have to pull the plug right before we just were about to arrive.

In any event, if you can find it in your hearts to help us out, we will be eternally grateful. We'll be manning the phones personally on this "drive," and we'll also be sure to keep you informed -- hopefully letting all of you know in three to four weeks that everything's okay (with your help, that is).
-- Chris Staros

I just placed an order with Top Shelf, and I encourage you to consider doing the same. Losing Top Shelf, one of the better independent comic book publishers -- right up there with Highwater Books and Alternative Comics -- would be a blow I'd rather not feel.

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