Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Marvel and Dabel Break Up

It was not even a year ago when I attended the Diamond Retailer Summit in Baltimore MD, where it was publicly announced that Dabel Brothers were going to become partners with Marvel, so that Marvel Comics could publish their works. At the time it sounded great. Dabel Brothers had some really nice looking books, but they always too forever to come out and had long lags between issues. I was hoping that Marvel would help get them on a schedule as well as give more public visibility to these interesting non-super hero based books. My assumption was that Dabel needed help on the printing/publishing end and that Marvel was looking to increase readership by adding a new and diverse lineup to what they already had. It seemed like a win-win for the two companies.

Today I read on Newsarama that the two companies are parting ways. No real reason was given. AND, Marvel is getting the intellectual properties that already exist, including Anita Blake Vampire Hunter by Laurell K. Hamilton; the Hedge Knight series by George RR Martin; Tales of Alvin Maker and Wyrms by Orson Scott Card; Magician Apprentice by Raymond Feist; Lords of Avalon by Kinley MacGregor; and Highwayman by R.A. Salvatore. Dabel Brothers doesn't plan to have anything new come out until 2008. They say on their web site that they will be making an announcement soon about what they'll be offering.

I didn't notice, but the Dabel Brothers had a booth at Wizard World Chicago, and it went unstaffed for the duration of the convention.

The press release makes everything sound all nice, but does not give any real reason for the split. It seems odd to me that this kind of agreement would last less than a year, so I would figure that there was something that happened to force them to split up so quickly. No word yet on what exactly happened. Maybe more will come out later, or maybe Marvel had their lawyers draft up all kinds of non-disclosure agreements and no one will ever know what happened to cause the split. If you ask me, Marvel definitely got the better end of the deal with the split - I think the Dabel Brothers need a better divorce attorney.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, pretty odd indeed.
Maybe Dabel realized they just weren't getting any benefit from increased sales, or maybe they've come into a property so big they think they don't need Marvel and it's worthwhile abandoning their current slate.
Me, I'm just hoping we'll see further volumes of XIII at some point.

Lisa said...

According to today's Newsarama follow-up, Dabel does have plans with XIII coming!