A week ago we reported that, despite their commitment to the event over recent years, Hermes Press are not releasing a contribution to Free Comic Book Day 2017. ChronicleChamber has been in touch with Dan Herman, publisher of the American company, to find out why not.
Dan Herman: "First thanks to everyone in the Phantom community for their support. Now onto what happened with FCBD. I reviewed my proposal with my account representative at Diamond, to reprint in its entirety, one of the best Phantom stories created by Don Newton, The Phantom of 1776 from the Charlton Phantom #74. He thought it was a great idea for both Phans and young readers.
"The story has memorable historical elements, is in many respects educational in its perspective dealing with the American revolution, slavery, injustice, and is a powerful Phantom story. How can you go wrong? If you can't guess it's one of my personal favorites.
"My rep backed us up completely. I submitted the proposal and the response was a form rejection (pictured below), that they're looking for books that have a 'sustained successful presence.' Now to be frank that's just flummery.
"Hermes Press successfully publishes original Phantom comics, reprints of the classic comic books, at least 4 books of archival daily and Sunday reprints per year and we're now publishing the Avon Phantom paperbacks. Our Phantom program has a sustained successful presence in the market and has been critically acclaimed to boot. Our Phantom titles sell vigorously all over North America. Some of the titles picked for FCBD haven't had one issue out yet. So, go figure."
Thanks very much to Dan for clearing this up for us - we appreciate the candour and insight into the marketing decision that has been made by the team at Diamond Comic Distributors. We're sure that the majority of phans would be in full agreement that it is a very odd decision, and one that we all hope is rectified for 2018!