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Heavy Metal Partners with Simon & Schuster for Distribution

Heavy Metal

Simon & Schuster signing bookstore distribution agreements with comic publishers have been coming in fast and the juggernaut has another one to add to its growing percent of the market. Heavy Metal Entertainment has entered into an agreement with Simon & Schuster. The deal covers the United States, Canada, and other international territories and began February 1, 2021.

Lovers of genre content and longtime Heavy Metal devotees will surely be excited by this distribution partnership as the publisher continues to expand into the world of prose, graphic novels and ebooks. Heavy Metal views the partnership as a huge step forward in continued marketplace growth.

Among the first wave of titles to be released under this agreement will be collected editions of Heavy Metal’s current best-selling comic titles, including Dylan Sprouse’s Sun Eater, and Dan Fogler’s Brooklyn Gladiator and Fishkill. Simon & Schuster will also be printing the enhanced second edition (“The Galactic Edition”) of CEO Matthew Medney’s best-selling, hard science fiction novel Beyond Kuiper: The Galactic Star Alliance, featuring 60 pages of new content. Additionally, the first volume of the eagerly-anticipated Taarna, The Last Taarakian series will be released, featuring Heavy Metal’s iconic heroine, in addition to some to-be-announced prose projects from celebrated creators.

AHOY Comics Signs a Bookstore Distribution Deal with Simon & Schuster

AHOY Comics is the latest comic publisher to sign a deal with Simon & Schuster to deliver their releases to bookstores as of March 2021. The publisher also announced its fall publication schedule which will include trade paperback editions of several of its comics. Diamond will continue to distribute AHOY’s titles into comic shops.

AHOY also announced its fall publication schedule which will also include trade paperback versions of several of its popular series from earlier in the year: Happy Hour, The Wrong Earth: Night and Day, Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood, and Second Coming: Only Begotten Son.

Publication dates and summaries for AHOY’s fall titles are below:

HAPPY HOUR

(W) Peter Milligan, (A) Michael Montenat
August 25, 2021 (Bookstores: September 7, 2021)

In future America, being happy isn’t just a right—it’s the law. While the Joy Police brutally enforce the cheery code, two young people go on the run, searching for a haven of melancholy where they can safely bask in the blues. A timely tale by superstar writer Peter Milligan (X-Statix, The Prisoner) and artist Michael Montenat (Dominion, Hellraiser Annual).

THE WRONG EARTH: NIGHT AND DAY

(W) Tom Peyer, (A) Jamal Igle / Juan Castro
September 8, 2021 (Bookstores: September 21, 2021)

The vengeance-dealing Dragonfly sticks it to the man! The acrobatic sleuth Dragonflyman assists the police! These alternate-earth versions of the same masked crimefighter meet face-to-face for the first time in this new series by the original creators of the smash-hit The Wrong Earth! Will their impossible encounter result in a team-up…  or an all-out war?

THE WRONG EARTH: NIGHT AND DAY

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF BLOOD

(W) Paul Cornell, Dean Motter, (A) Russ Braun
September 22, 2021 (Bookstores: October 5, 2021)

Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood continues to cheaply exploit the great Edgar Allan Poe’s reputation! The collection combines 6 issues worth of anthologies including a take on how the 1% would fare in “Masque of the Red Death” by Tom Peyer and Alan Robinson, Sherlock Holmes’s investigation of murders from two Poe stories by Paul Cornell (Doctor Who) and Greg Scott, a update on the “Tell-Tale Heart” and more. Oh, and did we mention the new Cereal Monsters story from Mark Russell and Peter Snejberg?

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF BLOOD

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON

(W) Mark Russell, (A) Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk
November 3, 2021 (Bookstores: November 16, 2021)

The long-awaited second volume of the book ComicsBeat called “the world’s most dangerous comic book and the most lovely.” As superhero Sunstar anticipates becoming a father, he agonizes over how—and if—he can use his powers to make a better world for his child. And as Jesus Christ loses his bedroom to a nursery, he struggles to find a new place in a society that distorts and exploits his message for profit.

The first volumes of THE WRONG EARTH and SECOND COMING are available now for reorder from Simon & Schuster, along with all other titles in the AHOY Comics backlist.

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON

Source Point Press and Simon & Schuster Announce a distribution deal

Source Point Press/Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster, Inc. has entered into a distribution agreement with Source Point Press. Under the agreement, Simon & Schuster will handle sales and distribution worldwide beginning March 1, 2021.

The deal allows Source Point Press’ line of graphic novels and prose novels will be available to booksellers around the globe. It’s the latest publisher to announced a distribution deal with Simon & Schuster. Vault Comics, AWA Studios, and Red 5 Comics have all announced similar distribution deals in recent weeks.

In May 2020, Source Point Press announced they were dropping Diamond as their comic distributor choosing to go direct to retailers through Corner Box. Since then, the publisher has mixed things up and has launched numerous “box” initiatives to sell directly to consumers as well.

Vault Comics Announces a Global Distribution Deal with Simon & Schuster

Vault Comics

Simon & Schuster, Inc. has entered into a distribution agreement with Vault Comics. Under the agreement, Simon & Schuster will handle distribution worldwide beginning May 1st, 2021.

Vault CEO & Publisher Damian Wassel in the announcement said:

We are excited to partner with Simon & Schuster to distribute our books to booksellers everywhere. As Vault continues to expand our catalog, break ground in film, television, and other media, and reach new fans, we know we’ll be able to count on the team at S&S to support our growth for years to come.

Vault titles will be available to order through Simon and Schuster beginning May 1st. Direct market retailers will still be able to order Vault titles through Diamond Comic Distributors.

AWA Studios Partners with Simon & Schuster for Book Trade Distribution

Simon & Schuster, Inc. has entered into a book market distribution agreement with Artists Writers & Artisans Studios (AWA Studios).

Under the agreement, Simon & Schuster will handle book market sales and distribution to the United States and Canada beginning March 1, 2021. However, AWA Studios will continue their direct market sales and distribution with Diamond Comic Distributors.

AWA Upshot

Red 5 Comics Signs a Distribution Agreement With Simon & Schuster

Red 5 Comics logo

Red 5 Comics has signed a multi-year agreement with Simon & Schuster to distribute its line of trade paperbacks and graphic novels to the global bookstore market.

This agreement marks the next step in Red 5’s strategic growth plan to bring its award-winning slate of comic books and graphic novels to a global audience through print, digital, and broadcast.


Red 5 Comics was founded in 2007 by Paul Ens, former Director of Lucasfilm’s Lucas Online, and Scott Chitwood, co-founder of TheForce.net.  It earned the 2007 Gem Award for Best New Publisher and its titles have been nominated for three Eisner Awards and two Harvey Awards.

Exclusive: Behemoth signs a distribution deal with Simon & Schuster

Behemoth Comics

Just under their one-year anniversary since launching the company, Behemoth Comics has entered a multi-year exclusive distribution agreement with Simon & Schuster. The agreement will cover the global market for trade paperbacks beginning in 2021.

Founded in 1924, Simon & Schuster, soon to be a Penguin Random House company (pending formal regulatory approval), is one of the largest publishers in the United States, publishing over 2,000 titles annually under 35 imprints. As of 2019, Simon & Schuster employs 1,500 people worldwide with revenues above $800 million in 2019. Notable authors published by Simon & Schuster include Stephen King, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and many others.

This deal comes on the heels of Behemoth gaining Film and TV representation from the highly reputable Hollywood based talent agency, Grandview and signing a Managed Publisher agreement with Amazon, Kindle, and ComiXology.

Behemoth has most notably released licensed titles such as Hotline Miami: Wildlife and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. The latter of which sold out at the distributor level before release, selling through 10,000+ copies and receiving a large second printing, despite the ongoing global pandemic. Behemoth’s sales in the last few months have seen a sharp increase, reaching up to 10 times its average sales during its first months. Future licensing agreements with some of the largest entertainment companies are to be announced after a successful showing at Festival of Licensing and Licensing Week Virtual earlier in the year.

Since its inception, Behemoth’s trade paperback distribution has been solely handled by Diamond Comic Distributors. Going forward Diamond will continue to distribute their comic book and trade paperbacks to the hobby market. Behemoth will continue to publish its subsidiaries titles through both distributors. Subsidiaries of Behemoth include the Spain-based Amigo Comics, the Italian-based Matter Magazine, and the Canadian-based Fubrak Inc.

Viacom CBS sells Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House

Simon & Schuster

There’s potentially a new mega-publisher as ViacomCBS has struck a deal to sell Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House. The deal is for more than $2 billion. Penguin Random House is owned by the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. The deal is not a given as Simon & Schuster is the third largest publisher and the purchase raises antitrust concerns.

If the deal fales, ViacomCBS has a termination fee that Bertelsmann would need to pay. The deal will go before the Biden administration which may be tougher than the current Trump administration but we’ll see.

Simon & Schuster is actually doing well as revenue grew to $649 million through September, an 8% increase, and profit before tax increased by 6% to $115 million. The deal allows ViacomCBS to pay down its $21 billion dept and keep up dividend payments to shareholders. The move is one that’s being seen across the media landscape as megacorporations make cuts or sell divisions to cut costs and pay down debts after large acquisitions.

The deal has a ripple effect in the comic industry as well. Simon & Schuster is the exclusive distributor of BOOM! Studios, Oni Press, and Rebellion to bookstores. Penguin Random House is the exclusive distributor of DC Comics, Dark Horse, and IDW Publishing graphic novels to bookstores. The merger consolidates a distribution channel which has a potentially negative impact on negotiations between publishers and distributors but creates a more favorable position between the distributor and retailers.

Ironically, the comic industry has had concerns over distribution monopolies for years with Diamond Comic Distributors cornering the direct market to comic shops for years until 2020. DC Comics ended their exclusive deal with Diamond splitting distribution between UCS Comic Distributors and Lunar Distribution. DC ended its distribution through UCS creating a new “monopoly” through Lunar and creating a $500 minimum monthly order. Now, if this merger goes through, the bookstore distribution options will shrink narrowing choices though we’ll see if similar concerns are raised by the industry as have been raised in the past.

Scout Comics Signs Distribution Deal With Simon & Schuster and Language Rights with Webber Agency

Scout Comics Simon & Schuster

Scout Comics & Entertainment Inc. has announced that it is extending its trade paperback publishing program by signing an exclusive distribution deal with Simon & Schuster, effective October 1, 2020, and by signing with the Webber Agency for exclusive representation for foreign language rights deals around the globe.

Simon & Schuster, a ViacomCBS Company, is a global leader in general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for readers of all ages, and in all printed, digital and audio formats. Its distinguished roster of authors includes many of the world’s most popular and widely recognized writers, and winners of the most prestigious literary honors and awards. It is home to numerous well-known imprints and divisions such as Simon & Schuster, Scribner, Atria Books, Gallery Books, Adams Media, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and Simon & Schuster Audio and international companies in Australia, Canada, India and the United Kingdom, and proudly brings the works of its authors to readers in more than 200 countries and territories. Simon & Schuster and its imprints have won 56 Pulitzer Prizes, and been the recipient of numerous National Book Awards, National Book Critics Circle Awards, Grammy Awards, and Newbery and Caldecott Medals.

With a focus on comics, graphic novels, and pop-culture, the Webber Agency manages translation rights and publishing projects for a worldwide family of partners. The agency works closely with creators and publishers to bring their titles and brands to a global audience, and in addition to Scout represents foreign language rights for Archie Comics, Oni-Lion Forge, Markosia, and many others.

Z2 Comics Partners with Simon & Schuster for Global Distribution Deal

Z2 Comics has been steadily building a reputation as the market leader of graphic fiction tied to musical releases. Whether expanding upon album or artist storylines, or building upon the legacy of past acts, the diverse publisher brings new readers into the comic book medium from demographics as varied as the music itself. Ahead an ambitious slate of fall releases, the company has already entered into an agreement with Simon & Schuster, Inc. to distribute its titles into the global book trade.

Recently, Z2 Comics released its biggest title to date, Grateful Dead: Origins, to critical and audience acclaim alike. The publisher’s Charlie Parker biopic is already showing signs of being one of the year’s most critically acclaimed releases.

For the company’s rebrand, Z2 partnered with Brooklyn-based designer, Christina Nahas, whose previous work includes branding and logo design for MTV’s TRL relanch and rebrand, along with the 2018 relaunch of Loudwire, as well as design for the popular TV series Shameless.

Z2 Comics logo
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