Top Shelf Productions has chosen Diamond Book Distributors as its exclusive distributor to bookstores, libraries, and mass merchants. Although Top Shelf is a small operation with a two-man staff, the company specializes in graphic novels and has published some major hits including the Alan Moore/Eddie Campbell From Hell graphic novel (see 'Update From Hell'), which sold over 110,000 copies. The tremendous success of From Hell actually got Top Shelf in trouble when its previous book distributor, LPC, went bankrupt after paying Top Shelf only a small portion of what the publisher was owed for sales of the hit book (see 'Publishers React to LPC Bankruptcy'). In a scenario reminiscent of It's A Wonderful Life, fans, retailers, and industry figures all stepped up to support Top Shelf, which was in dire financial straits after a $20,000 check from LPC bounced.
Top Shelf's Chris Staros told ICv2 that going with Diamond for book distribution made a lot of sense for his company and that he hoped the partnership would last beyond the current two-year agreement. 'We spend a lot of time shipping out reorders to Diamond for the Star System, and now we won't have to do that and--as long as our titles are in print, they will be available via the Star System,' said Staros as an example of how the new agreement with Diamond would make Top Shelf's operations more efficient. 'Diamond understands our entire line. LPC did well with the media tie-ins, but not always so well with our other titles. The guys at Diamond love comics. It makes a difference.'