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DBR Media closes

Mike Lynch is reporting that DBR Media is closing it’s doors. DBR is a smaller syndicate that distributes a few comics and editorial cartoons. Cartoonists associated with DBR include: Guy Gilchrist, Randy Glasbergen and editorial cartoonist Ed Hall.

From an email sent to DBR contributers, executives wrote:

“As you know, DBR Media has been experiencing very hard times. We have left no stone unturned in trying to keep everything afloat ….

“Unfortunately, we have no choice at this point but to shut down operations. We are well aware of the many sacrifices everyone has made in addition to our own personal sacrifices. There are no sufficient words to say how grateful and honored we are that you are part of DBRâ??s family, and that is what we consider you.

“Please know that every effort is going to be made to compensate you. Money is still owed to us from clients. We are hoping to recover that.

“It has been a journey of eight years. Despite the hardships, itâ??s been a pleasure to work with you. Your talent and dedication are whatâ??s made most of this possible to begin with.”

Community Comments

#1 Charles Brubaker
March/20/2008
@ 12:40 pm

More info: DBR mostly syndicated to weekly, community newspapers that are commonly found in suburban areas.

They had 500 newspapers, but DBR sold their features, including comics, as part of one big package and newspapers would rarely run ALL their materials at the same time. And some papers that ran comics only did so when there’s an available space. So it’s downright impossible to estimate how many papers actually ran their comics.

So my question is, does anyone know when their last materials were published/will be published?

#2 Charles Brubaker
March/20/2008
@ 12:45 pm

The list of comics they were running until the end, was:

“Marvin” by Ralph Hagen
“The Golden Years” by Bill Murray
“Jet News” by Bill Murray
“The Leftersons” by Colin Hayes (this ran in the print edition of The Onion)
“Screams” by Ralph Hagen (originated from Guy Gilchrist)
“Butch and Dougie” by Alex Howell
“George” by Mark Szorady
“Stormfield” by Wes Alexander
“Hamster Alley” by Polly Keener

“George” and “Butch and Dougie” started as part of the KFS Weekly Package. They moved to DBR when they started.

#3 Charles Brubaker
March/20/2008
@ 12:47 pm

Sorry for the triple post, but it seems that Wes Alexander, creator of “Stormfield,” passed away on March 19th.

#4 Randy Glasbergen
March/20/2008
@ 1:14 pm

I believe this week’s DBR content is the final release. I supplied them with 4 cartoons per week. Fortunately, a number of DBR clients are contacting me now to supply them with a suitable replacement. I don’t know how many papers ran my work, but I have seen a few in PDF format…some scattered my panels on different pages, some put all 4 of my cartoons on a half page with an advertisement in the middle between them. In addition to the comics, they also offered several weekly puzzles and game features, inspiration features from Guy Gilchrist and some pretty good columns and articles.

#5 Charlos
March/20/2008
@ 2:41 pm

That’s very sad news. I got my start in syndication with DBR back in the late ’90s before I hooked up with Creators. They were always very professional.

#6 Rich Diesslin
March/21/2008
@ 10:04 am

Randy, any way they will give you access to their client list so that you can either self-syndicate or carry those over to another syndicate? Not sure how that works, but that would seem like something they should do as part of “every attempt.”

#7 Ed Hall
March/21/2008
@ 2:29 pm

Yep. Turn out the lights.
BTW, if anyone hears of one of these small papers trying to find me, PLEASE pass my email along to them (halltoons@aol.com).

Also, I’m officially on the market for re-syndication, so contacts and referrals would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers. -E

#8 Allan Holtz
March/25/2008
@ 6:46 am

The only paper I was ever able to find that ran DBR’s complete menu every week was the Lake Region Times out of Minnesota. Took me several years to find it after asking DBR repeatedly for a paper that I could subscribe to that ran their stuff — they gave me a short list of penny-saver type pubs and newsletters, none of which when contacted said they ran any of the DBR material with any regularity. Why DBR couldn’t get a decent client list of weeklies has always been a mystery to me. Granted their material wasn’t all top-drawer stuff, but King seems to have no trouble with their weekly package, a sorrowful batch of reruns and new material that they neglect to even advertise in the annual E&P syndicate directory.

#9 Charles Brubaker
March/25/2008
@ 6:50 am

Can’t disagree with you on that.

The only other paper I could find that ran DBR comics was the print edition of the Onion, which ran “The Leftersons” in their comics page.

#10 Allan Holtz
March/25/2008
@ 6:52 am

… continuing …
But even the Lake Region Times gave up on DBR. In January they switched to the King package, saying “due to a number of recurring issues with our syndicated content provider we have been forced to switch.”

–Allan

#11 Dave Scholl
April/1/2008
@ 8:33 pm

I ran lots of DBR stuff – most of the cartoons and puzzles.
Rarely any of the other stuff. Used to carry the recipes, but they became just promos for various food companies.
I have connected with Mark for the George strips and Hamster Alley.
Called the Leftpersons artists and he has stopped cartooning – now concentrating of illustrating where he is very active.
I’d like to carry as many of the DBR puzzles and cartoons as possible.
I know a few other weeklies that are interested.
Dave Scholl, publisher
Dixon’s Independent Voice
staff@independentvoice.com
(707) 678-8917

#12 Guy Gilchrist
April/1/2008
@ 9:29 pm

I used to see all my stuff in a paper in New Hampshire when I went on vacation. They carried pretty much all the DBR cartoons.
Dave, I will give you a call. All of my material is still available.
My experience with DBR was wonderful, I must say. I enjoyed each and every person’s company I got to know over the years. It never was all that profitable…but it was great to work with such terrific folks.

#13 Allan Ornstein
June/18/2008
@ 10:27 am

Diane Eckert my ex-friend promised me I would recieve payment as soon as their clients paid DBR. i ended up writing for free for four months.

Everytime I spoke with Diane or Brad, I got a different excuse. well the time came i got fed up, and yes I jumped ship. the last payment I recieved was for October’s columns on Nov.17 of 2007.

every month i had to e-mail or call to remind them to pay me. It was habitually late since 2006.

I haven’t seen payment ever since. they owe me for Nov, Dec, Jan & part of Feb. So for all you cartoonists and columnists waiting on payment, that’s just wishful thinking.

#14 Allan Ornstein
June/18/2008
@ 10:33 am

Are you all on drugs…wonderful people to work with? give me a break!

Wonderful people find a way to pay their employees. I’ve been with DBR since day one. I never saw any of my columns in major newspapers. They end up in flea market rags. Advertising and promoting the syndication was their downfall.

If they did a little less partying with the profits, we all still be employeed.

Poor management!

#15 Billy Baron
September/13/2008
@ 2:36 pm

Does anyone know about Alex Howell?? I met him about 7 years ago and had lost contact with him, just wondering how is he doing.

#16 ALEX HOWELL
January/21/2009
@ 4:02 pm

I’m fine and living in Boston,Massachusetts. Thanks! I can be reached by email:

AlxHowl@Hotmail.com

“Butch and Dougie” is looking for a new sydicate, contacts and referrals welcomed.

– Alex

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