Gemstone Publishing was a U.S. company that published comic books and collectors' guides. The company was formed by Diamond Comic Distributors President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen A. Geppi. Gemstone published licensed Disney comic books from June 2003 until November 2008. The company has reprinted EC Comics of the 1950s. Additionally, the company is the current home of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.
The core of the editorial staff (John Clark, Gary Leach and Susan Daigle-Leach) previously worked at Gladstone Publishing. Archival editor David Gerstein previously worked at Egmont and is author of Nine Lives To Live - A Classic Felix Celebration, a collection of 1920s Felix the Cat comic strips published by Fantagraphics Books.
Gemstone's flagship publications were comic books featuring Disney characters; particularly the Donald Duck/Uncle Scrooge comics of such Duck artists as Carl Barks and Don Rosa, and the Mickey Mouse comics of Floyd Gottfredson, César Ferioli, and Romano Scarpa, among others.
While popularly known as a reprint house, Gemstone's comics were actually dominated by stories that were new to United States audiences. Vintage material, though popular with readers, was not the majority of the content.
Gemstone also issued annual editions of Christmas Parade, Vacation Parade, and Spring Fever; The Barks/Rosa Collection, a short-lived series reprinting Carl Barks stories and their sequels by Don Rosa; Carl Barks' Greatest DuckTales Stories, a 2-issue series of trade paperbacks reprinting the Barks stories that were adapted as DuckTales episodes; an annual giveaway for Free Comic Book Day; and occasional special editions (including comic book adaptations of Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers and Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas, and trade paperbacks reprinting the "Scrooge's Quest" and "The Gold Odyssey" arcs from Disney Comics' DuckTales title).
Gemstone's first large-size book collection, Mickey And The Gang: Classic Stories In Verse, was issued in November 2005. It was a compilation, edited by David Gerstein, of Disney cartoon story pages published from 1934 to 1944 in Good Housekeeping magazine. Gerstein later edited two Gemstone softcover books that were inspired by the Walt Disney Treasures DVD collections: Disney Comics: 75 Years of Innovation (2006) and Uncle Scrooge: A Little Something Special (2008).
In early 2009, the future of Gemstone Publishing was unclear, after reports of unpaid printing bills, particularly from the EC Archives. In April, Geppi responded to the uncertainty, noting that while there had been "a reduction in staff at Gemstone," such moves did "not [signal] the end of Gemstone Publishing."
Geppi hinted at "new developments" for the Overstreet Price Guide in 2010, and stated that while "no final decision has been made regarding The EC Archives or our comic books featuring Disney's standard characters... it seems certain that both lines will continue in some form."
The last batch of Gemstone's Disney comics appeared in November 2008, complete with previews for next month's issues, which ultimately failed to materialize. Boom! Studios then acquired all comic publishing licenses regarding Disney characters, and published comic titles priorly owned by Gemstone from late 2009 to mid-2011.
- Gemstone Publishing's official site
- Gemstone Publishing at the INDUCKS
- Interview with editor John Clark on the launch of Gemstone's Disney comics line
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