More on LPC Bankruptcy

posted on 2002-04-04 09:15 EST
According to the Publishers Weekly Company president David Wilk says he's confident that the firm will reorganize and emerge from bankruptcy. "As much as is possible under the circumstances we're going to go forward, business as usual." Wilk says that LPC has been profitable. "Our business model is working." Over the last year LPC has been aggressively pursuing graphic novel publishers eager to sell their books in general bookstores. The three largest unsecured creditors are all graphic novel publishers: Mixx Entertainment ($767,000), Dark Horse Comics ($661,000) and Marvel Entertainment ($618,000).

The primary issue, as it with so many independent operations, is cash-flow. According to Wilk, LPC was forced to file bankruptcy after the Chicago-based American National Bank demanded payment on a longtime revolving line of credit and took possession of over $1 million in LPC cash receipts. (Wilk says the debt precedes his joining the company.) The cash, Wilk says, would have otherwise been used to pay publishers and CDS. Wilk says he is "very confident" that LPC will regain the money. "Every legal opinion we've received is that that money belongs to the publishers." We were unable to contact the bank by press time.

It is unclear how the filing will affect the more than 170 publishers distributed by LPC. One who declined to be named says "I can't imagine this is going to be good for publishers." Chris Staros, publisher of Top Shelf, a small graphic novel press in Atlanta, says that LPC owes his firm $80,000 (minus returns) and that he discovered the bankruptcy when a $20,000 check from LPC bounced. Staros is supportive but he also says, "to put it bluntly, if we don't raise $20,000 this month, it could realistically force us to suspend publishing operations for the foreseeable future.

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