Here is a sweet business story, which breaks the cycle of bankrupt companies pulling other companies down with them and rekindles the smoldering embers of humanity. Last Tuesday, Top Shelf Publishing, a locally-based publisher of dozens of cartoonists and graphic novels, nearly died a quick and painful death after a $20,000 check they had received from their distributor bounced. When one of the two partners contacted their distributor (LPC Group), he was told LPC was planning to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy and not to expect the check to clear anytime soon. Running their company on a razor-thin profit margin, this shortfall effectively put Top Shelf out of business; they had already paid out operating costs against the deposited (and now bounced) check.
In an act of desperation, Top Shelf sent an email to their 1200 person mailing list. What happened next was a scene that would make Jimmy Stewart proud: Over the course of twelve hours, the company received what they term "a staggering 1000 orders" for their products. The staff at CrossGen Comics bought $5000 worth of graphic novels with plans on donating the loot to public libraries.
Miraculously, the outpouring of orders revived the moribund company. Even more heartwarming, Brett Warnock, one of the partners, has said that Top Shelf will continue to use the bankrupt distributor. "Instead of jumping ship, we're going to stay with [LPC] and see if we can help them get their shit together." PHIL BUSSE
No Longer a Jail Bitch
On Monday a judge decided that Lon Mabon--head of the anti-gay group the Oregon Citizens Alliance (OCA)--would not have to return to jail, after he served a 42-day sentence for contempt. No word yet whether Mabon will use his new freedom to pursue the several voter initiatives he filed before being locked up. One measure would require judges to swear or affirm to uphold the original 1789 Federal Constitution and the 1859 Oregon Constitution--an act that would require judges to interpret legal matters before civil rights were granted. KATIA DUNN