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Cold Cut Comics Distribution

About Cold Cut

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What Is Cold Cut?

Our History In Brief

Who Is Cold Cut?

Contact Information

What Is Cold Cut?

Cold Cut Distribution is the industry's leading reorder distributor for quality independent comics.

Our Mission

While advance distributors focus on advance orders and treat reorders as secondary, or offer "instant reorders" for only a limited selection of mainly-mainstream trade paperbacks, we at Cold Cut put our energy into focusing on what we do best - getting reorders on copies of quality independents into stores where they can sell!

Need Johnny the Homicidal Maniac #1? We have it in stock.
Need Strangers in Paradise? We've got it.
No back orders, no "it may come in, but it'll take six weeks", no hassles. Why deal with dozens of different publishers when you can get the same discount from us - all your favorite and best-selling independent books available in one place, shipped carefully and promptly from our California warehouse!

Our goal is to provide retailers with first-class customer service, with knowledgeable salespeople answering your independent questions, prompt shipping (orders ship within 2-3 days), fabulous fill rates of over 90%, and competitive discounts.

We also strive to promote the small-press books that deserve better sales - we provide weekly reviews and updates to a dedicated retailer base, feature special promotions, and can refer retailers and readers alike to books they may like, that may sell well, or that are sleeper hits.

We offer "instant reorders" on thousands of titles from more than 200 different independent publishers, all at competitive reorder discounts that often match or beat the prices available from the big distributors.

Our History In Brief

Cold Cut has been servicing retailers across the country and internationally since 1994 and growing every year, both in terms of the number of stores which use our services and the number of publishers and books we carry. No other reorder distributor matches our wide selection and in-depth stock, and nobody matches our flow of information and reviews on independent titles. We currently mail our main catalogs to well over 500 stores, and service regular orders from around 300.

Founded as an outgrowth of our successful show dealership, Cold Cut was born from the frustration we felt as retailers when we couldn't get reorders on independent small-press titles like Wandering Star and Poison Elves. As the only Bay Area dealer specializing in independent comics, we found it more and more difficult to get reorders on quality independents and increasingly resorted to ordering direct from the publishers. When we realized the amount of work that went into dealing with dozens of indy publishers, we realized why so few retailers take the time to do so -- and we decided to start a distributor to handle the hassles for them. It proved so successful that one year later we closed our retail operations to devote ourselves exclusively to wholesale.

In the subsequent years, Cold Cut Distribution has prospered while other reorder distributors (attempting to stock "hot books" or "limited foil editions") folded. We continue to promote the small press and the independent, and offer ourselves as a one-stop shop for quality independent reorders. Everything from Hate to Metabarons under one roof.

In March 1998, Cold Cut purchased Downtown Distribution, a Minnesota-based distributor of independent graphic novels. This enhanced Cold Cut's already-strong graphic novel selection by bringing aboard major publishers such as Andrews & McMeel and Little, Brown & Co - and making available to Cold Cut's accounts such popular books as Calvin & Hobbes and Tintin. Cold Cut's purchase of Downtown made it the third largest direct market comic book distributor in America.

In June 1999, Cold Cut grew too large for our Angela Street warehouse; we moved to our second warehouse more than twice its size on Stockton Avenue. In May 2002, we expanded once again and moved to our new much larger facility in Salinas, California.

At the San Diego Comic-Con in the summer of 2000, Cold Cut premiered our independent-publisher co-op booth called Indy Island which featured 8 independent publishers in one big, highly visible booth. We've continued the tradition every year since.

The Cold Cut Partners

Cold Cut Distribution is a California corporation ("California Cold Cut Comics, Inc."), managed and run by its two owners.
 [ photo of the partners ]
Mark Thompson, Cathy Stroup, and Tim Stroup with the Independent Quilt at the Cold Cut booth at San Diego Expo 1996

  • Mark Thompson.
    The CEO of Cold Cut Distribution, Inc. was born in Detroit, but moved to a suburb north of Chicago in his early teens. He got hooked on Superman and Plop! comics from DC and began collecting seriously in time to experience the black-and-white boom of the early 80's. He began dealing in comics, selling to friends and through ads in CBG, in time to experience the subsequent black-and-white bust. Attending the University of Illinois, Mark spent years in radio broadcasting, got involved with the founding of Comic Cavalcade and expanded his own show dealership.

    Moving to San Jose, California in 1991 to pursue a software engineering career, Mark joined up with Tim Stroup and Beej Martinez to form the original Cold Cut Comics, a successful show dealership which exhibited on the local con circuit for years. Increasingly focusing on independent comics, Cold Cut expanded steadily until in 1994, with Tim Stroup and Cathy Stroup, Mark formed Cold Cut Distribution, now the industry's leading reorder distributor for independent comics. Cathy later left the company to pursue her psychology career.

    Mark is an accomplished software engineer, and enjoys reading independent comics (and Vertigo and ABC titles, too!), working on computers (especially his trusty Macintosh), and listening to a capella music. He's rarely in the office at Cold Cut, since his successful software career is still going strong. He handles most of the "behind the scenes" functions of Cold Cut, notably the purchasing and the accounting.

  • Tim Stroup.
    The President and General Manager of Cold Cut, Tim was born and raised in Ohio, receiving a Masters in Plant Physiology at the University of Cincinnati before moving to California in 1989. He worked at Lockheed Martin in the Closed Ecological Life Support Systems division before leaving to devote his full time to Cold Cut.

    Since he first started reading Marvel Comics in the early 1960s Tim has loved to read every kind of comic book, but it wasn't until the 1990s that he discovered the incredible stories published by the non-mainstream publishers. Marvel books soon became a smaller and smaller part of his reading habits. Though he was once a very active member of the Marvel Zombie Society APA, he reads few Marvel, Image or DC comics today, preferring to spend his time with excellent small press and self-published books.

    Tim is credited in the Marvel Comics publication "The Official Index Of The Marvel Universe" with assisting Murray Ward in building the Avengers Index. He has worked in comic book retail outlets, sold comics at conventions, co-founded the Grand Comic-Book Database (GCD) project on the Internet, and started the Bay Area Comicbook Klub in 1991, through which he met Mark Thompson and Beej Martinez and ended up forming the original Cold Cut Comics.

    Tim is in charge of all daily operations at Cold Cut, and is also in charge of coordinating publisher submissions, hiring personnel, and customer service.

The Cold Cut Staff

People who work here at Cold Cut:
<<< Matthew High
Defender of the Weak! Scourge of Evil! In October 1998, Matthew High joined Cold Cut as its new Director of Sales and Marketing. Formerly Promotions and Marketing Director for Antarctic Press in Texas, Matthew brings years of experience in the comics industry, and in helping retailers find quality independent books like those published at Antarctic. Pictured here, he is about to fly out of our warehouse loading dock on his daily patrol.

John Orloff >>>
Joining Cold Cut in 2001, John followed the company as it moved to Salinas in mid-2002 by using the skills he developed to earn his Orienteering badge in the Boy Scouts in the late 80's. As Cold Cut's Director of Customer Service, his job is to make our retailers happy!

<<< Omar Aviles
Not much is known about the ghostly sprite who calls himself Omar. He just appeared one day in December 2000, claiming to be the Spirit of Christmas Present. Since we needed a hand filling the holiday rush of orders, he signed on to a tour of duty in the warehouse.

Jack Armendariz >>>
Jack has been part of the Cold Cut warehouse crew since 1999, using his amazing superpowers to find lost copies of obscure titles using only his bare hands.

Contact Information

An easy way to contact us is to send us e-mail at - we check it daily (except when Cold Cut is closed for holidays or weekends) and can respond to quick questions easily.

Or, send us physical mail or give us a call or fax: we'll be happy to answer your questions!

  Cold Cut Distribution
  5456 N. Damen Ave.
  Chicago  IL  60625

  phone: 773-506-4749  or TOLL FREE in the US at 1-866-4-COLD-CUT
  fax:   773-506-4755
Our office is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm PST, but is closed on holidays.

This site is maintained by . Drop him a note if you see something you like, or something you'd like improved.

Cold Cut Distribution - 5456 N. Damen Ave. - Chicago IL -

Last update: February 27, 2008