Comics Lockdown: Publishers react to COVID-19

With news from Marvel, Dark Horse, Humanoids, Vault Comics and more.

Marvel offers some suggestions on how to support local comic shops, along with a list of stores that are still open and what services they provide.

Christina Merkler of Discount Comic Book Service discusses the effect of the Diamond shutdown on the Collected Comics Podcast.

UK comics blogger John Freeman rounds up resources and links, including free comics sites, information on UK stores that sell by mail order, and stuff to keep homebound kids amused, at Down the Tubes.

Paul Cornell reflects on the dilemma of wanting to promote his new comic, Edgar Allen Poe’s Snifter of Terror #6, while not wanting to hurt comic shops or his publisher given the current state of events.

Publishing

DC Comics has created DC Kids Camp, basically a website and newsletter with lots of activities and resources for kids, all featuring DC superheroes, of course.

Newsarama got a copy of the letter that Dark Horse sent to retailers about the Diamond hiatus. Like several other publishers, Dark Horse will reduce the number of comic and graphic novel releases in the next few months and will make new items returnable.

Vault Comics is offering an incentive to support local comic shops: Purchase a gift card from a comic shop, submit proof to Vault, and get free advance digital copies of  Heavy #1 by Max Bemis & Eryk Donovan and Hundred Wolves #1 by Myke Cole & Tony Akins. 

Humanoids will not ship new product for the next four weeks, according to a statement by publisher Mark Waid, who added, “We’re also working to provide whatever relief for retailers we can during this critical period and beyond.”

Rebellion, the parent company of 2000 AD, will continue releasing both print and digital comics on their due dates, although Best of 2000 AD #1, scheduled for April 29, has been delayed because of the Diamond shutdown.

Deals ‘n’ Steals

Boston comic shop Comicopia usually stocks up on manga and offers it at good prices during Anime Boston, but since the con is canceled and the store is closed, they are offering the sale by mail order instead. Owner Matt Lehman messaged me with the details:

Obviously, Anime Boston’s cancellation is a huge blow to us. Although Diamond is suspending shipments, we still expect to be receiving manga from all the publishers and will restock as books sell out. We’re offering our “binge buy” discounts we offer in the store. Buy at least 4 books of the same series, get 10% off. Buy at least 8 books of the same series, get 15% off. Buy at least 12 books of the same series, get 20% off. We’re shipping Priority USPS, charging exact shipping. Someone wrote, asking what manga series we had in stock. I responded, “If it’s in print, it’s more likely than not that we have it.”

Fantagraphics is offering discounts on its digital comics, and it’s having a sale on its Fantabucks. The latter link acknowledges these are difficult times and adds “To that end, we’re asking that, if you have the financial wherewithal, you help us out with a small injection of cash by purchasing a Fantabuck now, so that we can keep the lights on and continue to publish the world’s greatest cartoonists.”

TwoMorrows is discounting all its print magazines by 40% (except new and upcoming releases), and they offer a free digital copy with each print copy.

Conventions and Events

Awesome Con in Washington, DC, has been postponed till December 11-13.

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