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.

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Comics Lockdown: The latest on comics and COVID

Featuring news from Valiant, Archie Comics, MICE and more.

As the news that Diamond Comics Distributors is putting shipments on hold as of April 1 reverberated throughout the comics industry, reactions came from many quarters. Here’s a roundup of as many as I could find, with more (I’m sure) tomorrow:

Let’s start with some perspective: At Comichron, John Jackson Miller looks at the history of the comics retail market and offers some hope for the future.

At ICv2, editor, comics market analyst, and former distributor Milton Griepp gives his perspective.

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Diamond halts new comics shipments for April 1 and beyond

IDW and others react to the news.

The COVID-19 epidemic that has shuttered comic shops and forced the postponement of conventions around the country has also affected Diamond Comics Distributors, the sole major distributor to comics retail shops, and today, Diamond co-founder Steve Geppi announced that they will be shutting down shipments of new product:

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Mail Call | Mark Waid named publisher of Humanoids

Plus: ‘Snake Eyes: Deadgame,’ ‘Dead Body Road,’ ‘Adventureman!’ and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we received from publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

Congratulations to Mark Waid, who has been promoted to publisher of Humanoids. Waid has served as Director of Creative Development for the publisher since 2018, and in his new role, will be responsible for “overseeing editorial, sales and marketing; expanding Humanoids’ relationships within the creative community; and deepening its ties to retailers and librarians.”

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Devil’s Due launches Ballot Box Comics

New imprint is ‘dedicated to progressive politics and populist movements that challenge both the right and the center-left.’

Looking for a palate-cleanser after the chaos of Iowa and the mendacity of the State of the Union Address? Indy comics publisher Devil’s Due has announced a new spinoff label, Ballot Box, which is “dedicated to progressive politics and populist movements that challenge both the right and the center-left.”

The company, founded by Josh Blaylock in 2000, published Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force: New Party Who Dis? last year and is currently running a Kickstarter for a Ballot Box collection featuring work by Blaylock, Tim Seeley, Jill Thompson, Robert Sikoryak, Dean Haspiel, Marguerite Dabaie and many others.

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Guibert named Grand Prix winner as Angouleme Festival opens

Robert Kirkman, Catherine Meurisse and Chris Ware also recognized as the festival kicks off.

The Angoulême international comics festival (a.k.a. FIBD Angoulême) opened yesterday with the announcement that French writer Emmanuel Guibert had been awarded this year’s Grand Prix. Guibert is a frequent collaborator of Joann Sfar; the two worked together on The Professor’s Daughter and the Sardine in Space series, and he is also the writer of The Photographer, Alan’s War, and the children’s series Ariol (this last is published in English by Papercutz, while all the others are published here by First Second).

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Comics Lowdown: Chinese government upset by Danish coronavirus cartoon

Plus: Changes at Kodansha, Cullen Bunn goes ‘Rogue’ and whatever happened to Lion Man?

Editorial Cartoons: A cartoon in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, depicting the Chinese flag with the stars replaced by coronaviruses, has, predictably, angered the Chinese government. (Jyllands-Posten is the same paper whose cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad caused an uproar in 2005.) The Chinese Embassy in Copenhagen has demanded an apology, but Jyllands-Posten editor Jacob Nybroe has refused, and the Danish prime minister is backing him up.

The Biz: Restructuring at Kodansha USA means a promotion for Alvin Lu, previously the general manager of Kodansha Advance Media. Publishers Weekly reports that Kodansha’s subsidiaries, including its digital arm Kodansha Advanced Media and the manga and novel publisher Vertical Inc., will be folded into Kodansha USA. Lu will be the CEO, and Ivan Salazar, former public relations and events specialist at ComiXology, has been hired as senior marketing director.

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Mail Call | Archaia to adapt Roxane Gay story

Plus: a new Shonen Jump series, Skybound’s ‘Fire Power’ plans and a new ‘Clone Wars’ series at IDW.

BOOM! Studios announced a new graphic novel, The Sacrifice of Darkness, based on Gay’s short story “The Sacrifice of Darkness.” In addition to Gay, the creative team includes writer Tracy Lynne Oliver, artist Rebecca Kirby, and colorist James Fenner, and the pub date is October 2020.

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Mail Call | Off and Running

News from Random House, BOOM! Studios, IDW and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we received from publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

Congratulations to Random House Graphic, which officially launched this week! RH Graphic is a new line of graphic novels for young readers, spearheaded by Gina Gagliano, former marketing director for First Second.

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