Diamond, others respond to DC’s direct market decision

Retailers, publishers and industry react to DC dropping Diamond as a distributor.

DC’s announcement that they’ve ended their relationship with Diamond Comics Distributors in favor of working with Lunar and UCS, the two distributors that sprung into being during the coronavirus pandemic, sent shockwaves through the industry yesterday.

Diamond founder Steve Geppi responded to the news with a message of his own to retailers:

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DC Comics drops Diamond as they shift completely to Lunar, UCS

After 25 years, DC will distribute their comics to shops without the help of the industry’s traditional distributor.

DC Comics is cutting ties with Diamond Comics Distributors and will use the two new distributors that came into existence during the coronavirus pandemic to deliver comics to retailers.

Lunar Distribution and UCS Comic Distributors, the distributors with ties to comics retailers Discount Comic Book Service and Midtown Comics, will distribute periodicals to stores. Retailers can also order books through Penguin Random House, who handle DC’s trades and graphic novels for the book trade.

“After 25 years, DC and Diamond Comic Distributors are ending their long-standing relationship,” a spokesperson from DC told The Hollywood Reporter. “Moving forward, comic book retailers can obtain their DC books from Penguin Random House, or their books and periodicals through Lunar or UCS comic book distributors. DC continues to be committed to providing the Direct Market with best in class service and the fans with the world’s greatest comic books.”

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Call it a comeback: Diamond launches retailer-focused campaign

The comics distributor launches a social media campaign called #BacktheComeback, with plans to hold a charity auction this summer.

As they prepare to start shipping comics to retailers again, Diamond Comics Distributors has announced a new campaign to “shine a light on the unique relationship consumers have with their local comic and game retailers while raising funds to support restart efforts.” Called the “Back the Comeback” campaign, it already has a website, a throwback logo that recalls the Comics Code Authority and T-shirts, which they are selling to raise money for charity.

“To say these last few months have been challenging would be an understatement,” said Steve Geppi, Chairman and CEO, Geppi Family Enterprises, in a press release. “I have heard from many retailers and everyone is excited about safely reopening, restarting and rebuilding. I truly believe that our comeback will be bigger than our setback and am excited to kick off this campaign in support of our industry and our retailers.”

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Insider Art establishes fund for female, non-binary comic retailers

Female creators unite to help raise funds for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with a planned anthology, auction and more.

As shelter-in-place orders continue to impact businesses of all shapes and sizes, an all-star list of female comics creators have come together to support female and non-binary comic book retailers.

Jen King, owner of Space Cadet Collections in Texas, will administer The Insider Art: Female Comic Book Retailer Fund, which will raise money in three key ways:

  • A digital comics anthology, details on which you can find below.
  • An Insider Art fabric: Two fabrics will beavailable in the coming months via Spoonflower — one featuring cat art by noted comic book professionals, and another by a host of young female artists.
  • An auctions of exclusive artwork, signed prints and various collectibles: King, who is also host of CBSN, her Comic Book Shopping Network FaceBook Channel, will run auctions, live on FaceBook and on eBay, to raise money.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to acknowledge the female comic book retailers who are on the front lines every day, spreading the good word about our favorite medium,” said former Vertigo and Black Crown editor Shelly Bond, who helped put the project into motion. “Over 50 female comic book creators have donated their time and mad skills to support female retailers who have lost incredible amounts of money due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Diamond targets May to restart comics distribution, as DC makes their own plans

DC will work with two new distributors with ties to comic retailers to deliver comics in late April and the first half of May.

It’s been a crazy day on the comics distribution front. Since Diamond Comics Distributors announced in March plans to temporarily halt comics distribution because of the coronavirus, the question has been when we’ll see new comics start to hit direct market shelves again. Now Diamond has provided an answer, as one of their biggest customers has given a different one.

Let’s start with the Diamond news, which you can find on Newsarama. That article quotes from a letter sent to retailers and publishers, saying that “While there are many steps and conversations that need to happen between today and resuming distribution of new weekly product, we are currently targeting mid- to late-May with the hope that, as an industry, we can all work toward that timeframe.”

The way that’s worded is interesting, as it was not long after that DC put out a press release of their own, saying they planned to have a limited number of comics in shops on Tuesday, April 28, as well as on May 5 and May 12. “After surveying more than 2,000 stores across the U.S. and Canada, it became clear that many comic book store owners are finding new and creative ways to get books to the fans who want them,” the press release reads. They’ve also set up a comic shop tracker on their site so you can see who will have their comics on April 28.

So what exactly is DC doing to get comics out to shops?

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Can Wait for Wednesday: DC, Marvel delay many of this week’s digital comics

Just a handful of digital releases will arrive on comiXology this week.

Although it seemed to take them longer to make a decision than most of the other publishers, both DC and Marvel have indicated that many of the single-issue comics they had planned to release this week digitally have been pushed out.

The news comes after Diamond Comic Distributors announced they would halt physical comics distribution to comic shops due to the coronavirus, starting with the comics originally scheduled for this Wednesday, April 1.

Many comics publishers announced fairly quickly after the news broke that they planned to hold off on releasing their comics digitally until their print releases were rescheduled.

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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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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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Comics Lowdown: Standing behind retailers during the coronavirus

Plus: TCAF canceled, BookExpo postponed and more coronavirus news.

As the threat of the coronavirus continues to spread, and federal, state and local governments take action to try and stop it, “shelter in place” and social distancing orders inevitably harm small businesses, like comics retailers. Many retailers around the country have either closed up for a time or have moved to a mail order/”curbside pickup” system. In his weekly newsletter today, writer Cullen Bunn shared some tips for supprtoing your favorite shop during this time:

…SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL COMIC BOOK SHOP as much as you’re able. 

Running a comic book store can be difficult, even in the best of times. Right now, shops are taking a hit. The absolute last thing I want to see—as a reader, a fan, and a creator—is for comic book stores to disappear. It is vital that we all work together to support comic book stores as much as possible and help them get through the coming weeks. When comic book stores suffer, so does the comic book industry. A lot of stores are offering new services during this time of isolation and social-distancing. Some things you can do to help…

  • Inquiring about curbside pickup.
  • Inquiring about mail order or delivery options. 
  • Purchasing any books that are in your pull box.
  • Purchasing gift cards/gift certificates for upcoming birthdays, events, and holidays. 
  • Following your local comic shop on social media for updates on: curtailed hours of operation, events, special accommodations, and cleaning policy. 
  • Tagging your local comic shop on social media & posting photos of the comics you’ve purchased to read during self-quarantine and social distancing.

You can find a comic shop offering “safe services” during the pandemic by using this map from BOOM! Studios.

Image Comics, who issued a letter asking other publishers to help comics retailers during this crisis, also had Alex Cox, Skottie Young and Nate Piekos create a short comic on how fans can support their local shop:

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