Johns + Fabok’s ‘Three Jokers’ will arrive in August

Geoff Johns, Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson’s long-awaited project gets delayed due to the coronavirus.

DC Comics has announced a new release date and revealed more preview art for Three Jokers, Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok’s Batman/Joker story that was scheduled for June.

“As more stores are finding ways to operate and service their customers, our release schedule is under constant review,” said SVP and Editor-In-Chief Bob Harras. “From placing orders to on sale, moving Batman: Three Jokers to August will enable more stores to order and sell this incredible story that Geoff and Jason have crafted.”

Check out the preview art below, featuring colors by Brad Anderson:

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Marvel plans to release new comics on May 27

Marvel will stagger the release of new comics and collections, as they release their shipping plans through mid-July.

While DC teamed with two new distributors to get their comics back into stores as fast as possible, Marvel has taken a more conservative approach during the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdown of Diamond Comics Distributor. This week the company announced that it will begin releasing new comics again starting May 27, with five single issues, a week after Diamond plans to restore distribution.

As they previously announced, Marvel will release a slow trickle of comics into stores, alternating the first few weeks between single issues and collections. Here’s what their release schedule will look like through July 8:

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Can’t Wait for Wednesday: Slowly turning the faucet

DC Comics returned to (some) stores this week with a handful of comics, plus see what’s new in digital, OGNs and more.

And we are back, not with a bang, but with a whimper. We’re still several weeks away from Diamond and most of the comics industry returning to regular operations, but DC decided to break the model and bring back new comics in April, using two new distributors. Also, their new comics were available Tuesday, rather than Wednesday. Up is down, right is left … everything’s insane in this new world.

This feels more like a “beta” week for DC, too, who slowly dip their toes back in the water with their two new distribution partners. Thus, the new release list is very limited. But subsequent weeks should see more new comics from DC. And Diamond is targeting May 20 for their triumphant return, which should bring back even more comics from other publishers. The list of comics for that week is still being finalized, but you can see how it’s shaping up.

Anyway, let’s jump into what came out this week …

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Oni Press, DC, Binc unite to announce new fund for comics retailers

The Comicbook United Fund will provide one location to make contributions to support comic book shops and their employees.

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation, or Binc, has announced the launch of the Comicbook United Fund, a dedicated relief fund designed to provide financial assistance to comic shops and their employees. Both DC Comics and the Oni Press-Lion Forge Publishing Group joined them in the announcement, with both offering funds to the organization.

The idea isn’t new — last year, the Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group ​teamed with Binc to create the “Forge Fund.” It provides ​monetary support for comic retailers and their employees during times of hardship, like during Hurricane Harvey. The company continues to donate 5% of proceeds from their titles to the fund, and so far have donated $100,000 to the Forge Fund, which is operated by Binc

“The comic industry has a long history of banding together to protect and promote the art form we all love. We hope that this incredible action from DC will inspire a new wave of generosity and support for the great number of individuals and shops struggling through these times,” said James Lucas Jones, President and Publisher of Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group. “Comics is an expansive community that still feels like a close-knit family, and these efforts feel like we are helping family members.”

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Comic Con International in San Diego canceled for 2020

For the first time in its 50-year history, the San Diego Comic Con will not happen due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Comic-Con International has announced that the annual San Diego Comic Con has been officially canceled for 2020. The convention will not return until July 22-25, 2021.

“Recognizing that countless attendees save and plan for its conventions each year, and how many exhibitors and stakeholders rely upon its events for a major portion of their livelihood, they had hoped to delay this decision in anticipation that COVID-19 concerns might lessen by summer,” their page reads. “Continuous monitoring of health advisories and recent statements by the Governor of California have made it clear that it would not be safe to move forward with plans for this year.”

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Spidey practices social distancing in this awesome fan comic

Dewey Bass creates an unofficial comic that finds Spider-Man dealing with the current pandemic.

Dewey Bass has a pretty impressive collection of Spider-Man comics, so it’s no surprise that when he decided to make a comic about the coronavirus pandemic, he turned to the wall-crawler. His completely unofficial five-page Spider-Man comic, “Social Distancing,” has been liked or shared more than 42,000 times on Tumblr.

“I guess this is how I’m processing what we’re all going through right now. I had the stray thought, ‘What is Spider-Man doing during all this?’ and this happened,” Bass said on his Tumblr blog. “On the one hand, it’s kinda sloppy and inconsistent, but on the other hand, I had the idea Sunday night and I’m posting this Wednesday night. 5 color pages in 4 nights is pretty good work. Anyway. Hope everyone’s safe out there.”

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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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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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