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.

On Twitter, Erik Larsen says he would rather hold off on releasing new issues of Savage Dragon than publish them digitally while stores are closed.

Like many other publishers, Archie Comics is making product returnable and “re-examining any new product launches” from now into the summer.

Valiant publisher Fred Pierce released a statement on Twitter saying that the company will be offering free PDFs every day and hosting an online viewing party on Friday for Bloodshot, which was released on digital today. At The Beat, Pierce and Matthew Klein, vp of sales and marketing, spoke in detail about how they are dealing with the ever-changing situation.

Topatoco, which handles manufacturing and sales of print comics and other merch for a number of webcomics creators, will shut down its physical warehouse operations until April 7.

Retailer Reactions

At Newsarama, Ryan Higgins expands on his suggestion that publishers offer digital codes that retailers can sell, and he also responds to criticism from other retailers.

Menachem Luchins of Escape Pod Comics in Huntington, Long Island, NY, discusses the Diamond news in a Twitter podcast.

A Twitter thread from Books With Pictures in Portland, Oregon.

The Los Angeles-area mini-chain Collectors Paradise told customers in an email that they will offer limited curbside pick-up.

Convention news

ACE Universe had to cancel its comic con, scheduled for May 20-22 in Boston, and now it’s claiming that its ticketing service, GrowTix, kept the money that was supposed to be refunded to ticket buyers.

The organizers of the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE) are considering what the event, scheduled for October, might look like this year and are also postponing their application period until June.

COVID-19 Comics

At The Nib, Whit Taylor and Allyson Shwed debunk some dangerous COVID-19 myths.

Malaka Gharib of the NPR blog Goats and Soda has created a comic that explains the coronavirus to kids. (Via GCFK)

At The Believer, Amy Kurzweil explores love in the time of the coronavirus.

On his blog, Roger Langridge has been sharing biographical comics on social distancing and barren shelves.

Finally, the Short Run Seattle festival has been sharing a bunch of coronavirus comics on their Tumblr.

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