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.”
The campaign kicks off with a social media challenge, as Geppi describes in this video:
The campaign will also include a charity auction later this summer, set to raise funds for three charities, and in-store promotion. Diamond “will partner with publishers to place the Back The Comeback logo on the cover of select comics to commemorate this time period and the emphasis on rebuilding.”
In an interview with ICv2, Geppi expanded on this idea of collectible COVID-19 comics:
If you recall, back in the 50s, when the government wanted to regulate, [comic publishers] avoided it by having a self‑regulatory thing called the Comic Book Authority. Even though they all competed, they all had that in the corner to make them in some ways uniform. There’s going to be a time, particularly in the back issue market, when people are going to look at this period, and whatever they call it (the pandemic period, the coronavirus period, or COVID‑19), there’ll be a certain collectible nature to that. Even aside from that (that’s like a bonus round), I’m thinking that it will be a good way to drive people to the stores so you can clear the checklist: “If you want to have the complete pandemic period of comics, here’s what you’ve got to have.”
While helping retailers and supporting charities are good ideas, some creators have reacted to the idea of creating collectibles to commemorate a pandemic: