ComicHub, Briefly Hailed as Savior for Print Comics, Cancels Ambitious Plan

Forbidden Planet comic book store - Getty - H 2020
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The company claimed it could solve the industry's shutdown caused by the coronavirus.

It was an idea that some heralded as the savior of the comic book industry — but, just days after it was first publicly discussed, ComicHub’s proposed combination of print and digital sales seems to be dead in the water.

The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that the previously teased announcement of the solution scheduled for Monday will no longer be forthcoming, following retailer and ComicHub spokesperson John Hendrick telling Newsarama.com that pushback from other retailers had stalled the initiative.

“It’s obvious from the concerns voiced by our peers that this isn’t an initiative they can get behind,” Hendrick told the website. “But until such a time as we can all agree on a solution that fellow retailers can support there is no point in Stu [Colson, founder and owner of ComicHub] continuing this at this time.”

Indeed, retailer pushback was swift to the ComicHub plan — which would have seen readers receive a digital edition of their print purchase, regardless of when the print edition was available, in a planned workaround to the current pause on print comic distribution. The pushback was best summarized in a public Facebook post from retailer Brian Hibbs, where he wrote, “I can barely make a profit with my much much larger discounts than what the ComicsHUB plan offers, and this creates an exponential amount more of work in having to track and organize such sales, all for what will be a paltry revenue stream.”

Additionally, sources tell THR that publisher buy-in to the ComicHub solution was limited, to the point that one publisher rumored to be in discussions with the service, Image Comics, put out a statement to press to announce that it would not be participating.

ComicHub, then, will likely go down as a well-intentioned but ultimately flawed attempt to address the current shutdown of the comic industry — a problem that has already resulted in Marvel putting a third of its comic book output on hold for May forwards. It didn’t work, but the need for a solution remains.