Shipments to Comic Stores to Resume Next Month
Tuesday marks the first official release of new print comics in the North American market since the end of March, when Diamond Comic Distributors shut down shipments to retailers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the arrival of a limited selection of new titles from DC, using newly created distributors instead of Diamond, is just a partial resumption of product shipment, Diamond has annouced a target date for a full restoration of product distribution: May 20. The company shared the news on social media on Tuesday.
Diamond held a virtual monopoly on distribution to comic book stores until this month, when DC announced it would use alternative methods.
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In a letter to retailers and publishers, Diamond says that it has "had many exciting conversations with our publisher and retailer partners and [is] pleased to take the next steps" toward resuming full weekly product shipments. Noting that not all stores will be open by the late May date, the letter states that Diamond is "providing this target date to allow [retailers] as much time as possible to communicate with your customers and gather the information you need to order appropriately for your store and customer base."
Which titles will be released on May 20 has not yet been revealed, with Diamond promising a list by Friday, although the company says that all DC titles released via Lunar and UCS will be included in the first shipment.
Diamond in late March announced a temporary shutdown of new product shipments to take effect at the end of the month. Less than a week later, the company revealed that it would be withholding payment to vendors as the result of cashflow issues.
In a move likely related to Diamond’s announcement, the company's CEO Steve Geppi will participate in a live-streamed discussion on the current state of comics distribution at 2:30 p.m. PT Tuesday.
by Abid Rahman