Diamond May Restart Comics Industry in Mid-May

In an unfortunate turn of events, today saw the cancellation of this year’s San Diego Comic-Convention, but in a more positive twist, Diamond Comics Distributor is looking to restart the comic book industry itself in mid-May, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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In a letter sent to comic book retailers and product providers, the distributor for Marvel and DC Comics amongst other publishers said that it was monitoring the global health crisis in hopes of finding the “delicate balance between managing health and safety concerns” alongside the “pent-up demand for product” from retailers and fans, while also noting that “many steps and conversations need to happen between today and resuming distribution of new weekly product.

In an effort to get ahead of the curve and meet those demands, Diamond is planning a “mid-to-late May” timeframe for resuming shipments to stores and that they have “started the planning process” so that when the time comes in which they “have more clarity,” they can expedite the process. The distributor’s last shipment to stores was on March 25 with the subsequent shutdown resulting from a number of retails being forced to temporarily close, to which the company responded that it would withhold payment to vendors due to cash flow problems.

Marvel Entertainment also recently announced that is had placed a further portion of its comic book line on hold, with work on a further 10-15 percent halted on top of the already 20 percent from the beginning of the month. While Marvel is facing this shutdown, DC has revealed it will begin shipment of new publications on April 28 with a limited number of titles including The Dreaming No. 20, Dapyne Byrne No. 4 and Batman No. 89 that will be available at retailers currently open.

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In a statement from DC, this decision came from “surveying more than 2,000 stores across the U.S. and Canada” and finding that many store owners are finding creative ways to deliver entertainment to customers and that the publisher would be “exploring a multi-distributor model” to continue to provide product to stores.

We value our partnership with DC and will continue to support them as a distributor,” Diamond said in a statement. “Our focus is squarely on getting our industries’ entertainment products in the hands of fans as quickly and as safely as possible. As we shared this morning with our vendors and retailers, we are currently building our restart plans and targeting mid- to late-May to being shipping new weekly product. If we see signs that it is safe to resume shipping earlier, we certainly will. However, with the limited number of retailers open and most customers on stay-at-home orders, our focus is on supporting our industry and the health and safety of our stakeholders.
We recommend all readers comply with CDC guidelines and remain as isolated as possible during this urgent time.

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