It’s been a rough time for the comic book industry — actually, it’s been a rough time for every industry, but amidst it all, the business plans going forward from every industry worldwide may have to change to survive in a post-Covid world.
So with Diamond, pretty much a monopoly in the world of distribution, not actually being able to distribute, DC Comics found another way to get their books out to shops, but it’s caused a bit of a rift in the odd world of the comic book factory.
The first problem seems to be loyalty from companies to Diamond.
Diamond has been a steady supplier to comic shops for decades, and some shop owners are pretty adamant that they will not be changing their distributor.
Admirable morally, but from a business point of view, if DC are able to get product out quickly through other sources, you can see why that decision would have been made.
The new distributors will also be shipping books for sale to the public on Tuesdays, as opposed to the stringent rules pre-Covid, that new comics could only be sold on a Wednesday.
How I remember standing in Buchanon Street in Glasgow at five minutes to midnight on a rainy Tuesday night waiting to be the first to grab issues of such gems as Doomsday Clock #1 and Batman #50. What was I thinking?
Anyway, Diamond will be returning to the arena with promises of restarting distribution mid to late May, and although they will still be involved with DC comics, you have to wonder how they will position them in the monthly Previews catalog.
Another bone of contention seems to involve one of DC’s new distributers being linked to Midtown Comics. Midtown has three New York-based shops and a huge online presence, and other retailers don’t seem too pleased that Midtown will have such a high profile position within DC Comics.
The other company DC will be using also has pedigree. Lunar / DCBS has a long-standing history of shipping books to people and no doubt this new arrangement with DC gives them both a huge shot in the arm as far as their business model is concerned.
The big question now though is will anyone else follow suit?
No doubt everyone is watching the situation very carefully, and with DC releasing new daily online content, and finding a way to distribute new comics to shops ahead of the curve, it may mean that Diamond will have to up their game dramatically to compete. Returnable issues, anyone?
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Louie Fecou reviews films, tv shows and comics for Ready Steady Cut, HC Movie Reviews and We Have A Hulk. He currently runs his own business in between watching films.