Diamond will cease comic book distribution to stores
In an enormous blow to the direct market, Diamond Comic Distributors will cease accepting new comic books from printers, as confirmed by ComicBook. Diamond is the largest distributor of comics in North America, with exclusive distribution arrangements with most major publishers including Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Dark Horse, IDW, Image and more.
UPDATE: Diamond Chairman and CEO Steve Geppi released a statement, which you can read in full by clicking here…
As everyone knows, the world faces ever-increasing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its effects on the comics & collectibles and tabletop gaming industries have been felt far and wide. We are hearing from thousands of retailers that they can no longer service their customers as they have in the past, many of them forced to close by government action or resort to in-person or curbside delivery. Even those still open are seeing reduced foot traffic in most cases, a situation that seems likely to worsen with time.
Our publishing partners are also faced with numerous issues in their supply chain, working with creators, printers, and increasing uncertainty when it comes to the production and delivery of products for us to distribute. Our freight networks are feeling the strain and are already experiencing delays, while our distribution centers in New York, California, and Pennsylvania were all closed late last week. Our own home office in Maryland instituted a work from home policy, and experts say that we can expect further closures. Therefore, my only logical conclusion is to cease the distribution of new weekly product until there is greater clarity on the progress made toward stemming the spread of this disease.
This news is obviously born out of the current COVID-19 outbreak and its crippling effect on most industries. Comic book retailers are particularly vulnerable, as most operate on slim margins and face competition from online retailers like Amazon or digital comics purveyors such as Comixology. With the shutdown of Diamond, brick and mortar comics retailers will effectively be unable to function.
The outlet notes that Diamond will continue to ship out comics and other product already in its warehouse for now, but it will not be long before the flow of new issues ceases entirely.
The move comes less than two weeks after Diamond cancelled its annual retailer summit, which was to have taken place April 14-16 in Orlando, Florida. Shortly after that the promotional event Free Comic Book May was also postponed until an unspecified date later this year.
Prior to the current pandemic, 2020 was expected to be a huge year for comic book movies in the cinemas including the already-released Birds of Prey and Bloodshot as well as the forthcoming The New Mutants, Black Widow, Wonder Woman 1984, The Eternals, Morbius, Venom 2 and The King’s Man.
ComingSoon.net recommends all readers comply with CDC guidelines and remain as isolated as possible during this urgent time.