As the comic book industry is looking to get back on track amidst the global pandemic causing a major shutdown, The Hollywood Reporter has brought word that a major rift has occurred as DC Comics has cut its ties with Diamond Comics Distributors.
In an email sent to comics retailers from the major publisher, the company revealed that all orders of DC products will now be fulfilled by Lunar Distribution and UC Comic Distributors for periodical releases, while Penguin Random House will now be handling graphic novels and collected editions.
“We recognize that, to many of you, this may seem like a momentous decision,” the email read. “However, we can assure you that this change in DC’s distribution plans has not been made lightly and follows a long period of thought and consideration. The change of direction is in line with DC’s overall strategic vision intended to improve the health of, and strengthen, the Direct Market as well as grow the number of fans who read comics worldwide.”
The announcement also revealed that Diamond would only be fulfilling orders placed through a “June 1 Final Order Cut-Off” and will not be taking sales of any new DC titles further, with the publisher suspending the same cut-off for June 8 and make those products available to order on “Final Order Cut-Off on June 15.”
Until earlier this year when Diamond chose to shut down production houses amidst the global pandemic, DC’s periodical product had been handled by them, but an announcement from Diamond that they would withhold payments to publishers due to cashflow problems, the home of Batman, Superman and other iconic characters revealed it would begin searching for a new distribution partnership.
“After 25 years, DC and Diamond Comic Distributors are ending their long-standing relationship,” a DC spokesperson told THR. “Moving forward, comic book retailers can obtain their DC books from Penguin Random House, or their books and periodicals through Lunar or UCS comic book distributors. DC continues to be committed to providing the Direct Market with best in class service and the fans with the world’s greatest comic books.”
With DC currently standing as the second-largest comics publisher in the North American market, being responsible for roughly 30 percent of the entire market just last year, this severance marks a significant blow to the distribution company as it begins to re-open after a two-month shutdown.