In huge news for the comic book industry, Diamond Comic Distributors is asking printers to halt sending new comics and products for distribution.
What does that mean?
Comic book retailers won’t have new products in stock for the foreseeable future.
ComicBook.com confirmed that Diamond warehouses won’t accept new product to Direct Market retailers (i.e. comic book shops) due to the Coronavirus pandemic. That’s already led to some comic book stores temporarily or permanently shutting down nationwide.
Today is the Final Order Cut-Off for a lot of awesome comics. Be sure to let your comic shop know if you want to pre-order anything, set up a pull list or mail-order your books. Setting those up and letting comic shops know what comics you want to pre-order is crucial right now.
— Joshua Williamson (@Williamson_Josh) March 23, 2020
When does it take effect?
Comic fans will still be able to go to their LCS, if open, for the next two weeks. April 8 is the last planned distribution date, according to Diamond.
What will be the impact?
Stores like Third Eye Comics in Maryland and Alter Ego Comics in Ohio have had to follow government mandates to close all non-essential stores. Third Eye is continuing its curbside, delivery service and $5 flat shipping for items.
Billy Vogt, owner of Capital Comics in Annapolis, said he’s keeping in close contact with his regular customers and have made, and have plans for deliveries for some of them.
”It’s tough not being there on a day to day basis,” Vogt said. “The distribution chain is currently in flux so we don’t really have a clear path moving forward. I wish I had a better, more solid answer for you, but to be honest we are just taking things day to day.”
Alter Ego owner Marc Bowker announced on his mailing list that he’s had to lay off his staff with the hope of eventually re-hiring them once the pandemic is over.
How can I help?
Capital Comics also has gift cards available via PayPal.
Third Eye Comics has established a Battle Bonds program with five levels for customers to support.
The first level, is $100, which with a $50 gift card and 1 free VIP package of your choice for Third Eye signings or free admission for up to one premium Third Eye Games events.
Paid! VIPs going out! Now go buy some gift certificates from your local store you awesome nerds! https://t.co/s745HL5h7p
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) March 22, 2020
With so much uncertainty, it might be tricky to actually get to your local comic book store. At this point all could probably use your support and the easiest ways to do that are by purchasing gift cards or if you’re still able, to make a few purchases. For some retailers, it’s the difference between keeping their shops open or returning when the pandemic is over.
Not sure where to find your nearest store? Visit this link to find one close to you.