A few days ago, DC Comics made the unprecedented decision to release digital only comics for the month of April in the wake of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic and the shut down of Diamond Comic Distributors, they’ve begun exploring other options to the monopoly that is Diamond. Here’s the note they sent over the weekend to Direct Market retailers:
First, the entire team here at DC hopes that you, your family and your employees are staying safe and healthy during this very tough and precarious time. We know that you have been waiting for DC to comment on the state-of-affairs and to address any measures we will take to help our community lighten the burden of the disruption to our business, and we’ve been working hard on a long-term, solution-focused plan.
Here is how we will help:
Periodicals and books with in-store dates between March 18, 2020 and June 24, 2020 will be fully returnable. We’ll even provide credit for your separate return shipping of these items only.
Additionally, because we anticipate that continued disruption to business operations will create regional volatility, DC is exploring a multi-distributor model to provide us with the flexibility needed during this crisis to get new content to our readers on an ongoing basis. In the short-term, we continue to engage in active conversations with Diamond to help us solve the distribution issues that have arisen and hope to get new product to stores that want or need it as soon as possible. We will provide additional information about how we’ll make that happen in the coming days.
Thanks for your patience with us. DC will continue to monitor the situation, continue to speak with you directly, and continue to support you through the days ahead. You are the lifeblood of this industry.
The DC Team
As of this writing, DC Comics has announced they will withhold new comics from digital distribution for one month, moving them all to a potential street date of 4/29 (a 4 week delay). Clearly they got some pushback from local comic shops and retailers. We’ll keep following this story as it develops.