Interview With Christina Merkler of Online Comics Retailer DCBS

Chris Marshall and Andy Tom, hosts of the Collected Comics Library podcast recently reached out to Christina Merkler of Discount Comic Book Service to ask her specifically on how DCBS and In Stock Trades are planning on handing orders during the coronavirus crisis given the news that Diamond Comic Distributors CEO Steve Geppi has announced that they are ceasing the distribution of any new weekly products until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Discount Comic Book Service offers comics at a heavily discounted price. Their business model is all about pre-ordering months in advance with the option of having pull-lists. They ship out comics weekly, and offer heavy discounts that range from 30% to 50% off cover price. That makes them an incredibly affordable option for new comics, with the only drawback being that you have to order sometimes 2-3 months in advance when the actual comic solicitations hit the press. 

Full disclosure, I’ve been a regular customer of DCBS since the summer of 2013.

In the interview linked below, Christina talks about how this is crisis is affecting her overall business at DCBS and their sister company with the closure of physical comic book stores, and how all of this may shape comics publishing to come and the usher in a rise of more digital comics.

Listen to Collected Comics Library

It’s a great discussion, and you can listen to the full interview here:

The DCBS team also sent out the following message to customers yesterday.

We understand there are a lot of questions about what you can expect regarding February, March, and eventually April pre-orders in the wake of the Diamond shutdown.

We are told that publishers are assessing their ability to print and release the issues scheduled for the month of April. Diamond currently has 4/1 releases in their warehouse, and although they do not plan to distribute those titles for next week, they are planned to be fulfilled at a later date. Most titles set for 4/8 release have also been printed and are in a holding pattern until more comprehensive measures can be made.

We are processing and shipping orders currently for week 4 customers, and plan to ship week 1 and Previews customers next week as normal. Our hope is that we receive enough information by the end of this week to make a determination about week 2 shipping and beyond. In case no new product is released in the month of April, and we will let you know our contingency plans if that happens.

This is a very fluid time, where decisions are made and changed within hours. As information is provided by Diamond and the publishers, we will do our best to apprise customers of all pertinent information regarding their shipments and what they can expect.

The DCBS Team

We’ll be following this story closely as it unfolds.
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Chris Braly

I'm one opinionated, based geek. I try to steer this tiny ship and can often be heard monthly on the Comic Book Page Previews Spotlight podcast with several fellow "comic book nerds." Follow me on Twitter @ChrisBraly. My preferred adjectives are brilliant/beautiful.