It looks like another major business is about to get affected by the Coronavirus since Diamond Comics has announced that they will not be receiving any comic books for the foreseeable future. This means that a number of comic stores could go months without selling any comics from Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse and a number of other popular publishers. The move has also left a number of comic store owners rattled, though comic creators will continue working on their craft.
Steve Geppi, the Chairman and CEO of Diamond Comics, released a statement on PreviewsWorld about this huge shift. Obviously, the Coronavirus is why this is being done and Geppi is encouraging retailers to get creative about how they’ll sell their products. Diamond is also finding a way to ship products that are still slated for release, though no concrete solution was given.
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.
We doubt that the comic book industry is in too much danger since Marvel and DC are part of it but this is definitely troubling, no doubt about it. It’s a messy situation and one that doesn’t have an easy solution since this isn’t a time for anyone to go out and pick up their favorite comic books. Hopefully, things get back to normal once COVID-19 dies down since this has been a depressing week, with more to come.