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Diamond Distributors Halts Comic Book Shipments – Your Local Comic Book Shop in Distress

Diamond Distributors, the company that gets comics from the publishers to your local comic book shop, is (temporarily) halting shipments of comic books and other products after this week’s shipments.

From ComicsBeat:

Product distributed by Diamond and slated for an on-sale date of April 1st or later will not be shipped to retailers until further notice.

Product distributed by Diamond UK and slated for an on-sale date of March 25th or later will not be shipped to retailers until further notice.

As noted this is a result of “shelter in place” procedures which put comic book stores in the non-essential category, now seeing already rough financial times complicated by even less foot traffic. That is being coupled with uncertainty in the publishing world regarding interrupted production schedules.

Related is Amazon putting books and records and other items on the back burner, while they prioritize household staples and medical supplies in support of the coronavirus fight.

The danger to comic book shops is highlighted by Forbes:

The COVID-19 pandemic is increasingly being referred to as an “extinction-level event” for certain kinds of businesses and industries, and nowhere is that closer to the truth than the fragile network of small businesses that sells comics at retail. In addition to all the other issues and uncertainties facing small retailers everywhere, this direct market, thought to comprise roughly 2000 shops in North America and hundreds more worldwide, relies on a single distributor, Baltimore-based Diamond Comic Distributors, to coordinate weekly shipments of new product from dozens of publishers.

Some shops rely solely on comic books, though most do carry an assortment of other items like role-playing games, Funko Pops, etc. Comic retailers are facing the future with trepidation, while comic creators are reassuring fans that the comic book will return once the pandemic is over.

We hope the stores will weather the storm and emerge even stronger; but there is a fear that this is one more step toward the end of the floppy – 36 page comic books will cease being a physical item and go digital only. Traditional hard copy comic books giving way to graphic novels.

And then there is concern about the comic book publishers, especially the smaller outfits. Maybe they enter a psuedo-hibernation status with enough energy to begin publishing again after the crisis?

 

 

Community Comments

#1 Darryl Heine
March/25/2020
@ 7:19 pm

I hope this COVID-19 pandemic subsides and flattens the curve in the next few weeks so that comic shops can get print comic books again if they don’t switch to the digital first or digital forever way!

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