DC Comics and New Comic Book Day in 2020

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The coronavirus seems to have affected New Comic Book day for the foreseeable future. Diamond Comics has been closed for the last three weeks and recently they announced that they would be reopening and restarting comic distribution by mid to late May. Publishers like Alterna Comics have pulled all of their solicitations from Diamond and have announced that they will begin self-distribution of their comic book catalog. I’m not sure if any comic book company can survive outside of the Diamond Comics monopoly but there is one bigger publisher that announced their own mini-distribution news.

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Yesterday DC comics announced that they had cancelled all retailer orders through Diamond for the month of May and that they would be launching two brand new distribution companies to fulfill retailer orders for the next month  – Lunar Distribution and UCS Comic Distributors. These new sources of comic distribution would be dealing with 17 DC books while Diamond remains closed. The announcement also indicates that these 17 books will be released on Tuesdays as opposed to the typical Wednesday release date. This is a very controversial move by DC comics for numerous reasons. Are comic book stores expected to reorder products for an onsale date where most are government mandated to remain closed – is this move not just to benefit online retailers and DC’s bottom line?  This isn’t controversial just because it goes around the Diamond monopoly but because of how DC tried to trick retailers and hide who was behind these new companies.

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Jim Lee Bizarro

Sketch that was recently auctioned by Jim Lee (Chief Creative Officer at DC Comics) that sold for $4769. “All proceeds from this sale will benefit a fund which will help struggling brick and mortar comic book shops during these unprecedented times.” 

 

Representatives at the Diamond Comic corporation have been quoted as saying that they will have a statement on the status of retailer orders on Monday, meanwhile numerous retailers have pointed out the true origins of the new distribution companies. Lunar Distribution is a subsidiary company of Midtown Comics in New York City while UCS Comic Distributors is being run by DCBS (Discount Comic Book Shop) in Texas. This is a questionable move because these are two of DC’s biggest vendors known best for undercutting brick and mortar retailers with deep discounts and now they’re in charge of compiling ordering information and distribution. While some might see this as a great alternative to the Diamond monopoly – this new option is a real conflict of interest. Most retailers are going to be very uncomfortable giving their ordering information to their very real competition – not to mention both of these retailers have a terrible track record with fulfilling customer orders as well as sending undamaged goods so it will be very interesting to see if comic book retailers receive this same customer service.

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Jim Lee

Sketch that was recently auctioned by Jim Lee (Chief Creative Officer at DC Comics) that sold for $11,188.    All proceeds from this sale will benefit a fund which will help struggling brick and mortar comic book shops during these unprecedented times.” 

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This isn’t the first change suggested by DC that hasn’t gone over well in recent days – they recently announced partnering with the ComicHub website to distribute digital comic books where the physical copies could be picked up at retail stores when they reopen. While the ComicHub idea was quickly squashed I can’t see DC putting so much effort into this new distribution system and scraping it within the next few days. This is a real game changer for retailers and for DC comics and I think the only two companies that are going to benefit from this are Midtown Comics and DCBS.

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Jim Lee Batman

Sketch that was recently auctioned by Jim Lee (Chief Creative Officer at DC Comics) that sold for $15,100.    All proceeds from this sale will benefit a fund which will help struggling brick and mortar comic book shops during these unprecedented times.”

 

 

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What do you think about this move by DC? Is this a move in the right direction or a move backwards? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

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2 comments

  • comicbookhustlin

    As a shop owner this doesnt seem like a good idea….

  • Diamond is expected to return soon. So DC seems to be trying a temporary experiment. Unfortunately, book distribution isn’t profitable enough. Otherwise there would be more competition as in the good old days. Before 1980s, comics were widely sold at grocery and drug stores in every town or city.

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