The Coronavirus has taken many things from us. Movies, sports, concerts, conventions, bars, and now….comic books.
First Diamond Distributors, who have had a stranglehold of a monopoly over the comic book industry announced they would shut down for the foreseeable future. Not too long after that comic book stores (what’s left of them) announced they would be shutting down as well due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Now, comics publishers responded by expressing solidarity with physical retail partners during this time of crisis. For at least one week, Marvel, DC, and other major publishers will not launch new comics in print or on digital platforms.
Without Diamond Comic Distributors to receive books from printers and ship them to retail comic shops, many of which are shuttered due to shelter in place measures, it’s been very difficult to predict what form this week’s New Comic Book Day would take. Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and IDW Publishing all announced they would not publish comics physically or digitally until Diamond reopens. DC Comics didn’t reveal a plan for April 1 comics until early this week, announcing delays on new titles.
Marvel, DC, Image, and other major publishing brands already offered assurances to physical retail partners about logistical matters like book returns and refunds for the next few months.
However, once the Coronavirus is over, where will this leave the comic book industry? Will they still attempt to distribute printed book? Will they convert to only digital formats? Will comic book stores still be a relevant place of business? There’s a lot of questions floating around with very few answers.
What do you think about the future of comic books? Would you want to see comic stores thrive again or do you prefer downloading them digitally? Let us know in the comments!