Being trapped at home over the last couple of weeks hasn’t been so bad, as it has had the positive side-effect of allowing me to catch up on my backlog of comic books. We’re living in a glorious age for the medium, and whether you’re a fan of the big two or you prefer wilder titles from the likes of Image and Aftershock, there’s plenty to choose from.
If you’ve been after new comic books though, the last couple of weeks have been absolute hell. Diamond Comic Distributors have been the only game in town for decades now, using a vast supply network to establish a monopoly within the industry and when they decided to down tools over the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone felt that the ramifications of that decisions.
For the last five weeks, Marvel has had zero new presence on store shelves, not that many local comic book shops were open to begin with. DC Comics also felt the pinch, and decided to take matters into their own hands by partnering up with smaller distribution channels that could get their products out onto the street. When will Diamond be back in business though? Pretty soon actually!
Diamond has announced that it’ll be resuming its trade in shipping Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and Image Comics and more from May 20, although it’s not clear yet if DC Comics will return to the fold. Diamond’s shutdown on April 1 resulted in Marvel pushing stop on an estimated 15-20% of its books that were scheduled for May to June release dates, while numerous other publishers vowed to not go the digital route in an effort to support the comic book shop industry.
Is it the right time for comic books to be making a return though? There’s no easy answer to that question, as the American infection rate as soared to disastrous new levels in recent weeks, hammering not only the comic book industry but numerous other jobs as well. No matter which approach is taken, freelancers are looking to lose out on work, dedicated comic book shops won’t be able to survive yet another blow to the industry and safety is still a prime concern for those employees willing to work in these dangerous times.
Last Updated: April 29, 2020