When Diamond Comic Distributors stopped shipping comics in March in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many in the comic industry were left wondering how and if comic distribution system would be affected once things began to return to normal. Today, it looks as though the new industry status quo is taking shape with a big announcement from DC Comics.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, DC Comics has cut ties with Diamond Comic Distributors and will no longer distribute through the industry leader in comics distribution.
The announcement was made to retailers via an email Friday morning. In the statement to retailers, DC Comics informed their customers that all orders for all future DC products would be fulfilled by Lunar Distribution and UCS Comic Distributors for the monthly periodical releases, and Penguin Random House would be handling the graphic novels and collected editions starting later this month.
The email to retailers read as follows:
“We recognize that, to many of you, this may seem like a momentous decision. However, we can assure you that this change in DC’s distribution plans has not been made lightly and follows a long period of thought and consideration. The change of direction is in line with DC’s overall strategic vision intended to improve the health of, and strengthen, the Direct Market as well as grow the number of fans who read comics worldwide.”
“In the near term, Diamond will only be fulfilling orders placed through June 1 Final Order Cut-Off and will not solicit the sale of new DC titles further. To ensure a smooth transition for retailers, DC will suspend Final Order Cut-Off for June 8, making those books available to order on Final Order Cut-Off on June 15.”
A spokesperson from DC Entertainment told THR,
“After 25 years, DC and Diamond Comic Distributors are ending their long-standing relationship. Moving forward, comic book retailers can obtain their DC books from Penguin Random House, or their books and periodicals through Lunar or UCS comic book distributors. DC continues to be committed to providing the Direct Market with best in class service and the fans with the world’s greatest comic books.”
DC also made it clear that Diamond would be fulfilling retailers’ orders through the June 1 Final Order Cut-Off, and after that date, the publisher will not be soliciting any new titles through the distributor. DC Comics encouraged comic retailers to order through their recently-launched Direct Market distribution partners Lunar Distribution and UCS Comic Distributors, as well as their book trade distributor Penguin Random House.
They also thanked Steve Geppi and the great people at Diamond for all the years of service that they provided the publisher.
While this move comes as a surprise, DC Comics did start distribution through other means while they waited for Diamond to announce their plans to begin shipping new comics. Back in mid-April, when DC announced it would continue publishing even though Diamond was down. This move fueled rumors that DC Comics was looking into alternate means of distribution, but at the time, still planning to use Diamond for distribution.
Stay tuned to Comic Watch for more details on this ever-evolving story.
NEWS WATCH: DC COMICS Cuts Distribution Ties with Diamond Distributors
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