Last week comic fans and stores were hit with a huge blow thanks to the coronavirus pandemic when Diamond Comic Distributors announced that they will no longer receive shipments of new comics at its warehouses due to the ongoing pandemic, a move that means product dated on or after April 1st will not be shipped. Now, ComicBook.com has learned that DC will be going forward wilt releasing a limited selection of new DC comics digitally on Wednesday, April 1st.
At this point full details of what DC will release digitally on Tuesday are not yet available. What we do know is that at least some of the week's planned new releases will be made available for customers on digital platforms, though what specific titles will be available is also unclear.
Last Monday, Diamond Comic Distributors announced that they will no longer receive shipments of new comics at its warehouses. In an official statement Steve Geppi, chairman and CEO of Diamond’s parent company Geppi Family Enterprises, stated that the move was prompted from what they were hearing from retailers -- specifically that due to stay at home orders put in place by various state and local governments, stores were no longer able to service customers in a business as usual manner. Additionally, Geppi cited the strain and challenges being experienced by supply chain and others due to the coronavirus pandemic as part of the decision to cease weekly distribution of new product at this time.
"With these changes in our distribution strategy, we will work with our publishing partners to develop programs that will address product already in the pipeline and what will happen when we resume distribution. We know that during this time you will face many challenges, and we will direct our energies toward addressing them, rather than fighting on increasingly numerous fronts to get product out," the statement read.
"Besides the industry’s most immediate needs, we have been and will continue looking toward the future, when we see stores reopening, bringing staff back onboard, and getting customers in the door. We are looking at issues like debt accrued due to this crisis, what reduced ordering means for your discount tiers, and the availability of credit to help stores through and after this difficult time. We don’t have all those answers today, but we understand the many issues you are facing and look forward to addressing them as partners who all have an interest in the long-term health of the industry we love so much."
On Saturday, DC released their own statement on the ongoing issues of distribution and returnability, indicating that they are looking at other distribution methods, something that could long run lead to the end of Diamond's position in the industry and open up other avenues of sales and shipment.
"Additionally, because we anticipate that continued disruption to business operations will create regional volatility, DC is exploring a multi-distributor model to provide us with the flexibility needed during this crisis to get new content to our readers on an ongoing basis," that statement reads. "In the short-term, we continue to engage in active conversations with Diamond to help us solve the distribution issues that have arisen and hope to get new product to stores that want or need it as soon as possible. We will provide additional information about how we’ll make that happen in the coming days."
Keep an eye on ComicBook.com for more information on the ever-shifting changes to the comic book industry and more information about what comics DC will be offering via digital release on Wednesday.