The comic book industry has been hit hard by the Coronavirus Pandemic. Major publishers like Marvel and DC have been forced to halt production, while comic book retailers and shops across the nation have been forced to shut down, along with so many other businesses deemed "non-essential" during the COVID-19 crisis. Fans have been eagerly waiting for the comics industry to come up with a plan for getting back to business, in one way or another. Well, now we may have our first real sense of when comic books will resume shipping to retailers again, as Diamond Comics has put out a press release announcing a plan to resume shipping operations.
According to the press release, Diamond Comics is looking at mid-to-late May as the window of opportunity for resuming shipping and distribution. As you can imagine, there are a lot of moving parts to that presumed schedule, and Diamond acknowledges as much. You can get the full details of the plan to restart comic book sales from Diamond's press release, below:
The Other Side of COVID-19
With health and safety of employees, retailers and customers a top priority, we need to be very deliberate about how we restart and scale operations. We must find that delicate balance between managing health and safety concerns, meeting the pent-up demand for product and working with retailers whose situations differ, and whose need for product may have changed.
While there are many steps and conversations that need to happen between today and resuming distribution of new weekly product, we are currently targeting mid- to late-May with the hope that, as an industry, we can all work toward that timeframe. Of course, as we have all seen, target dates sometimes need to be adjusted in this ever-changing new-normal. But we cannot wait for firm dates. We have started the planning process and are having these important conversations with publishers and retailers so that once we have more clarity, we are in a position to restart and scale operations over time.
Our intent is to restart the weekly FOC process once we have worked with publishers on a new schedule for product releases. Product that was originally scheduled for release on April 1st and 8th will be distributed over a longer period, allowing publishers to work with printers to deliver new product without further interruption. Retailers will be able to adjust order quantities for those products, making sure that they are receiving quantities that make sense for the current situation in their stores.