As a result of the impact caused by coronavirus, Diamond Comic Distributors is stopping shipments of comic books. First reported by Bleeding Cool and confirmed by ComicBook.com, one of the biggest gears in the comic book publishing system is halting any shipments from entering its warehouses. They will continue to ship the product they have in stock, but that means no new comic books will enter their facilities effective immediately.
The halt also includes toys, games, and any other products shipped by the distributor.
This puts a major hold on comic book distribution as far as local comic shops go, and calls into question what the next move by publishers served by Diamond Comic Distributors will be. That includes Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, BOOM! Studios, and IDW Publishing, as well as many of the smaller publishers. In fact, earlier today AHOY Comics and BOOM! Studios revealed to retailers their next moves, but with no product being shipped to comic stores, these plans are now likely null and void.
The big question is how will publishers respond, and what are their next steps? A few options remain, including digital distribution of comic books on already established platforms like Comixology, but can publishers figure out new ways to supply product to comic book shops who may be offering curbside pickup and mail orders?
That remains to be seen. Keep your eyes here at AIPT as this story is likely to change and update quickly.
According to Newsarama April 8th is the latest comics shipment housed at Diamond Comics Distributor and set to be shipped. Anything beyond April 8th will likely not have hardcopies shipped as we know it.