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Old 03-26-2020, 08:56 PM   #26
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^I'm going to slightly agree, because my LCS had the chance to also buy the empty store next door for a double-sized area (once the wall was torn down) but the owner decided against it because it would have been a financial risk without guaranteed payoff. Since then, they've done a pretty good amount of business with Magic to the point where they somewhat regret not buying the extra lot because that would mean a lot more players.
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:16 PM   #27
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^I’m sure it was shortsighted of them, but my LCS has minimal manga and minimal gaming. Both of those could fit on one shelf rack. Of course, it doesn’t matter because they’re 100% closed right now anyway.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:01 PM   #28
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Dear Comic Members,

We had a very successful curbside pickup this past Tuesday and Wednesday! We'd like to thank all of you who were able to come and clear out your box! We're also giving a big thanks to those of you who allowed us to ship your comics. You don't know how much we truly appreciate all of your continued support and business!

After speaking with some of you, we understand that many people are still working and can't make our Wednesday window and don't want to resort to shipping just yet. Good news! We are now offering Curbside Pickup this Saturday from 12-3pm as well. And we will no longer be doing Tuesdays 12-3pm. Please understand that our hours are so limited, because we still want to abide by the "stay-at-home" order and practice social distancing to do our part in not spreading this virus!

***Diamond has informed us that they are a putting a halt to weekly shipments for the foreseeable future. Therefore, this past week was the last week of new comics until further notice! Although this may seem alarming, it's a great chance for you all to continue clearing out your comics and catch up on some reading!

I'm going to list again our 3 options:

1. CURBSIDE PICK-UP: We will be in store on Wednesdays from 12-5pm and Saturdays from 12-3pm. You are more than welcome to drive up to Comicmania's curbside and wait in your car while we run your method of payment inside and then bring your comics back out to you. Unfortunately, we cannot be open to the public, so we're aren't allowed to have you come inside. Please make sure to call us at 302-995-1971 before you come, so we can have your box totaled and ready to go! If you feel more comfortable, we can take your payment over the phone when you initially call us.

2. SHIPPING - If curbside pickup isn't an option for you, we can also ship your comics straight to your house! If you are interested in this service, you will need to call us to give us your credit card information. You will receive your usual 10% off plus a free bag and board with each comic. However, shipping fees will apply (between $5-$10 depending on how many go out).

3. ON HOLD/CANCEL - We know times are tough right now. If you would prefer to keep your box open but would like to stop your pull list until we reopen for regular business, let us know and we can put your box on hold. If you think it is best to stop your subscription completely, please let us know and we can cancel your box immediately. However, please understand that it is important to us and the future of our store that you purchase what is currently in your box.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us by responding to this email. Thank you for your concern, understanding and support as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just got this E-mail from my LCS, gonna reply and grab a few more clam shells to protect a few more variants and a couple other storage supplies before the cutoff.
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Old 03-27-2020, 03:35 PM   #29
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Sara by Garth Ennis and Steve Epting is pretty good, just saying.
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Old 03-29-2020, 05:52 PM   #30
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DC Details How Comic Book Retailers Will Be Supported Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
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DC has released a statement explaining what the company will do to assist comic book retailers in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak that has, to all intents and purposes, shut down the comic book industry.

Sent to retailers Saturday afternoon, the statement explains that all DC periodicals and books with in-store dates between March 18 and June 24 will be fully returnable, with the company covering shipping costs. Additionally, DC is "exploring a multi-distributor model" moving forward, " to provide us with the flexibility needed during this crisis to get new content to our readers on an ongoing basis.”

The full statement can be read at the end of this post.

The statement comes at the end of a week where Diamond Comic Distributors announced that it would not be shipping new product to comic book stores in North America for the foreseeable future, essentially closing down the print comic book market. In response, multiple publishers, including Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics and IDW, told The Hollywood Reporter that they would not be publishing digitally until print releases were available.

DC’s statement follows statements statements from Image, Marvel and other publishers released before Diamond’s own, offering retailer assistance in the form of returnable releases, increased discounts or reworking release schedules so as to not overwhelm afflicted retailers experiencing reduced foot traffic or enforced closures.

Retailers have other options available to them for aid; Lion Forge’s the Forge Fund and Mad Cave Studios’ crowdfunded retailer support fund are also active. Additionally, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has released a guide to help retailers apply for Coronavirus Distastes Loan Assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The full statement as provided to retailers follows:

To Direct Market Retailers:

First, the entire team here at DC hopes that you, your family and your employees are staying safe and healthy during this very tough and precarious time. We know that you have been waiting for DC to comment on the state-of-affairs and to address any measures we will take to help our community lighten the burden of the disruption to our business, and we’ve been working hard on a long-term, solution-focused plan. Here is how we will help:

Periodicals and books with in-store dates between March 18, 2020 and June 24, 2020 will be fully returnable. We’ll even provide credit for your separate return shipping of these items only.

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. 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 informat1287071ion about how we’ll make that happen in the coming days.

Thanks for your patience with us. DC will continue to monitor the situation, continue to speak with you directly, and continue to support you through the days ahead. You are the lifeblood of this industry.

All best,
The DC Team
UPDATE: DC ANNOUNCES RETURNABILITY AND EXPLORES ALTERNATE DISTRIBUTION OPTIONS DUE TO COVID-19
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Update: The publisher has said they will continue with digital comics but will revisit that plan depending on what happens with physical distribution down the road. DC’s releases are still listed in comiXology’s upcming page for what’s being released this coming week. DC’s release page shows a full release schedule on April 1. Their studies have determined it’s two different audiences so they feel the release of digital comics will not impact the eventual sale of their physical counterparts. This is compared to Marvel whos comics are also shown on comiXology’s release page but the calendar shows only two releases.
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Old 03-29-2020, 06:15 PM   #31
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Bleeding Cool: DC Comics on Digital Disruption of Distribution in Coronavirus Shutdown
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Last night, as comics publisher DC Comics' statement to retailers regarding their plans for publishing comic books during the coronavirus shutdown was sent to a number of media organisations, Bleeding Cool was able to confirm that DC Comics would be publishing a select number of titles digitally this Wednesday as well. This move has caused concern from a number of retailers, many of whom are unable to open. The concerns of comic shop retailers are that such digital sales would remove potential print sales from them after a greater sense of normality resumes, however many months away that may be. Some of these retailers question why DC Comics may not have been as upfront about this decision as on their other moves during this period, relying on a briefing to Bleeding Cool rather than a statement.

But Adam Philips, Director – Marketing Service of DC Comics has now added to the original statement in a private Facebook group, passed to Bleeding Cool, where he states, "Here's where we are on digital. All our data shows the digital consumer and the physical consumer are two different audiences. For now, we're going to continue to release digital comics, but will revisit this if the pipeline for physical distribution continues to be challenged and disrupted."

The counter-argument to this is that the situation may drive print comics buyers towards digital, and may lose a percentage of that audience forever to comic book shops. It is also notable that Marvel Comics hasn't stated which way it will go this week – they still have their original printers operational, but have fewer print distribution options than DC Comics has.
Bleeding Cool: Boom Studios Stops Printing Comics, Keeps Graphic Novels, No Digital
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Hi Retail Partners!

First and foremost, the BOOM! Studios team hopes that you, your teams, and your loved ones are safe and healthy during this crisis.

With the news of our single issue distributor and some printers shutting down, we understand that this news, compounded with government mandates to close your businesses in some localities, is going to make the foreseeable future challenging for comic shops and the industry as a community.

While new single issue releases were already printed for 4/1/2020 and 4/8/2020, those releases are currently being held at Diamond. BOOM! Studios has halted single issue printing for the time being, pending further information regarding the resuming of physical distribution from our distribution partner. Additionally, we have halted the digital release of new single issues through our digital distribution partners, pending further information from Diamond.

Graphic novels and collections will continue to release on BOOM! Studios' current Book Market schedule (typically the Tuesday after the direct market release date), and we advise retailers to consider additional distribution options for independent booksellers such as Simon & Schuster or Ingram if you would like to receive this product in your stores at time of release.

Simultaneously, BOOM! Studios is reevaluating our entire 2020 publishing schedule and will share details regarding any revisions to our previously announced schedule when they are finalized.

BOOM! Studios has always been your best partner, and we are committed to supporting you and your business through this crisis.

If you have any questions, please contact mperry@boom-studios.com and I will be happy to assist you.

Sincerely,
Morgan and the BOOM! Studios Team
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Old 03-29-2020, 06:43 PM   #32
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Thank you, Boom. Retailers will remember this when the nightmare is over.
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Old 03-29-2020, 07:14 PM   #33
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Bleeding Cool: How Archie Will Continue Publishing Comics, Print and Digital
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It is an understatement to say that these are challenging and uncertain times for everyone. We want to be as transparent and communicative as possible in regards to what we plan to do with our products over the coming weeks and months.

As noted in an earlier statement, we do not want to put an undue burden on retailers already facing shutdowns and limited-to-no distribution from Diamond. Some of the early steps we've taken to accomplish this include, but are not limited to, offering returnability on all of our products originally scheduled for release in March & April. We are now extending that to cover releases in the month of May.

We are also indefinitely delaying all of our planned releases for new direct-market focused comic book projects originally scheduled to launch in late-April through July. This includes our recently announced Betty Cooper: Superteen and Archie Meets Flash Gordon one-shots as well as future issues of Archie & Katy Keene, Sabrina: Something Wicked, Super Duck, and the Betty & Veronica: The Bond of Friendship OGN, as well as other, yet-to-be announced titles. The release schedules for these titles are fluid and will be re-evaluated at a later date.

With that said, we have three titles already in the pipeline that are too far down the path to pull back completely. This small selection of titles has already been printed, with copies mailed to our subscribers as well as select direct market retailers who have ordered custom variant covers. This includes Sabrina: Something Wicked #1 (on sale 4/1), Cosmo the Mighty Martian #5 (on sale 4/1, final issue) and Vampironica: New Blood #4 (on sale 4/15, also a final issue).

As such, we will be releasing our full slate of 4/1 titles via our direct sale channels and digitally. These books are returnable via Diamond and we are able to service your backlist needs as well as provide limited front-list ordering directly from our warehouse if you wish to offer them to your customers. Please reach out directly to us via the usual communication channels and we can coordinate any orders as time and stock allows. Vampironica: New Blood #4, the final issue in the series, will be the last of our direct market-focused titles available digitally when it releases on 4/15.

While we will have already hit pause on all new direct-market focused titles, we will continue to publish our newsstand & subscriber-focused Classic Archie titles such as Archie Jumbo Comics Digest, Archie Milestones Jumbo Comics Digest, Betty & Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest, B&V Friends Jumbo Comics Digest, and World of Archie Jumbo Comics Digest as long as this option remains available to us. Our graphic novels and book market releases such as Archie Comics Presents, our Giant Comics Series, and reprint titles such as Archie & Friends and Betty & Veronica: Friends Forever will continue as digital titles, with print releases depending on printer and distribution channel availability. These are titles that primarily serve channels outside of the direct market, which are currently still operating, just at a reduced capacity.

We are aiming to strike a delicate balance between meeting the needs of our subscriber and digital customers while also reducing the burden on our partners in the direct market. Our goal here is to make sure that the direct market is not left out of our core titles while also maintaining a steady stream of content and material for our other audiences – as well as keeping our own business needs and operational requirements in mind.

As many of you know, Archie is a unique publisher in that we serve a number of channels. We will update our comic shop partners each week with any new information and are taking a close look at what we can move into the later part of the year to lessen the stress on comic shops during the pandemic, and to ensure notable releases for when things return to some semblance of normal.

Please be safe and stay healthy. Do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or suggestions on how we can help you through these difficult times. This is a conversation and we want to remain in contact with you.
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Old 03-29-2020, 07:16 PM   #34
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So, that finally confirms that Diamond has but is not sending the next two Wednesdays worth of titles.

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Thank you, Boom. Retailers will remember this when the nightmare is over.
Yeah, Boom's approach seems the most logical. I wish DC was doing it since it is the majority of what I buy. I don't plan to go digital (unless it's a one-off Archie or indie book) and I really don't want to have to drop hundreds of dollars when I go back to my LCS.

That statement from DC seems so vague to me.
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Old 03-29-2020, 08:58 PM   #35
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Bleeding Cool: DC Comics Decisions Spark Retailer Concern Over Coronavirus Plans
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While a number of comic book publishers have announced they are suspending or restricting publication, physically and digitally, DC Comics announced last night that they are going to use multiple distribution options to get their comic books out in the world. physically and digitally. Which means a new printer, new distributors, venues that are still open and ComiXology/Kindle. Retail venues could include comic stores that are not yet shut down, bookstores, or mass-market stores more widely open for essential items. There has been a lot of concern about these plans, raised by the more outspoken comic book retailers.

Which does raise the fear that the obsession of certain comic book fans may lead them to travel from one shut down state to another state in search of a comic book, or from one sold-out store to another, potentially spreading the coronavirus as they go. In a world in which travel is being discouraged as much as possible, this would seem to be an anathema to that. Especially in a week when DC Comics is planned to be publishing Batman #92, featuring Punchline on her first covers.

There are other concerns about the effect this may have on the existing direct market. Cliff Biggers of Dr No's in Marietta, Georgia, writes, "So every major publisher of comics who has revealed their digital comics plan during the COVID shutdown has presented a united front to support brick-and-mortar comic shops and NOT try to move our print clientele to digital comics… except for DC. And now they have also issued a vague, unclear statement that they are looking at alternative methods of getting books to readers in areas where selling is allowed–but they DON'T specify that they're talking comic shops only."

Brian Hibbs of Comix Experience, San Francisco, California states "DC's announcement is disgraceful: by separating stores into have and have-nots they are going to hasten many stores' demise, and they are encouraging retailers to violate stay-at-home orders and risk their health for corporate profits. Further, not in the announcement, but buried in comments in the retailer threads (how disgusting, how cowardly!), they are not going to halt digital release of new books. This is a dire mistake, and even a tiny amount of cross-channel conversion will put the majority of retailers in enormous economic peril, when coupled with the above. I have never been more been more emphatically disheartened and disappointed by a so-called "partner".

Jesse James Criscione of Jesse James Comics wrote "Well, it was the ONE company I was glad to part ways with…..They are not a team player and continue to prove that point….. LCS Remember this day."

John Tinkness of Another Dimension Comics in Calgary, Alberta said "Many retailers are already in enormous economic peril due to the current shutdowns. ANY move DC or any other publisher makes against the best interests of the Direct Market could be fatal for the entire market."

Randy Myers of Collectors Corner, in Baltimore, Maryland added "Agreed, never thought that DC would make a decision less helpful in a crisis than Marvel to the survival of the Direct Market but here we are."

William Schanes former VP of Diamond called it a "Disastrous statement… no details, just fuels speculation"

Don Alsafi of G-Mart Comics in Chicago, Illinois posted "DC has just revealed themselves to be the enemy of the Direct Market. And releasing digital is nothing less than *training* comics readers to not buy from their LCS. It's the most shockingly stupid, absolutely destructive thing a major publisher could do."

Lawrence Docherty of Larry's Comics in Chelmsford, Massachussetts states "DC hasn't really told us their plan. They plan on alt distributing comics at some date. Every DC Comic that goes in sale digitally is sub only at my shop forever. I don't boycott, I'll get customers anything that they want. Yes even if it's Batman. If I was DC I'd make Batman #92 digital only this Wednesday. There's NO better book in the market to find digital ceiling with. Of course, there's no better book to betray the direct market and ComicsPro with. Let's not forget, on the forums we've been booted from we were told a crackerjack team of ComicsPro members were working behind the scenes with DC for a Solution for retailers. They own this."

So it looks at least if there is a lot of blame to go around. Possibly not the punchline that DC Comics were anticipating.
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Old 03-30-2020, 10:28 PM   #36
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Dynamite pauses digital distribution of new comic books
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Old 03-30-2020, 11:27 PM   #37
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Bleeding Cool: DC Comics Pulls Digital Comics From Wednesday, Including Batman #92
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DC's current digital comics listings include only collections, and the digital-first Batman: The Adventures Continue #1 and Teen Titans Go #6 comic books. Teen Titans Go #6 is free right now, as is Teen Titans Go #4. The DC Comics single-issue comics that were listed for digital release for Wednesday, April 1st, have now been delayed four weeks, until April 29th. Things may change again, of course, and I have had no response to inquiries made to DC Comics tonight. Marvel Comics still has their full line-up of titles available digitally for this Wednesday. Most other publishers have withdrawn or similarly restricted the items that they are selling digitally this week.
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Old 03-31-2020, 12:19 AM   #38
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Oh, thank God.
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Old 03-31-2020, 02:52 AM   #39
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^Hopefully that means they'll drop the alternative printer too. Seems strange to cut the one without the other.
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Old 03-31-2020, 12:42 PM   #40
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Yeah, absolutely.
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Old 03-31-2020, 12:44 PM   #41
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Yeah, absolutely.
BTW, Mike, what’s this stuff about DC’s bad history with retailers? Is that your experience?
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Old 03-31-2020, 02:55 PM   #42
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Bleeding Cool: Marvel Comics Pulls All Digital Comics This Week As Well As Print
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Old 03-31-2020, 08:31 PM   #43
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IMAGE COMICS Confirms No New Titles April 1 Digital or Print
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Old 04-01-2020, 12:34 AM   #44
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BTW, Mike, what’s this stuff about DC’s bad history with retailers? Is that your experience?
I never deal with DC directly, just with Diamond. The only things I can say is that DC never gives you free overship of issues, where other publishers do. DC consistently picks the worst material for their FCBD issues, but still forces you to order their gold book to qualify for FCBD as a whole.
On the other hand, they have higher print runs of their books, so I can reorder them weeks, sometimes months later without a problem. Other publishers run out of their first printing on the day a book comes out. Few offer a second printing at all, and those are usually only available for two or three weeks.

So no, DC doesn't have a bad history with me.
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Old 04-01-2020, 01:01 PM   #45
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DIAMOND Warns of Cash Flow Problems, Halts Payment to Vendors
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Old 04-01-2020, 02:01 PM   #46
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Old 04-01-2020, 02:26 PM   #47
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Bleeding Cool: Today, The Comic Shops' Direct Market Was Saved
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Bleeding Cool has been reporting widely the effect that the current coronavirus pandemic has on the comic books industry, specifically the direct market comic book industry. We have seen comic shops shut down under government mandate and fear of infection. Comic publishers pull back on their publication schedule or stop publishing entirely. The direct market distributor, Diamond Comic Distributors shut its doors to new product, make people redundant and stop paying publishers. But today, that all changes.

Over a week ago, we gave one modest suggestion. That comic shops might be able to sell digital codes for comic books through their websites. Redeem them for print comic books later. Maintaining the weekly reader buzz without sacrificing the physical and collector mentality. We were told that the bureaucracy behind such a plan would be untenable. Today that has all changed too, and it appears that the right people have been working on this for some time.

Comic Shops Through ComicHub

I have been speaking to Stu Colson, owner of comic store Heroes for Sale of New Zealand, and of ComicHub, the point of sale management software for many comic book stores. They have been talking to a lot of stores and a lot of publishers about getting just that kind of system going.

Publishers can already post preview pages for upcoming titles for the existing ComicHub customer tools. When customers register their account, they link with a physical print store. Which means stores don't need even their own website. Customers order comics, receive them digitally and then redeem them for the physical copy at their comic book store at later date. Adding a shopping cart means that publishers, creators and stores get paid. That means there and then, without having to wait. Even Diamond can get paid in advance for that physical distribution as and when printing and distribution returns. This is a major game-changer for a comic book industry, under shutdown.

ComicHub usually takes time to be installed inside a comic shop. Given the circumstances, they have pared back the standard tool, costed to work online for every comic book store on the planet. ComicHub doesn't even need an existing website to work within. Stores register customers and control that data, not ComicHub. The company has also pulled the app from iOS and Google, so as to prevent any existing ComicHub clients from pro-actively stealing customers of other stores. They even cover international exchanges of currency.

A Stressful Time

Stu Colson has put his considerable resources behind this solution and they will be rolling out a version gradually so as to stress test the system. On the eighth of April, they will run the new system out across their existing hundred stores. On the ninth, they will add stores from the ComicsPRO activist group. By the tenth, they will add two hundred mor.e They want to add every store in the world by the twelfth of April. So by Wednesday, the fifteenth of April, they will be able to run a full direct market of comic book stores, using digital and print, whatever system of lockdown we will be in at that stage.

ComicHub has been talking to all major comics publishers to achieve this and it will also cover the two or three missing weeks the direct market has experienced since the coronavirus pandemic set in. While it is unfortunate that today's date is rather notable, this is not a joke. This is, for want of a better phrase, the saviour of the direct comic book market.

Our Last, Best Hope for a Piece

I am aware that some stores will see this as a way of driving their customers away from print and towards digital. However, if the last ten years has taught us anything, it's that traditional comic book readers prefer print. And right now, not being able to choose anything will doom hundreds of comic book stores and take down a few publishers along the way. This is a chance to preserve the traditional direct market of print comics to stores. I hope the right people seize the opportunity. You can follow what effect the current coronavirus pandemic has had on the comic books industry with this tag.
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Old 04-01-2020, 02:45 PM   #48
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The logistics must be nuts for that. What if 50 people order Batman via my LCS, but they only get 20 copies?
I get that it's an emergency situation, but it's also difficult for me since I pay for my comics with cash like 95% of the time.
I don't know if I'll do it at all, but I definitely am not doing it before I hear my LCS is participating. I definitely want to continue supporting my LCS, though. I just figured that would mean hoping they open again and buying a backlog of comics when I get there.
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Old 04-01-2020, 02:47 PM   #49
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Not much of a surprise there. Once the chain was broken, the money flow from A to B to C was always going to stop almost imediately.
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Old 04-03-2020, 01:30 PM   #50
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'ComicHub' Temporary Distribution System 'Isn't Going Forward'
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Despite being positioned by some members of the comic book press less than 48 hours ago as the solution that “saved” the comic book Direct Market, the team behind the proposal involving the ComicHub suite of tools are pulling back their plans for a temporary retail solution to Diamond Comic Distributors' suspension of service due the coronavirus.

“The ComicHub advance digital reader copy initiative isn’t going to move forward right now,” retailer John Hendrick of Big Bang Comics told Newsarama Thursday afternoon. Hendrick, along with Ryan Higgins of Comics Conspiracy, took lead roles for ComicHub in communicating the proposal to their fellow retailers and the comic book press Wednesday.

“It’s obvious from the concerns voiced by our peers that this isn’t an initiative they can get behind," Hendrick continued. "This was designed by people who love comics with the best of intentions, to get cash flow back moving in our industry again from the retailer all the way up to distributors and publishers.

“But until such a time as we can all agree on a solution that fellow retailers can support there is no point in Stu [Colson] continuing this at this time."

Colson is the founder/owner of ComicHub.

“Unfortunately publishers who were interested in joining the platform now aren’t and we can 100% understand their decision despite the positive reception by customers and creators," Hendricks concluded. "This might not have been a long-term solution but we didn’t need it to be one. We just needed it to tide us over until the industry returns to normal. Whenever that is but hopefully soon.”

In case you’ve heard the name bandied about over the last three days, ComicHub is a pre-existing suite of tools (including POS and front-end ordering) used by comic book retailers, publishers, and creators, and seemingly very well regarded by its retailer customers. It quickly gained more widespread notoriety earlier this week when Colson began pitching a plan for ComicHub to, within weeks, begin serving as a mass-adopted temporary tourniquet for the Direct Market rocked both by Diamond’s shutdown along with city and state social distancing guidelines forcing businesses to close their doors.

While largely emphasizing how retailers and publishers could start using the system rather than why they should use the system, Colson proposed ComicHub be used as a means for brick-and-mortar (or mail-order) comic book retailers and publishers to generate revenue during Diamond’s shut-down. The basic pitch was this: comic book stores and comic book publishers working in tandem via the service, pre-selling eventual print comics to readers with the customer receiving a digital copy instantly along with a receipt for the eventual printed version weeks or months down the road.

The pitch strongly emphasized what would be sold were printed comic books with the digital copy being an add-on, to differentiate it from existing digital services like comiXology. The reader would purchase the printed version at full cover price in indefinite advance, with the instant digital version serving as a free incentive for readers who’d have something to tide them over until publishing resumed.

Sort of crowdfunding on steroids, or in an alternate view readers/customers acting as micro creditors-lenders to retailers and publishers, theoretically the system would allow for retailers to keep paying their bills and generate income while distribution was on pause. That in turn would allow retailers to pay their outstanding Diamond bills, which would allow Diamond to pay outstanding money owed to vendors (publishers). The Diamond receivables along with the revenue from the new comic books pre-sold through the system would allow publishers to continue paying their staff and creators to produce new work uninterrupted.

While a premise with some merits to explore and with proponents of genuine intent, the system as proposed clearly had some hard questions it needed to answer. Like how publishers and retailers would distribute a significant backlog of printed comics when physical distribution resumed, without interrupting the revenue stream generated by the distribution of brand new monthly comics, the very problem the system was being proposed to solve.

In other words, if retailers and/or publishers “owed” customers months worth of comic books when printing and distribution resumed and with the revenue those pre-sales generated already spent, how would all those comic books owed all be delivered to fans while not interrupting the flow of brand new comics?

How long could that system of creating a backlog of comic books owed continue while still remaining feasible and what security would the customers have if distribution remains suspended longer than anticipated?

And what would happen to customers who purchased from retailers that go out of business during Diamond’s shutdown anyway? Who would ultimately be responsible for securing and completing those transactions when a retailer who already took their cut of the purchase price in previous months was now out of the equation?

The system as proposed also seemed dependent on quick, widespread adoption by readers, retailers, and publishers to reach the mass necessary to operate as intended. In the comic book Direct Market, that effectively means it needed DC and/or Marvel Comics and likely both (70-ish % of the Direct Market between them) to sign on. Marvel and/or DC’s adoption would be the difference between ComicHub maybe being a tool that could help some retailers and publishers in a small way without the ‘Big Two,’ to being the potential game-changing solution it was being billed as with them signed on.

While it seems likely the proposal achieved some success in terms of the major publishers who listened to the pitch this week, it also seems highly unlikely Marvel or DC would or could give the system their support in the time it took for this proposal to be embraced in the time it was.

‘Industry-saving’ and matter-of-fact 'How It Will Work' headlines and social media posts promising the system going online in weeks occurred on Tuesday and Wednesday despite neither questions about its methodology having immediate answers nor publishers or retailers publicly pledging their support. In fact, prominent retailers have come out publicly against the system, completely opposed to the premise of encouraging their customers to embrace digital, even temporarily, one of the main reasons the proposal has been scrapped.

In a community whose future is in legitimate existential crisis, understandable wishful thinking perhaps prematurely elevated an idea worth exploring into something more than that. And as of Thursday, it was still going on.

Jon Arvedon of CBR reported just hours ago that “news broke that ComicHub was stepping in to help get new comics into the hands of readers” (ComicHub wasn’t and isn’t stepping in, it was a proposal seeking support and no longer is) and that Image Comics is “opting out of the temporary distribution method” (Image can’t opt out of a system that didn’t and now won’t exist).

While retailers, readers, and creators all await more word from the major publishers - particularly Marvel and DC - how they plan to deal with this crisis, perhaps this episode will serve as a cautionary tale about asking the hard questions first.
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