The Covid 19 crisis has changed the world in ways that we don’t even realize yet. The comics industry has been hit especially hard with shop closings and Diamond Distributors closing for two months. This has left comic publishers in a bind when it comes to a way to get new books into the hands of readers. Diamond was the only game in town, but now Lunar Distribution and UCS Comic Distributors have stepped up to handle periodical distribution while Diamond was closed. All parties involved, including DC and Diamond, publicly stated that DC would continue to release product through Diamond when the latter resumed distribution in late May. That, it seems, is not the case. DC is cutting ties with Diamond. According to a statement from DC and Hollywood Reporter..
An email sent to retailers explained, “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.”
The message continued, “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 told The Hollywood Reporter, “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.”
This is bad news for Diamond. DC consists of 30% of the entire market. Add to that the fact that a lot of publishers are pulling back on new product. The future of Diamond remains uncertain and they have yet to issue a statement.