There will be no new comic books in any stores "until further notice," thanks to coronavirus.

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/03/26/there-will-be-no-new-comic-boo.html

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Bet Marvel and DC are kicking themselves now. This is why there shouldn’t be a monopoly on comics distribution in the US. But that ship sailed and sank years ago.

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They still have digital distribution.

That’s a rather informative statement by Geppi. It basically says that he’s screwed from all ends, so he’s giving up for now.
I don’t think that having more than one distributor would change any of his reasons for closing.

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In my old age I’ve taken to favoring TPBs over individual issues for several reasons; they usually have complete story arcs, they look better on a book shelf, and they usually cost less than the individual issues would.

I don’t collect in the hopes my collection will be worth something someday. I collect to enjoy them. I just finished collecting the first series of Girl Genius. I just hope I have time to read them all.

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Shouldn’t those shops be closed anyway?

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While I agree with your point, it probably would happen if there were two main ones like back when it was Diamond and Advanced. It’s not like one would have less risk with Covid 19 than the other.

Yes, but you could do take out like you do with restaurants. Also, comic nerds excel at social distancing.


I don’t collect any more, per se, but if I was, I have a big stack of graphic novels i need to get through anyway.

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So this is going to be really tough for the monthly print comic book industry. Tons of comic book stores will have to go out of business. small publishers will be forced to keep publishing digital if they don’t want to go out of business.

Marvel trying to get into distribution when they bought Heroes World Distribution in 1994 to act as their exclusive distributor. Heroes World ended up lacking the proper logistics and management to handle the huge Marvel orders, and that combined with the implosion of the speculation market in the mid-90s meant the company went out of business in 1997. Marvel itself declared bankruptcy in 1996.

My comic shop had curbside pickup and home delivery

Ok you’ve convinced me With numbers that single issues are most important. The market is the market. I for one prefer collected hardbacks or straight to trades. I wouldn’t want serialized novels either, a chapter at a time.

Fun fact, I used to work at the Geppis comic world in Silver Spring Maryland and got to spend more than a few afternoons in the store with him. I was only 12 and 13 and didn’t work for money but for comic books in trade. This was before he bought diamond distributors. He helped me learn how to grade comic books for condition.

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The direct market for comics is an odd beast, and fairly exclusionary at its best. Diamond won’t carry an independent comic unless it meets a minimum order threshold, and they tend to favor superhero material. Many comic publishers, like Chicago’s Iron Circus comics, found that even when their trade paperbacks were listed, Diamond would delay or refuse to fill reorders. So, now publishers have gone to book distributors. Artists like Reina Telgemeier couldn’t get arrested in a comic shop, now their books top the NYTimes bestseller lists for all books, not just graphic novels. Diamond’s monopoly made it impossible for rival distributors with more diverse material that isn’t aimed at superhero fans to emerge, basically abandoning a new audience.

For indie comic publishers, Diamond was an important part of the cash flow at one time – you would make your decision on whether to print the book on how many orders you got from Diamond, and you’d assign your Diamond proceeds directly to the printer. These days, a publisher can put their book up on Kickstarter and raise the production costs in advance, and print up additional inventory to cover book distribution, direct mail orders, and convention sales, as well as Amazon.

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Who would have thought that a single point of failure for an entire industry was a bad thing?

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