As the COVID-19 Global Pandemic impacts everyday life in almost every single country in the world, even the comic book industry is not, excuse the pun, immune. As commerce and industry shuts down due to the government imposed lockdowns, manufacturing and distribution of goods and services has come to a virtual standstill.
Diamond Distributors have ceased operating and have said they are unable to pay upcoming bills. With no new comics being delivered to local comic stores, these too have had to close with no real indication if – or when – they will reopen. Initial thoughts that the publishers would continue to distribute their comics to customers in digital format met with a howl of protests from the retailers. They reasoned that their customers would then not want to later purchase the physical issues several months later.
The main publishers finally relented and announced several initiatives to try and help retailers survive through this crisis, including suspending comic book production across the board. However, with many local comic stores operating on already razor thin margins, many are still unlikely to survive a prolonged shutdown – or in some cases even a short one.
DC and Marvel
Even the two big publishers themselves, DC and Marvel, may not be immune from the economic effects in the longer term. Their respective parent companies, AT&T and Disney, are seeing their revenue