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Thursday, April 02, 2020 

More signs all may not be well for Diamond distribution

According to this Hollywood Reporter item, Diamond's holding back payments:
Should Diamond Comics Distributors fail, the impact it could have on the industry would be catastrophic.

The fallout of the comic book industry shutdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic continues with the news that Diamond Comics Distributors will be withholding payments this week in the light of cash flow problems.

"The unfortunate truth is that we are no longer receiving consistent payments from our customers," Stan Heidmann, president of Diamond parent company Geppi Family Enterprises, explained in a letter to venders, which include comics publishers and pop culture manufacturers of toys. "This requires that at this time, we hold payments to vendors previously scheduled to release this week. This is a difficult decision and not one we make lightly.”
The impact wouldn't be such a fiasco if, for the millionth time, the industry were to change from pamphlets to whole paperback and hardcover formats, if that's what'll persuade ordinary distributors to handle their shipments, but so long as they won't make a public statement about it, we can't assume they're actually considering it. The article also mentions something DC was going to do during the pandemic:
In its statement to retailers this weekend, DC suggested that it was already looking at alternative distribution possibilities, although it’s unclear if that was intended as a short-term option during Diamond’s temporary shutdown, or something more lasting.
It says they're going to make all their books over the next few months returnable. Not good enough. They have to be made always returnable, as I'd argued before. Mainly if any bad projects left over from the DiDio era remain on the slate, and are so awful nobody'll want to buy them. For example, any crossovers they had planned for this year, which we could do without, and left no artistic impact. It'll be interesting to see what effect the Coronavirus shutdown has on crossovers, because at a time when a lot of people are unable to work, it's certainly not like they can afford massive crossovers.

The crisis is bound to have some effect on the industry as a whole, and it remains to be seen how it'll affect Diamond by the end of the year.

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