Bill Schanes, former Vice President of Purchasing of Diamond Comic Distributors, is a comics legend. He founded Pacific Distributors almost fifty years ago, and joined Diamond almost twenty years after that. He stepped down from Diamond Comic Distributors in 2013, though he continues to visit comic book stores, travelling the world. We briefly quoted him in an article regarding DC Comics statements about print and digital comics distribution, during the current coronavirus lockdown. As a pioneer in the establishment of the comic book direct market who enabled stores to order comics accurately from publishers with better discounts, Bill Schanes changed the very nature of the artform and industry. He also oversaw the rise of Diamond to dominate the direct market, with exclusive deals for the biggest comic book publishers. Schanes was also part of Diamond's early forays into digital distribution. And he has now expressed his thoughts regarding the current situation with greater verbosity. He writes on Facebook;
"With Diamond Comic Distributors and Diamond Book Distributors both temporally halting all shipments of products to both the comic book specialty retailers and the book channel, for the reasons stated (concern for the health of their employees and non essential government mandated closures), I find it more than curious as the traditional book channel publishers and distributors continue to operate as if there is no pandemic happening on a global basis.
So while they appear to be champions of their wholesale accounts, they are putting their employees at risk to exposure of the Coronavirus, plus their employees families, friends and people they potentially come in contact with…..profits over public safety. Not to mention, it's only a matter of time until all 50 US states order mandatory shut down for all but essential businesses.
It also provides an uneven advantage/disadvantage to those retailers who can still open their doors Vs those who aren't allowed to do so. Plus, the large .coms stand to benefit the most, taking sales and profits out of the comic book and book store sectors, who desperately need these sales now, more than ever.
I view the book publishers and book distributors as being irresponsible to the overall public health and safety, and would urge those publishers who sell books through these book distributors and their customers to discontinue until such time as the worst of the pandemic has subsided."
48+ years in the comic book business