DC Comics Closes Private Retailer Forum on Facebook
It's been a rocky road for retailers and DC Comics this year. First, DC Comics left Diamond for new distributors causing and increase in distribution prices and all manner of teething troubles as well as not thinking through the international distribution issues. They also cancelled a bunch of "mid list" comic book titles. Yesterday, DC Comics launched the upcoming Batman Day, cutting out any comic book store participation for the first time. And they also closed the DC Nation Retailer Facebook group, a private arena where retailers could voice concerns to DC Comics, discuss issues amongst themselves and get answers. Such as with DC's decision to spoil Batman #50 in the national press. Recently there may have been more negative commentary than positive and so DC closed the forum, stating that retailers could continue to get information from DC Comics' retailer press releases. Which, as anyone knows, isn't exactly a two way, accountable, relationship.
A couple of years ago, DC Comics turned off all retailer comments on the group, after a little contre-temps, though that was soon reversed. This seems more permanent, and is closing down the kind of established communication platform that has taken years to build.
DC's slap in the face turned into a one-two punch: they have also announced that they will be shutting down their Facebook group dedicated to comic shop retailers. "Why would we want to hear from you?" seems to be the message that goes with that. They say they will send us emails telling us what they want us to know. (I think the first email will say "drop dead.")
This was a private group to allow retailers to communicate and interact with DC's publishing and marketing divisions, not something open to the general public. They in effect shut down the only means we had to connect with DC.
Lord Retail of Acme Comics posted to Twitter: "COMICS RETAILERS: Be aware that the DC Retailer Forum on Facebook is being shuttered so you MUST make certain you are receiving AND looking at their Direct Current emails. There will likely be even more critical and time sensitive information therein that you will have to act on."
Ryan Higgins of Comics Conspiracy posted "RIP DC Nation Retailer Forum January 20, 2017 – August 31st, 2020 "It's never as bad as it seems. You're stronger than you think you are. Trust me."
This is also the first week when, because of holidays, DC Comics is moving its FOC deadline back from this Sunday at midnight, to this Thursday at midnight. And they suddenly have one less tool to remind retailers of the news.