DC Comics gave out the big news to retailers today, that they will be publishing print comic books again. On Tuesday 27th April, they will have copies in whichever comic stores in the USA and Canada are able to still sell them, whether in person, curbside or by mail order. DC will also have day-and-date They named the two distributors they had done deals with as UCS Comic Distributors and Lunar Distribution. But who are they?
Bleeding Cool has made enquiries without response, but it is notable that these appeared to be brand new endeavours. The enquiry address on Lunar Distributors' front page gets their own URL incorrect, listing it as ucscomicdistributions.com not ucscomicdistributors.com. The websites are relatively minimalist, all they want is for people to apply to them, with scant information as to the origin of these companies.
The domain name for UCS was registered by GoDaddy, anonymously, on the 8th of April 2020. It was set up for Lunar Distribution 2020-04-13 on the 13th of April, also anonymously on GoDaddy. The novelty of both suggests that these companies were set up over the last week with the express purpose of taking on DC Comics distribution and none other. What arrangement the companies have with DC Comics is not clear, nor if they would be open to working with other publishers. It is possible that this may not even be an option.
There is also no mention of the non-North American market, making around 15% of DC Comics' sales in the direct market, with focal points in the UK, Ireland, France and Australia. Diamond UK has been holding a week's additional titles from all major publishers, with no update as to how that will be handled.
So Bleeding Cool reporters called both UCS and Lunar earlier today. No one picked up, but UCS diverted an answerphone machine for Hal at Midtown Comics. One of the largest comic stores in the US, Midtown Comics of New York also handles Marvel and DC Comics subscriptions as well as comp copies for creators and other talent. Lunar just had an answerphone message with no identification but further investigation identified it as an operation being run by DCBS, the largest mail-order comics company in the US, based in Fort Worth, Indiana.
The early days of the direct market saw one store setting themselves up as a distributor to other stores – like Pacific Comics. Could this be a return to the early days of the direct market in more ways than one? If anyone at UCS or Lunar (or Midtown Comics or DCBS) would like to talk to Bleeding Cool about this new venture and let us know more, we would love to hear from you.