Last night, as comics publisher DC Comics' statement to retailers regarding their plans for publishing comic books during the coronavirus shutdown was sent to a number of media organisations, Bleeding Cool was able to confirm that DC Comics would be publishing a select number of titles digitally this Wednesday as well. This move has caused concern from a number of retailers, many of whom are unable to open. The concerns of comic shop retailers are that such digital sales would remove potential print sales from them after a greater sense of normality resumes, however many months away that may be. Some of these retailers question why DC Comics may not have been as upfront about this decision as on their other moves during this period, relying on a briefing to Bleeding Cool rather than a statement.
But Adam Philips, Director – Marketing Service of DC Comics has now added to the original statement in a private Facebook group, passed to Bleeding Cool, where he states, "Here's where we are on digital. All our data shows the digital consumer and the physical consumer are two different audiences. For now, we're going to continue to release digital comics, but will revisit this if the pipeline for physical distribution continues to be challenged and disrupted."
The counter-argument to this is that the situation may drive print comics buyers towards digital, and may lose a percentage of that audience forever to comic book shops. It is also notable that Marvel Comics hasn't stated which way it will go this week – they still have their original printers operational, but have fewer print distribution options than DC Comics has. Here are the titles that DC Comics had planned for this Wednesday. And you can keep an eye on all of Bleeding Cool's coverage of the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the comic book industry here.