UPDATE: This story kicked off quote the storm, leading to both an update and a new lead story on Bleeding Cool that may be worth checking out. The original story continue below.
Comic book publisher Alterna Comics has, today, shared news about current publishing and distribution plans. The publisher is best best known for printing on newsprint and pricing most of their comic books between $1 and $2. Today, they announced on social media that Diamond had told them "that the potential earliest release date for new product will be in August."
Currently Diamond Comic Distributors has closed its doors to new comic books, putting much of the comics industry, both in print and in digital, on hold. Diamond is holding onto product intended for early April. After announcing a cessation in payments, they then added a payment plan. Solicitations have been released by all publishers to cover May and June, but many have been stating that schedules will be changing as a result of the shutdown. Whether this reported edict applies to those items, or to new solicits beyond then is not clear, and Alterna Comics did not clarify in response to enquiries sent earlier today.
As a result of this, however, Alterna Comics has decided to cancel all solicitations through Diamond, withdraw itself from the direct market and deal directly with retailers and costumers, through the website alternaaccess.com.this is not entirely new for the publisher, they have often made comics available this way before they have appeared in the direct market. They would also not be the only to deal with retailers and the publisher directly. However, withdrawing from Diamond is a major step and a rare event. Alterna Comics states "This will be the only way for readers and retailers to get new comics from us for the immediate, and perhaps indefinite, future." They later confirmed "The last releases we had to comic shops were the titles released in March. Anything that was supposed to be released in April, May, June, etc. will not be sent to Diamond. We recommend ordering directly through us OR informing your local shop to order directly from us." Previously, Alterna Comics had stated that 'this industry is hanging by a thread'.
Will any other publisher follow this plan? Will Diamond not take any new comic books for distribution until August at the earliest? Will they even be allowed to under current strictures of health concerns by then? You can keep following Bleeding Cool's coverage of this ongoing situation with this link.