Diamond Comic Distributors have told retailers that the number of new accounts placing regular monthly Previews orders with Diamond Comic Distributors has increased by 20% in 2021 "reflecting the strength and resilience of the comic and collectibles industry as it continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic". I naturally presumed that this was because last year was so atypical with pandemics and DC Comics leaving for Lunar Distributors, and stores may have stopped ordering comics from Diamond but have now started again, but it seems not. "This increase is compared to the average of the last three years during the same period (January-July), excluding 2020."
Geppi Family Enterprises Chief Sales and Service Officer Chris Powell states "It is encouraging to see this influx of new customers entering the industry. Many retailers told us over the last year-plus that their sales were buoyed by creatively reaching consumers who discovered or rediscovered what comics and collectibles had to offer. This growth has clearly enabled entrepreneurs to open new shops or add comics to existing stores. We look forward to helping our customers — new and longtime — make the most of this industry growth in the months and years to come."
Of course, as well as dealing with the departure of DC Comics, Diamond will have a similar struggle as Marvel Comics goes exclusive with Penguin Random House for direct market distribution, leaving Diamond as a sub-distributor of Marvel, soon to be joined by Lunar. And in the Editor's letter in last week's Diamond Previews, Marty Grosser commented on this for the first time, saying
"On July 10th, I celebrated my 33rd anniversary with Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. and the reason I'm here, my beloved PREVIEWS catalog. Over the three decades that I have worked here, I have seen so much happen to the comics industry… so many changes, departures, successes and failures. I saw the rise of the IMAGE partners and their subsequent departure from Marvel Comics. I saw Marvel Comics leave us and attempt to distribute themselves — and fail miserably. But when they needed us, we took them back. It was important that Marvel Comics continued and survived for the benefit of the entire industry. As you know Marvel has left us again, this time to another distributor. We'll still be selling Marvel Comics to whoever wants to order them from us. And Marvel? I wish them the best, puffing their faith in a flightless seabird and a random dwelling. Brave."
Diamond's Marty also has some shade to throw at DC as well of course.
"I saw DC kill Robin via telephone vote and kill Superman at the hands of a ridiculous alien juggernaut. I saw Frank Miller reinvigorate Batman once upon a time, and a British wizard with a soft spot for the Silver Age, cast his considerable word magic on some of DC's least appreciated characters, and like an alchemist, turned them to gold. And I watched as they left us abruptly during a period of their own creative restructuring, casting off longtime staffers and editors, for… something different, that many of us old-timers no longer recognize. I wish them the best… for what it's worth" a
As he also looks to where Diamond will be now…
"Aardvarks, Ticks, Turtles, Bones, Strangers, and a million more characters emerge, not from the largest publishers in the land, but from the drawing boards of talented writers and artists with a dream and the will to bring them to life."