In two hours it is expected that Prime Minister Boris Johnson (As seen in recent issues of Hellblazer and Once & Future) will be announcing a full lockdown for the entirety of England. No local tiers this time, everything closes, aside from hospitals, essential shops and educational establishments. As a result, I have been booking up Tesco Delivery and Farmdrop slots for the next couple of months – including my birthday. We have enough toilet paper, pasta, tinned tomatoes, flour, rice and eggs to see us – and the elderly relatives we buy for – sorted. But what of the comic books? Apparently they don't count as essential supplies. But for some, there are opportunities.
UK comic book magazine publisher Comic Scene has already noted the concern, tweeting out "If there is a lockdown you will want your comics – join the Comic Club today https://comicscene.org/subscribe-to-the-history-of-comics #Lockdown2"
Nick Roche pointed out "So if you missed out, your local comic shop can now order the SCARENTHOOD #1 reprint. These nice people liked it, so to make it easier for stores AND you during lockdown, ask them to keep it for you TODAY, and they'll be happy to mail it or hold it for you. Ta for your support! X"
JobLotComics tweeted out "Order now for #christmas and make lockdown that much more cheerier for the comic book fan in your life 15 @DCComics and @Marvel for just £12.99 http://JobLotComics.co.uk"
And social media is bubbling with worry.
@dcsideways: "We go in lockdown, we still get comics right?"
@joelovescomics "It's bad but that was my first thought as well, like Amazon warehouses and things will probably stay open so hopefully Diamond will still ship out to stores, even if it's only home delivery from there, but if it's not safe obviously understandable we'll have to see"
@talkjarro Depends if your shop does deliveries, curb side pickup or postage?
@dcsideways I'm wondering if it means our shops will still get their deliveries?
Comic book creator and journalist Rik Worth is doing something practical. Tweeting out "Oh look, the South is in trouble so now the government is panicking. But don't worry, support will definitely be spread fairly. F-ck sake. Could we actually storm Downing Street and turf Johnson out? At this point, wouldn't that be in the national interest?"
Okay, no I didn't mean that, sorry, he offered some practical help. saying "Comics twitter. I'm a little scared lockdown might stop people printing books before, oh I don't know, @ThoughtBubbleUK
so, reply below with a link to where peeps can buy your books/art/prints/merch and I'll RT. It's not much but we gotta look after each other." Follow that thread and that man.
James Goss of Doctor Who Triumphant fame had his own assessment. "Purely selfishly, if they'd had the lockdown a fortnight ago, I wouldn't have noticed. Thousands of lives would have been saved, but most importantly MY LIFE WOULD HAVE BEEN EASIER. Suddenly realising why Dad laughed when I said how much I was looking forward to seeing them later before heading back to London."
Did you know that last month, the Mirriam Webster Dictionary has reported a spike of over 30,000% in searches for the word "schadenfreude"?
The British Cabinet is meeting right now to, basically, rubber-stamp the decision about national lockdown already taken. In two hours, Boris Johnson will take to the stage with his pet scientists with the cabinet office papers that were leaked to the press this morning, to announce it all.
Either way, it looks like it's coming, so comic book fans, at least you have your longboxes to go through. Comic stores, good luck, Piranha Comics pointed out how their pivot to mail order saw sales increase during the first lockdown, we're wishing the best for you all. Stay safe, stay well, stay distanced – and just be sorry for those who have pre-ordered their PS5 and now aren't going to get it for ages now. Also, we could be in France.
Time for a cartoon repeat, methinks.