In a question-and-answer session with Newsarama's Chris Arrant, DCBS and Lunar Distribution's Christina Merkler answered a number of questions about Lunar, DCBS and being a distributor of DC Comics. We learned pretty much what we already knew about what wa happened and what had happened. But Merkler did talk about the future. When asked about taking on other publishers, in a series of separate answers to a variety of questions, she answered;
We have had a few smaller publishers inquire, but we have not signed anyone else.
We have had several inquiries and we plan to follow up with them in the next week or so. We are still adding to our infrastructure and processes and do not want to take on more until those are complete and we have our systems running smoothly.
For quite some time, DCBS has received inquiries from many small publishers regarding distribution that may not currently have distribution set up through Diamond.
Now that we have essentially been forced to create some infrastructure due to the crisis, we may be able to accept those requests in the future.
With the infrastructure we've built to distribute DC's comic books as Lunar, we could still potentially help other publishers – even those that maybe aren't even really being servied by Diamond, or those that want an alternative. I think there'll be a place for Lunar when Diamond returns.
Once Diamond is up-and-running and fully back to business, we'll probably evaluate everything on the Lunar side of things and our focus going forward. And I think that focus would be taking care of independent publishers who may not be currently serviced by Diamond.
There have been other small press distribution challenges to Diamond Comic Distributors hegemony over the past couple of decades but none stuck. The most successful may be the direct-to-customers offerings of Shortbox, but this would be a very different and more commercial setup. Diamond has minimum order levels that some publishers find hard to meet. A commonly stated example of this is that, if it weren't for Oni Press's other titles bumping up the numbers, Scott Pilgrim would have received too few orders for Diamond to have agreed to distribute it on its own. Hundreds, thousands of comics projects have fallen by the wayside over the last two decades with similar stories. Also we have seen the likes of Devil's Due and Alterna leave Diamond Comic Distributors entirely. Might Lunar offer an alternative, with a structure that is already serving DC Comics – for now? Would UCS do something similar?
The New Distributor Wars of 2020 are still playing out.