Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, this will be the first week in which there are no new comics from major publishers available to read, in comic stores or on digital apps. A lot can be said about how we got into this situation and how fear of change kept the biggest publishers like Marvel, DC, IDW, and Dynamite Entertainment from exploring distribution options outside the direct market for decades despite the readership of that market remaining stagnant and the techniques used to increase profits at the top causing retailers to live "paycheck to paycheck." Had the industry been working toward expanding readership outside a specialty market that sells luxury items to hardcore collectors for the past several decades, the industry as a whole might be able to easily survive this shutdown. But that's not where we are, and through digital distribution channels are easily accessible, the fragility of the direct market has forced the publisher to withhold comics from those channels as well.
Dynamite Entertainment is one of many publishers that will not be releasing new physical or digital comics until the shutdown is over, with publisher and CEO Nick Barrucci saying:
We know comic fans everywhere have been watching closely to see what their favorite publishers and retailers are able and choosing to do in this very complex time. And whether they will be getting the comics they love to read and collect this week and in the coming weeks. We've chosen to keep all our retail partners and fans on the same page, literally. If all retailers receive the periodicals and collections at the same time, including and especially our bestsellers, that is the best chance for the industry to come out of this strong. Every sale of a new periodical or collection taken out of the retailer's hands is one more blow to them, and we want all retailers to survive this pandemic to continue to be there for all fans. We feel this is the best fair course until we get further answers and solutions.
But while Dynamite Entertainment may not have any new comics out, they are offering readers a chance to explore their existing comics by offering free #1 issues on ComiXology. Since Marvel and DC hold the vast majority of market share in the direct market, that means that many readers who are hungry for something new have likely never read many of the Dynamite Entertainment series being offered below.
A press release from Dynamite Entertainment reads:
March 30, Mt. Laurel, NJ: It's a new week, and that means even more free releases from Dynamite! In addition to the titles revealed last week, which will still be free for this week, Dynamite has a new batch of free comics for fans to enjoy.
For those staying at home and practicing social distancing, these first issues are perfect for #ComicsAndQuarantine. If one enjoys the taste test, further issues or collections are available just a click away and from preferred retailers. More issues are yet to be revealed, so stay tuned.
This week the comics include contributions from such creators as Warren Ellis, Mark Waid, Alex Ross, Jim Zub, Marguerite Bennett, Mike Carey, Tim Seeley, Mirka Andolfo, Amy Chu, Jason Masters, Max Bemis, Kyle Starks, and more.
-Alice Cooper #1
-Doctor Spektor: Master of the Occult #1
-Green Hornet (2018) #1
-James Bond (2015) #1
-Mars Attacks #1
-Sheena: Queen of the Jungle #1
-Xena: Warrior Princess (2016) #1
Will you be trying out new Dynamite Entertainment books while stuck at home with nothing to read? Now's as good a time as any.