Earlier today, comic book publisher Alterna Comics shared the news widely that they were pulling all their solicitations from Diamond from April, May and June. They stated that this was because Diamond Comic Distributors, currently not distributing new comics, had told them they wouldn't be distributing any such until August at least. As a result, Alterna was going to switch to direct sales to readers and retailers alike. The message was shared widely around the comics industry. It was hard to get comment or clarity, but after we posted it on Bleeding Cool, we learnt a different version of events from two separate and very senior comics industry sources.
Specifically that, as of tonight, unless there is a major change in the current shutdown and lockdown orders, that Diamond Comic Distributors will, somehow, be distributing the currently held new comic books to comic book stores on Sunday 17th of May, arriving in comic book stores shortly afterwards, followed by newly printed comic books. There may be some delays to certain parts of the US, it will depend on which stores can and cannot accept delivery or put it on sale, and international distribution to Europe may take a lot longer. What this means for future solicitation dates and delivery is also unknown, to me at least. However right now, we at least have a ballpark. Things can change, Harold MacMillan once talked about having to deal with 'the opposition of events'. This is the plan, as it has been shared by Diamond Comic Distributors to comic book publishers – the big ones at least. How that rolls out to everyone else, we'll try to report as and when it comes to us.
The direct market of comic book stores has been crippled right now, with some expectation that the current situation could last to September or beyond. This may be a ray of hope for some to be able to look to, though for others it will be too late, or for a variety of reasons it won't reach them. But for many, May 17th could be a new rallying cry. You can continue to follow Bleeding Cool's coverage of the effect the current global situation is having on the comic book industry with this handy tag. And feel free to fill us in on what you've been hearing as creator, retailer, publisher or distributor by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.