Bleeding Cool spoke with Gerry Gladston of Midtown Comics, the comic store behind DC Comics' new East Coast distributor UCS Comics Distributor. The move has seen DC Comics leave Diamond Comic Distributors, who are in shut down to receiving new comics for at least another month. Instead two new distributors have set up, UCS run by New York comic store Midtown Comics, and Lunar run by online Indiana store DCBS. Lunar has not responded to press inquiries but UCS did.
The move has been controversial to some, and I put to Gerry the complaints expressed by Brian Hibbs of Comix Experience. Hibbs sees this situation as a betrayal of Diamond, a way of pitting one retailer against each other at a dangerous time, and also making stores subject to the whims of a rival comic book store. Gerry told me "Midtown Comics is affiliated with UCS Comic Distributors, one of the companies secured by DC to distribute their comics. The team has years of experience in the areas of distribution, fulfillment, and customer service, hence why DC asked for help. To address all of the retailer concerns, all I can say is that anyone who works with UCS will enjoy and appreciate the service, and find that we're straight shooters. DC wouldn't have asked us to help out otherwise."
I also wondered if DC Comics was just the first and if other publishers would be joining them in alternative distribution means. If they were, it seems they aren't going to be using UCS. I asked Gerry is he was expecting any other publishers to join DC at UCS and he told me "Not really, and none have asked."
Maybe they might now. UCS will be getting comic books to stores for sale on the last Tuesday of the month. As it stands, that means just a handful of DC Comics in print and digital. Might other publishers decide that, in for a penny in for a pound, if DC Comics are going to do this, they might as well join in? Marvel Comics, as it stands, have made no changes to their public plans, but it feels like a centipede's worth of shoes are about to drop. It is notable that on the UCS FOC page, that there is a space for publisher – this does not have to just be DC Comics only. Will anyone get in touch?