Heard from the showfloor of San Diego Comic-Con: Special Edition is the news that Oni Press/Lion Forge is the latest comic book publisher to join Lunar Distribution for distribution to comic book stores.
Lunar, set up by online comic book store DCBS, is the exclusive monopoly distributor of DC Comics to the direct market of comic book stores, but a number of other smaller publishers such as Scout Comics and Ahoy Comics have made their product available through Lunar Distribution. Now we hear the latest to join their numbers is Oni Press/Lion Forge. Their books have already started to be added to the "publisher discounts" section of the Lunar Distribution website, and will be joining the FOC offerings in weeks to come.
Oni Press was previously known as a Diamond Comic Distributor-exclusive publisher, but the shutdown and payment delay from Diamond during the pandemic may have made such contractual restrictions null and void. Might other comic book publishers be adding to their distribution options? Are there any more exclusive comic book distribution either coming, or have come, to an end? And will comic book retailers choose to order Oni through Lunar instead of Diamond, or prefer to stick with who they know?
Oni Press was founded in 1997 by Bob Schreck and Joe Nozemack with the goal of publishing comics and graphic novels they would want to read. Schreck left the company in 1999, and Oni is currently owned by Nozemack, James Lucas Jones, and Charlie Chu. The company name derives from oni, the Japanese word for the ogre demons popular in Japanese folklore. In 2019, Oni Press announced a merger with Lion Forge Comics into Polarity. Oni Press went exclusive with Diamond for comic books stores over twenty years ago, and for bookstores 19 years ago after the collapse of bookstore distributor LPC.