Marvel Comics and Penguin Random House (PRH) have told comic book stores that they are extending the deadline to apply for comic book stores for an account with Penguin Random House until Friday, the 21st of May. Otherwise, they will start missing out on Marvel titles shipping in October – or before. They state;
As a reminder, retailers should set up an account with Penguin Random House by this deadline in order to avoid any disruption of Marvel product. This includes periodical comics, collected editions, and promo items. Please be aware that starting in October, Marvel promotional items will be allocated and shipped to all stores by Penguin Random House. In order to ensure that you continue to receive these items please make sure that you have a current PRH account in good credit standing.
I have been told by retailers that the approval process can be quite an arduous one, especially compared to both Lunar and Diamond, so it might be worth starting sooner than later. They also remind retailers that
Retailers who have a PRH account by May 21st will also receive the John Romita Jr. wraparound variant cover. Billing accounts will receive one copy of the inked variant, and shipping accounts will receive one copy of the colored variant per location.
What it is a variant cover for, however, they are still not saying. I'm going to place money on a gritty revamp of Street Poet Ray. That has to be due a revival soon, surely? And Penguin Random House are just the kind of people to make it a hit.
Feel free to let Bleeding Cool know how the process goes from your perspective, there may still be a few bumps along the way.