Right now, even as Diamond Comic Distributors closes one warehouse in New Memphis, it is reporting weather-related delays out of its Olive Branch distribution centre, the very one intended to replace New Memphis.
Diamond tells retailers that "transportation partners including UPS, FedEx and our LTL carriers have informed Diamond there will be no pick-ups or deliveries today, Thursday, February 18, due to the weather conditions" and that "Diamond's Olive Branch Distribution Center is operating with a very limited staff and will be unable to process direct ship reorders today". Instead "replenishment orders for this week will be combined with next week's replenishment orders. We continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as they become available."
But that is just Diamond. Bleeding Cool has been informed of major delays coming from Texas, where hundreds of thousands of Texans struggle for heat and water because of utility outages for a fifth consecutive day, and more to come.
With major power outages, this has prevented comic book writers from being able to write, artists from being able to draw digitally, as well as all colouring and lettering, as well as online communication, uploading and more. And those who still work on bristol board – or who have pulled out the typewriter – still have very limited options when it comes to mailing the finished product in.
Publishers are faced with the choice of taking work away from these creators when they need it the most or to delay the books in question. As I understand it, most are leaving towards the delay. But these delays will have a lag from now until when they hit the production process.
Basically, expect a bunch of late books from publishers in the months ahead. Late books to comic shops now. And a reduction in demands for Texas to secede from the USA.