AfterShock Comics says it’s “business as usual,” in spite of the coronavirus pandemic having effectively hit pause on the entire comics industry.
As regular readers of The Beat are surely aware of by now, the outbreak of the virus has led to a stoppage in new weekly comics releases, with this marking the third consecutive week that no new product has come out. Retailers across the country are closed amid shelter in place orders, the industry’s loan distributor Diamond is not taking new product, and many publishers have seen regular printers shutdown.
It is within this context that AfterShock Comics sent out a press release this week, reaffirming its intent to not release its comics digitally until it can do so in print as well. At the same time, AfterShock Comics “continues to take pitches, hire creators and produce new titles, with specific project announcements coming over the following weeks.” The idea is to be prepared for the time when all of this starts to dissipate and things can move closer to whatever the new normal will be.
Full press from AfterShock can be found below:
As the comic industry’s fastest-growing independent publishing company celebrates five years in business, AfterShock Comics announces all projects and partnerships will continue full speed ahead as the company reaffirms its commitment to holding back digital editions of its soon-to-debut comics until they are released in print.
With sights set on an eventual lift of the shipping embargo on new publications to comic shops, AfterShock continues to take pitches, hire creators and produce new titles, with specific project announcements coming over the following weeks.
“While we understand the economic hardships that the coronavirus crisis has brought to all facets of the comics community – retailers, consumers, creators and distributors – we’re thankful that we’ve been able to remain ‘open for business’ on all fronts,” said EIC Mike Marts. “The award-winning creators that we work with are knee deep in the various stages of their current AfterShock projects, and we look forward to sharing their new creations with the world over the coming months.”
“Since day one, comic retailers have been critical partners in the success of AfterShock,” said Steve Rotterdam, SVP Sales and Marketing. “During this window of uncertainty, we continue to support their efforts to meet customer needs for comics that may be new to them via mail order and other delivery approaches that remain possible in their communities.”
In light of current circumstances, members of the AfterShock Army retail ambassador team are maintaining regular contact with comic shops, as are all members of AfterShock’s marketing and leadership teams. Ambassador recruitment efforts will also move forward to ensure expanded coverage throughout as much of the United States and Canada as possible when restrictions loosen.
AfterShock has also ramped up digital features on its own website and social platforms, providing free access to the beginnings of some of AfterShock’s most popular series and undiscovered gems. The publisher’s Page-A-Day feature has been up and running since the beginning of April, providing daily content linked to first issues of popular AfterShock series including ROUGH RIDERS, ANIMOSITY, DARK ARK and THE LOST CITY EXPLORERS.
AfterShock’s newly launched Free-for-All program also provides both long-standing and relatively new fans with full digital versions of significant first issues from the AfterShock archives, directing them to connect with local comic shops to get their hands on collected editions. Plus, sneak peeks at pages from upcoming, but delayed series debuts and follow-up issues are featured regularly on AfterShock’s Instagram, and work-in-progress creative can be viewed through Twitter and Facebook.
To further support retailer partners in this time of need, AfterShock will donate a percentage of sales through its web store to support The Binc Foundation, which provides crucial assistance to comic retailers.