The coronavirus epidemic centered in China is having a devastating effect on people, but the effects on business are also being felt. Factories have closed down due to mandatory quarantines, ports are closed to shipping and oversees shipping is beginning to get backed up. This has resulted in delays in products shipping to the US. For instance, Nintendo Switch shipments have been delayed because of manufacturing slowdowns, and the rumored launch of a cheaper iPhone from Apple has been pushed back.
With entire provinces on lockdown, several printers who work with Chinese plants are having severe delays because of the outbreak, and now the first effect on comics have been announced. In a note to partners, Iron Circus Comics reported that several titles scheduled for the Winter and Spring 2020 seasons have had their release delayed. (Publishers who use Chinese printers print well in advance in order to use cheaper ground transportation, so with the shiping logjam, delays are compounded.)
“We first thought only the earliest titles would be affected but as the situation worsens, nearly every title will miss its original pub date,” writes publicist Jesse Post. ” We don’t want to commit to new dates until we get solid word from our vendors that they are safe and healthy and able to return to work. But most Iron Circus titles originally slated for release between February and July will move to later in the season.”
Among the titles delayed:
BANNED BOOK CLUB by Ryan Estrada, Kim Hyun Sook, and Ko Hyung-Ju (original: February / tentative: May)
THE NIXIE OF THE MILL POND ed. by Kell McDonald and Kate Ashwin (original: April / tentative: May)
THE HARROWING OF HELL by Evan Dahm (original: March)
SOFTIES by Kyle Smeallie (original: March)
SMUT PEDDLER PRESENTS: SILVER ed. by Andrea Purcell (original: May)
IT’S YOUR FUNERAL by Emily Riesbeck and Ellen Kramer (original: June)
PENULTIMATE QUEST by Lars Brown (original: July)
STUDENT AMBASSADOR by Ryan Estrada and Axur Eneas (original: July)
BANNED BOOK CLUB – a YA story about young adult activism in Korea – was among the eagerly awaited titles from Iron Circus, and the books Twitter account wrote:
While Iron Circus is living up to its reputation for straight talk by getting ahead of the delays, it could be only the first in a list of comics publishers with schedules pushed back as the epidemic continues to disrupt Chinese life.