With Diamond no longer distributing new weekly product as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the future of the direct market is uncertain. After the news broke yesterday, many comic shop retailers took to social media, with responses everywhere from optimistic to resigned.
As everyone in the comics community looks forward to an uncertain future, some creators have made a point of coming forward with offers of support for comics retailers. The support offered runs the gamut from offers to personally purchase unsold comics by the likes of Amy Chu and Jim Zub to the GoFundMe Relief Fund for Comics Retailers being organized by Mad Cave Studios.
Stores, if you get stuck with any of my comics because a customer didn't/couldn't pay, I will happily buy back any at your cost so you don't lose money. Back issues too! Thanks for supporting my writing career 💕 RT @AwYeahComicsNY @awyeahmuncie @mainstreetcomic @Challengers pic.twitter.com/nxrlQNv7Ge
— A M Y C H U #donutkiller (@AmyChu) March 23, 2020
Comic shops: If you're stuck with any comic I wrote because a customer didn't/couldn't pay for it in these difficult times, I will happily buy back any at your cost so you don't lose money. My DMs are open.
Thank you for supporting my creative work, year after year. pic.twitter.com/Ed4M5w7Xze
— Jim Zub (@JimZub) March 24, 2020
To ALL comic retailers!
We're aware many of you have been told to close up shop, but if you're interested in being a recipient of our GoFundMe Relief Fund for Comic Retailers, send us a DM!https://t.co/dillOI4yNN
— Mad Cave Studios (@MadCaveStudios) March 23, 2020
Meanwhile, Morgan Perry, Retail Sales Coordinator at Boom! Studios, suggested that as independent booksellers, comic shop retailers could consider applying for aid from organizations that specifically catered to bookshops.
COMIC SHOP RETAILERS, you ARE independent booksellers and therefor eligible for aid & assistance from organizations geared towards your needs including @BincFoundation and the @CBLDF. Please check out their resources! #BoostYourLCS #ComicsAndQuarantine #BoostYourLocalComicShop https://t.co/brVyOuBXes
— Morgan – The Way o/t House Cryptid (@geauxta) March 22, 2020
Several publishers have also issued statements outlining how they aim to help comic shop retailers during the coming months, including a letter from Chris Ryall, President of IDW, and statements from Archie Comics and Boom! Studios. All three publishers are offering returnability to comic shops, as well as other methods of supporting their partners-in-retail.
— IDW Publishing (@IDWPublishing) March 23, 2020
A message to our comic book retailer partners. pic.twitter.com/GdW7Bj8Xaz
— Archie Comics (@ArchieComics) March 23, 2020
Today we're announcing the BOOM! Retailer Support Services Program, a comprehensive set of initiatives to aid comic book shops worldwide, including full returnability through June 2020: https://t.co/lAnRKG6Usl#BoostYourLCS https://t.co/aOsTOyu24Q pic.twitter.com/zfQOx0vXIF
— BOOM! Studios (@boomstudios) March 23, 2020
This article will be updated with new information as it becomes available.