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Dark Horse Comics moves periodical distribution to Penguin Random House

The agreement will see PRH exclusively distribute Dark Horse Comics titles beginning in June 2023.

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Dark Horse Comics has announced that they have entered an exclusive agreement with Penguin Random House to distribute single-issue comics, graphic novels, and manga to the direct market. The multi-year agreement, which expands an existing deal that has had PRH distribute Dark Horse graphic novels and manga since 2013, kicks off on June 1st, 2023. Retailers can order new and backlist single-issue titles directly from PRH, or continue to order them through Diamond, who will carry them as a wholesaler.

In a statement announcing the agreement, Dark Horse Comics President Mike Richardson and PRH Publisher Services President Jeff Abraham both expressed their enthusiasm at the move:

Dark Horse Founder and CEO Mike Richardson said, “It’s an exciting time for the industry, and our move to Penguin Random House for Direct Market distribution comes after our successful partnership in bookstore distribution. Random House will help us expand our reach to retailers and fans around the globe.” Richardson added, “Diamond Distribution has been a key partner for Dark Horse for nearly thirty years. As we move on to this next stage in our company’s growth, we want to say thanks to Steve Geppi, Chuck Parker, and the Diamond team, and while we will be moving our comics distribution to Penguin Random House, it is important to note that our products will still be available through Diamond as well.”

Jeff Abraham, President of Penguin Random House Publisher Services, said, “We are incredibly proud of our long-standing partnership with Dark Horse, and are excited to reach new heights with this expansion. We’ve grown together in an ever-evolving retail landscape for graphic storytelling, and we see this next step as further commitment to supporting Dark Horse, and our retail partners, well into the future.”

Dark Horse Comics becomes the second third publisher to take their single-issue distribution exclusively to Penguin Random House, after Marvel Comics did the same in 2021 and IDW joined them in June. It’s another blow to Diamond Comics Distributors, who after decades being the sole single-issue distributor has been slowly but steadily losing publishers following a shutdown of operations in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diamond still carries a significant amount of Marvel product to retailers who prefer dealing with them, so Dark Horse may be another sizable supplier for them.

[This story has been corrected to reflect IDW’s move to PRH in earlier this year.]  

1 COMMENT

  1. I have a feeling that unless Diamond gets a major overhaul that they won’t be around in 5 years. I hope smaller publishers are coming up with contingency plans for distribution.

    The sad part is that, for all the complaints about a Diamond Monopoly, exclusive deals just trade one problem for a similar problem. Retailers are still beholden to a single distributor for a particular publisher.

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