Amid all the confusion of the ongoing pandemic, just what comics will be released and how and where remains very unclear. After rumors circulated that DC would be releasing their new comics in digital format this Wednesday, the actual line-up can now be seen here and it includes only three digital-first series
BATMAN: THE ADVENTURES CONTINUE #1
TEEN TITANS GO! TO CAMP #6
and several collections
FREEDOM FIGHTERS: RISE OF A NATION
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: A CELEBRATION OF 60 YEARS
TRANSMETROPOLITAN BOOK THREE
WONDER WOMAN VOL. 2: LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD
The list also includes the regular planned slate of reprint comics, but no new print comics.
Running a search reveals this list of comics for April but I would guess this is fluid and not to be taken as firm release dates. April 8th includes collections such as BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH, so collections will probably continue to come out.
The digital-release plan met with a lot of pushback from comics retailers, and appears to be scrapped or on hold for now.
The highly anticipated release of Batman #92, with its Punchline reveal and ArtGerm variant cover, is still in limbo – clicking on the official DC listing gets only a sad “page not found.”
Over the weekend DC spokespersons posted on various retailer forums “Here’s where we are on digital. All our data shows the digital consumer and the physical consumer are two different audiences. For now, we’re going to continue to release digital comics, but will revisit this if the pipeline for physical distribution continues to be challenged and disrupted.”
UPDATE: I’ve been given an updated/corrected version of the above quote which is as follows:
“Here’s where we are on digital. All our data shows the digital consumer and the physical consumer are two different audiences. For now, we’re going to continue to release a limited selection of digital comics, but will revisit this if the pipeline for physical distribution continues to be challenged and disrupted.”
It appears that the revisit was a swift one. Retailer (and Beat columnist) Brian Hibbs posted on Saturday night:
DC’s announcement is disgraceful: by separating stores into have and have-nots they are going to hasten many stores’ demise, and they are encouraging retailers to violate stay-at-home orders and risk their health for corporate profits.
Further, not in the announcement, but buried in comments in the retailer threads (how disgusting, how cowardly!), they are not going to halt digital release of new books. This is a dire mistake, and even a tiny amount of cross-channel conversion will put the majority of retailers in enormous economic peril, when coupled with the above.
I have never been more been more emphatically disheartened and disappointed by a so-called “partner”.
The comments on there were various states of alarm, and some information interesting enough to merit its own post, so hold on for that.
For now, however, it seems that Batman’s adventures are continuing, but very little else is…in the short term.
We’ve reached out for clarification on all of this.
(Follow all of the Beat’s coverage of the Coronavirus Pandemic Crisis here. )