Back when this pandemic thing first began, several economic relief packages were floated as part of the CARES Act, including small business loans known as PPP (Payment Protection Program) loans. The loans were to help with payroll to keep people employed – with the loans forgivable if 60% of the money went to payroll.

We already know that many comics publishers and shops sensibly applied for and received loans. As reported here, Diamond Comic Distributors is among them. A vast database of loans that were granted has been put up by the SBA, and companies of all kinds and sizes can be found there.

ICv2 took a look at Diamond’s loan – somewhere between $5-10 million for the main company and smaller loans for two subsidiaries. We did an eyeball glazing search for other publishers and shops and came up with the following table.

 

RangeCompany
$5-10 millionDIAMOND COMIC DISTRIBUTORS, INC
$2-5 millionANDREWS MCMEEL UNIVERSAL
$2-5 millionDARK HORSE MEDIA, LLC
$2-5 millionNEWBURY COMICS INC
$2-5 millionVIZ MEDIA LLC
$1-2 millionIDW MEDIA HOLDINGS
$1-2 millionSAN DIEGO COMIC CONVENTION
$1-2 millionSTAR CITY COMICS & GAMES, INC.
$350,000-1 millionARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS, INC.
$350,000-1 millionBOOM ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
$350,000-1 millionIMAGE COMICS, INC.
$350,000-1 millionLONE STAR COMICS AND SCIENCE FICTION INC
$350,000-1 millionMIDTOWN COMICS ONLINE INC-SBA SMALL 7A TERM
$350,000-1 millionONI-LION FORGE PUBLISHING GROUP, LLC
$350,000-1 millionROSEBUD ENTERTAINMENT, LLC
$350,000-1 millionSKYBOUND, LLC
$350,000-1 millionVALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC
$150,000-350,000A-1 COMICS INC
$150,000-350,000COMICCONNECT CORP
$150,000-350,000COMICLINK INC
$150,000-350,000DIAMOND SELECT TOYS & COLLECTIBLES, LLC
$150,000-350,000DYNAMIC FORCES INC
$150,000-350,000FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS INC
$150,000-350,000GRAHAM CRACKERS COMICS LTD
$150,000-350,000HUMANOIDS, INC.
$150,000-350,000MADNESS GAMES & COMICS
$150,000-350,000MIDTOWN COMICS INC-SBA SMALL 7A TERM
$150,000-350,000NEW DIMENSION COMICS INC
$150,000-350,000ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT INC.

There’s nothing too surprising here if you follow our business reporting. The loans were based on payroll and expenses, so they indicate the size of the company based on employees, not on profits or revenue. Thus Midtown’s online business got a larger loan than its retail arm.

It’s also not anything to be ashamed of – applying for aid during an economic shutdown is a smart move to keep people on the payroll and keep companies afloat, and it’s good that these comics companies were able to receive aid.

Now, we did hear that many actual small businesses, including comics shops, had a harder time getting loans, and there are lots of stories about billionaires getting payouts, from Kanye West to Soho House. And of course there was fraud, like using PPP money to pay for a new house in the case of the CEO of Wendy’s. Nice one!

But at least some publishers, shops and entities did get some support, which was reportedly useful, according to the cases we’ve heard. And certainly with comics unavailable for sale for seven weeks, everybody needed a little boost.

Thousands and thousands of smaller loans were also granted, but not the names of who received them, so we won’t be combing through those databases.

Many comics shops also received money from BINC, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation. And several comics-focused charities are underway to support retailers even more. And who knows, with COVID-19 still on the prowl we may even see a second wave of aid.

 

 

 

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. A lot of those companies like Valiant DH etc. have well money corporate owners then getting some funds feels wrong. It certainly feels wrong to see Geppi’s maga loving self get in on it but hypocrisy is kinda built into his type.

  2. Isn’t Mike Richardson also a MAGA type, I mean it would explain all the serial abusers around. I know I hate giving them money when a new Grendel, Mr X or Black Hammer are out. (I haven’t bought any Hellboy since Mignola wrapped up the main books).

    But I agree regarding DH and Valiant there companies could absorb the losses. Glad to see Fantagraphics was able to get assistance, a world without the publisher of so many GREAT books would be a far less interesting place.

  3. While Valiant and Dark Horse have big Chinese money behind them, those same corporate overlords would not hesitate to slash staff to the bone if they hadn’t gotten a PPP loan. The Chinese investors only bought the companies to harvest i.p.

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