DC breaks ties with Diamond Comic Distributors

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James Harvey

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Big news from The Hollywood Reporter:

DC is breaking its decades-long business relationship with Diamond Comics Distributors. The publisher states that Diamond's last shipment of DC books will be for the June 23 on-sale date - with orders due for those by June 1.

"After 25 years, DC and Diamond Comic Distributors are ending their long-standing relationship," read a statement from a DC spokesperson. "Moving forward, comic book retailers can obtain their DC books from Penguin Random House, or their books and periodicals through Lunar or UCS comic book distributors. DC continues to be committed to providing the Direct Market with best in class service and the fans with the world’s greatest comic books."

With a relationship that goes back even further, Diamond had been DC's exclusive Direct Market distributor for 25 years up until April 2020 when DC exercised an 'out' on that contract following the distribution company's decision to halt operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

DC states that Diamond will be fulfilling retailers’ orders through the June 1 Final Order Cut-Off (FOC), after which the publisher will not be soliciting any new titles through Diamond.


Thoughts?
 

Otaku-sempai

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Sep 10, 2010
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I think I understand DC's decision to go non-exclusive. What surprises me is their breaking with Diamond altogether. I'd just assumed that they were reverting to their pre-exclusive relationship.
 

rggkjg1

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I hope during the Diamond shut down DC got the other distributors prepared for what to expect when distributing comics every week. I'll be pretty frustrated if every week there's some kind of shipping or release issue (no pun intended) because the distributor doesn't know what their doing. Maybe DC should trim down their titles or have the twice monthly comics go monthly until the new distributors prove they have what it takes.

I think DC might have jumped the gun here. Assuming DC was shipping comics through someone else during the Diamond shut down, what's to stop the new distributor from shutting down too? And if they didn't shut down, how would customers have been able to get their comics if shops were forced to close?

Maybe most importantly - have the new distributor experiment with shipping comics bagged and boarded to see if that reduces damage during shipping. Hmmm. Maybe damages will be down since there will be less comics in the Diamond boxes now. If the frequency of dinged up comics goes down because of this, I'm all for it.
 

Yojimbo

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I was surprised to read Lunar and UCS are owned by Discount Comic Book Service and Midtown Comics respectively. Not exactly new comers out of nowhere. Interesting to say the least.
 

Otaku-sempai

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Sep 10, 2010
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Maybe most importantly - have the new distributor experiment with shipping comics bagged and boarded to see if that reduces damage during shipping. Hmmm. Maybe damages will be down since there will be less comics in the Diamond boxes now. If the frequency of dinged up comics goes down because of this, I'm all for it.
That seems to me to be far too labor-intensive to be a viable approach. I don't think either DC or their distributors would be capable of doing this.
 

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