In late March Diamond Comic Distributors announced that they would be closing down their warehouses as a result of COVID-19, which left comic book stores (if they are still open) with no new issues of comic books to sell.
It was reported yesterday that DC Comics and other major publishers were devising a temporary solution to the comic book distribution problem by using the ComicHub point-of-sale system for comic book stores to offer digital versions of comic books to their customers, which could later be redeemed for physical copies.
Today, Newsarama is reporting that this solution is not going ahead. “The ComicHub advance digital reader copy initiative isn’t going to move forward right now,” a spokesperson for ComicHub told Newsarama.
“It’s obvious from the concerns voiced by our peers that this isn’t an initiative they can get behind. This was designed by people who love comics with the best of intentions, to get cash flow back moving in our industry again from the retailer all the way up to distributors and publishers.”
“Unfortunately publishers who were interested in joining the platform now aren’t and we can 100% understand their decision despite the positive reception by customers and creators,” Hendricks concluded. “This might not have been a long-term solution but we didn’t need it to be one. We just needed it to tide us over until the industry returns to normal. Whenever that is but hopefully soon.”
We do know that DC Comics is working on some other form of multi-distributor model to provide them with the flexibility needed to get comic books back in reader’s hands. When, and what form that solution will take, is still unknown at this point in time.