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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Snicker-snack!

The already-teetering comics industry is about to come crashing down... hard.
Dear Diamond Vendor:

As the world responds to the outbreak of COVID-19, our focus is on protecting employees, understanding the risks to our business, evaluating the risks to our industry and examining the Federal Government resources available. While the full impact of this epidemic is still unknown, one thing is certain: supply chain disruptions have cash flow implications across the extended industry that can’t be underestimated.

While we work to understand the current industry landscape, the unfortunate truth is that we are no longer receiving consistent payments from our customers. This requires that at this time, we hold payments to vendors previously scheduled to release this week. This is a difficult decision and not one we make lightly. As this situation continues to evolve, we are committed to building out a plan for payment and will have more information to share later this week.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times.
Translation: Marvel, DC, and all the various other publishers who sell through Diamond are not getting paid.

But never fear, both the Arkhaven Comics digital store and the Castalia Direct print edition store are running at full steam. In fact, we even expect to have the gold-logo limited edition of Chuck Dixon's Avalon #6 available in the latter tomorrow.

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30 Comments:

Blogger Nihil Dicit March 31, 2020 8:17 PM  

This is a difficult decision and not one we make lightly.

"Except we never really considered any other option. Contracts be damned, you can't let someone bankrupt you!"

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( according to the 13th Amendment, Slavery is neither Cruel nor Unusual: MSAGA ) March 31, 2020 8:18 PM  

corn's a poppin and the butter ( infused with pepper and rosemary ) is already melted. salt shakers locked and loaded.

Diamond had previously announced they weren't distributing product to the stores, now they aren't paying vendors.

so they now have ZERO customers to whom they are fulfilling their obligations. always a recipe for corporate success.


i'm also wondering about movie theaters.

Blogger Geir Balderson March 31, 2020 8:23 PM  

I was an avid collector of the Comics of my youth until 2009. I saw the changing themes and it disturbed me that all the 'Good Guys' were beginning to be written with awful character flaws and villains. That ad the books had rocketed in price. Not really great story telling in a stand-a-lone issue. The stories went on and one and it was necessary to buy multiple issues of other titles to finally see a glimmer of an ending.
So, i cut my losses and got interested in other pursuits. It means nothing to me if DC and Marvel fade away.

Blogger Pseudotsuga March 31, 2020 8:48 PM  

Enquiring minds want to know if they can still get their Archie Comics...Asking for a friend, y'know...

Blogger R Webfoot March 31, 2020 8:57 PM  

Such absolutely perfect timing with the release of Avalon 5 and 6, one would expect a Dark Lord to have planned it.

Blogger thechortling March 31, 2020 8:58 PM  

ZH was very quick to point out 3 weeks ago that COVID19 was going to paper over all the bad behaviors of the last 15 - 20 years of fiscal irresponsibility instead of the real chickens coming home to roost with responsible parties. Seems like similar sleight of hand here... don't blame SJW, PC, vibrancy or diversity policies... blame the bug.

Blogger DesScorp March 31, 2020 9:00 PM  

Comics died when they lost the revolving stands at grocery stores, gas stations, and drugstores. They also died when they went from cheap paper to "glossy, premium print" that costs 3 to 4 bucks a copy.

Opportunity + Cost = Sales

Untold copies of Spiderman and Batman were snagged from the grocery checkout of my youth as I went with my mother to pick up groceries for the week. That's where you snatched 35 Cent masterpieces and begged your mom. THAT was Marvel/DC's business model, and it worked. It moved a LOT of product. And it got kids invested in the system young.

Now... no kid reads comics. No opportunity. Too expensive. Too ADULT. Aquaman and the Avengers and Black Panther aren't comic book characters to them. They're movies. The comics industry has eaten its seed corn.

Blogger Daniel March 31, 2020 9:08 PM  

Archie was shot to death six years ago defending gay marriage, so...no. You can't get Archie anymore.

Blogger TiredPoorHungry March 31, 2020 9:25 PM  

Didn't Veronica become Ronnie?

Blogger Lazarus March 31, 2020 10:16 PM  

Thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times.

So this is how the world ends. Not with a bang, but with a heartfelt message of solidarity.

Blogger Grooveware March 31, 2020 10:19 PM  

In the midst of chaos there is also opportunity,China flu is definety creating that.

Blogger Lazarus March 31, 2020 10:48 PM  

Daniel wrote:Archie was shot to death six years ago defending gay marriage, so...no. You can't get Archie anymore.

Archie needed killin' long before that.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash March 31, 2020 10:56 PM  

Diamond is a cancer on the comics industry. The sooner they go bankrupt, the better.

Blogger One Deplorable DT March 31, 2020 11:41 PM  

Another silver lining for Corona-chan.

Blogger Grooveware April 01, 2020 12:02 AM  

I don't read comics but Im going to celebrate the good news does Archaven Comics have a European outlet vox

Blogger Akulkis April 01, 2020 2:55 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Akulkis April 01, 2020 3:08 AM  

It's interesting that the name Diamond comes up as being the sole distributor for nearly the entire comic book industry.

Back in the early 1950's -- the very, very early days of Mad (issues 1 through about 24), when they were lampooning only the comic book industry, before the format change to lampooning pretty much all styles of publications -- there was once a letter FROM the publisher, apologizing for distribution difficulties an issue or two earlier, and Diamond's stranglehold on the comic book distribution channel.

This just made me think as I wrote the above, that perhaps their difficulties in trying to work around Diamond's refusal to carry MAD (in those days, Mad was making fun of all of the products Diamond distributed) was part of why they changed their format and style.

That Diamond would refuse to carry MAD is even more interesting when you consider:

Diamond carried ALL of the previous products published by Bill Gaines (even a couple "romance comic" titles).

It was Bill Gaines' father who STARTED the entire comic book industry.

In short, Diamond has been too much of an abusive monopoly for, well, 70 years now.

If Diamond goes under, then good riddance.

Even though MAD's transformation was immediately a far better product than the one which focused solely on parodies of comic book stories (they would have run out of compelling material in a few years), a product which became recognized around the world (and even once brought a letter of protest from a young Prince Charles chafing at a suggestion that a boy in photograph might have been him), Diamond's abuse of their market position was just as wrong as Microsoft's behavior in the PC market and operating systems since the late 1980s.

Blogger Balkan Yankee April 01, 2020 6:06 AM  

A is for Arkhaven. A is for Antifragile.

Blogger Gregory the Tall April 01, 2020 6:07 AM  

I assume cinema chains will not pay Hollywood studios for last month.

Blogger Brett baker April 01, 2020 6:16 AM  

If she takes down SJW comics, Corona-Chan will make up for not killing as many Boomers as hoped.

Blogger Laramie Hirsch April 01, 2020 6:21 AM  

I learned this news from the Youtuber, Doomcock. I knew you'd get a kick out of the development, Vox.

Blogger Silent Draco April 01, 2020 6:25 AM  

If this was dated April 1, then the AWCA was having a joke on us. No, March 31 - joke is on Dead Comic Writers Society.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 01, 2020 7:08 AM  

Won't people be missing their Cyber Frog?

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 01, 2020 7:37 AM  

I just read the disneystarwarsisdumb post about fighting for the original IP with the SJW locusts and it certainly is germane with the comics decline.

Blogger Attila is my bro April 01, 2020 8:08 AM  

The wahmyn responsible for destroying Archie was a tenant in a building I worked at several years ago located in - I shit you not - Riverdale, NY. She was the widow of one of the creators. I don't remember her name now, but I remember reading in the news a couple of blurbs about her being the driving force behind the gay characters. Apparently the board hated her.

Anyway, she wasn't there long and about a year after she left she popped into the building late afternoon with a flat tire. We talked while she waited for roadside service and she said she would be on ex Gov David Paterson's radio show that evening promoting some kind of philanthropic thing she was involved in, so I listened to the show on my way home. When she got on, she bumbled her way through the interview so badly she couldn't even explain what the point of the foundation was. She talked in circles and sounded like a crazy person trying to rip off the public with a scam foundation (which it likely was anyway). It was so bad, Paterson killed the interview 5 minutes early. I was laughing my ass off so bad I almost ran off the road.

Wahmyn ruin everything.

Blogger Oswald April 01, 2020 11:25 AM  

No more Marvel or DC comics, but what will I use for toilet paper going forward?

Blogger Jpc April 01, 2020 11:31 AM  

All woke going broke.
Hasn't been a decent comic or graphic novel in quite some time.

Blogger Wes350 April 01, 2020 12:53 PM  

Not being privy to the finance side of things, and maybe the margins won't allow it...

But if pockets were deep enough, now would be a great time to hire a small staff of writers and artists to start to turn out monthly content for arkhaven/alt-hero etc..


Blogger Zeroh Tollrants April 01, 2020 1:55 PM  

(((Diamond))) Publishing?

Oy vey.

Blogger Canada78Bear April 01, 2020 9:31 PM  

If Castalia Direct ever wanted some cheap promotional advertising now would be the time. Could purchase the entire inventory of DC/Marvel for few dollars per bundle of comics. Costco toilet paper is $24 per 40-pack with 1 customer limit so there is a market...

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