32 Days Without Comics: COVID-19's Crisis in Infinite Comic Shops Continues

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32 Days Without Comics

With a large portion of the country locked down economically due to COVID-19 restrictions, comic shop retailers find themselves in an unusual predicament. While many shops are open in states that have not had mandatory shutdowns, they nevertheless find themselves without product due to the shutdown at Diamond Comics Distribution, the lynchpin of the entire direct market system.

Diamond had previously released that they would not begin fulfilling orders until August, prompting DC Comics to pursue other avenues of distribution, landing on the solution of using DCBS and Midtown Comics, with each servicing half the country, as not just a stop-gap during the crisis, but also as future competition for Diamond in a post-COVID world. The move brought criticism from some retailers, and praise from others. San Francisco's Comix Experience owner, Brian Hibbs, put out his bullet points on Facebook detailing why he was against the idea, which gained traction within the comics community due to online amplification from Bleeding Cool and Comics Beat.

Critical Blast hosted an online panel discussion with current and former retailers across the country, including ICv2 and Overstreet contributor Michael Tierney of The Comic Book Store and Collector's Edition, both in Arkansas; Dave Dyer of Cosmic Comics Belleville in Illinois, Uel Carter of Berkeley's Fantastic Comics in California, and Twitter's voice of sanity in a sea of comics cacophony, @ComicPerch

Rounding out the round table, we were also joined by legendary comic book creator Mike Baron, who offered his own insights on the distribution changes and the changes happening in the retail infrastructure since the coronavirus shutdowns went into effect.