The state of the #ComicBook industry continues to worsen as more comic book shops permanently close and primary comic book distributor “#DiamondComic Distributors” halts payments to publishers and other vendors due to severe cash flow problems.
In a letter released to the public by Stan Heidman, president of Geppi Family Enterprises (the parent company of Diamond Comic Distributors), Diamond said the move is in response to the impact of the #COVID19 pandemic on the supply chain. He said,
“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.”
A network of about 2,000 independent comic book shops that buy their stock from Diamond Comic nonreturnable at wholesale prices. Diamond Comic Distributors delivers comics periodicals (mostly superhero), graphic novels, prose books, and pop culture merchandise, to these stores. Last week as comics shops around the country were forced to either shut down completely or restrict admittance to their shops due to the pandemic, Diamond announced it was halting shipments of new weekly comics to comics shops indefinitely.
Diamond Comic Distributors is having cash flow problems for one simple reason: comic book shops aren’t open in most of the U.S. and some are more are starting to permanently close. Three more comic book shops reported that they are permanently closing in the past week:
Sho’Nuff Comics of Tuscaloosa, Alabama Closing
The store released the following statement on Facebook on Mar. 24:
“This is something that we never thought we would have to be writing. After March 31st Sho’Nuff Comics will no longer be in business. Through the month of April we will have sporadic hours, but will keep them updated on Facebook. Due to many different factors and the current health crisis, it’s all but done us in.”
Blue Moon Comics of San Rafael, California on Verge of Closing
The store released the following statement on Facebook on Mar. 20:
“Just wanted to inform you of our status. We have stopped all comic shipments at this time. So, no new comics for the next month or so. Stephen and I are accessing the viability of keeping the business going. As you know, business has not been good for quite some time and this may be fate’s way of saying it is time to stop. When we know you will know. Thank you all for your support over the years. We do this for you, the comic fans and the love of the medium!! Please be safe and lets all hope for good things to come after this trying time is over.”
Purple Turtle Comics of Vallejo, California Closed
After opening only a year ago, after opening only a year ago, the popular store that ran signings with well know comic book creators, the Diamond shutdown was too much, it seems; and the store has closed permanently.