After nearly 25 years of working with Diamond Comic Distributors, DC Comics had officially ended the relationship. Diamond was the exclusive distributor for DC, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics, Viz Media, and more until this week. The company will now tap Lunar Distribution and UCS Comic Distributors for weekly releases, and Penguin Random House for graphic novels and collected editions, a DC spokesperson told Polygon.
“We recognize that, to many of you, this may seem like a momentous decision,” DC representatives said in an email sent to retailers. “However, we can assure you that this change in DC’s distribution plans has not been made lightly and follows a long period of thought and consideration. The change of direction is in line with DC’s overall strategic vision intended to improve the health of, and strengthen, the Direct Market as well as grow the number of fans who read comics worldwide.”
Diamond ceased all distribution in the wake of covid-19 concerns in the month of March, forcing most comics publishers to halt the rollout of new books. On 31 March, the company also announced that it would withhold payments to vendors like Marvel and DC. Other publishers eventually found ways around the decision. But for DC, according to Diamond CEO Steve Geppi, that meant breaking an exclusivity contract with 60 days’ notice.
Diamond will fulfill orders through 1 June and will not solicit the sale of new DC titles further. DC will shift the Final Order Cut-Off from 8 June to 15 June to ensure that customers don’t miss an issue.