This past week, I got to enjoy a pleasure I’ve missed terribly! I got to buy new comics, the paper editions! It was great!

I STAND BY NEW COMICS!

2020, coronavirus, LCS, local comics shop, DC, Marvel, Diamond, Lunar Distributors, UCS Comic Distributors, COVID-19, Midtown, On Tuesday, I did something I haven’t done in about two months! I went to a comic shop and actually bought comics I could take home and read! It felt wonderful!

I did some research, and I found a store not too far from me that was selling new DC books each week. I went there and again plunked down my money to buy new issues that I took home and read. I haven’t done that in about two months! I plan on going there again tomorrow for MORE new comics! And stores like that are out there if you look for them!

It’s important to be clear, I feel, that I continue to support my regular LCS as well. But I just felt strongly that I wanted to stand by new comics, not Diamond, as some online have been saying we MUST do. (Whenever I read that on the Internet, I keep hearing that song, “Stand by Your Man” in my head. I believe in the industry, not a monopoly, though. Sorry, I just had to throw that in!)

I also wanted to mention that I’ve been getting DC’s new digital books that have been debuting on comiXology. I’m sure they’ll come out in paper form soon, but I have missed new storytelling… a lot! And they seem to come out almost daily, so it’s been forming what might be a new habit when it comes to comics! We’ll see!

It’s interesting to me that some are waging war with a company that is actually making and providing new material instead of waiting for word “on high” that they can release new books when someone else says they can. Honestly, I doubt that some of the folks so angry with DC have been supporting their product that much, anyway! Again, we’ll see!

MAY 20 IS THE BIG DAY

2020, coronavirus, LCS, local comics shop, DC, Marvel, Diamond, Lunar Distributors, UCS Comic Distributors, COVID-19, Midtown, Although Marvel isn’t going to release new product until May 27th, Diamond has officially announced that they will be providing new product for local shops that can sell it as of Wednesday, May 20. Hopefully, we’ll soon get an updated list of just what is coming then.

Before that day, though, many LCS’s that can be open have already opened either to a full day or a partial time schedule. Honestly, I don’t know how they could have waited any longer. I mean, the online auctions and sales have helped a lot, but I hear they had only provided limited support when stores needed more than that to continue.

I’m also uncertain just which shops will be coming back at all on the 20th. Some have officially announced that they are leaving the business, but until some stores actually open their doors on a regular basis, it’s uncertain what shape the industry will be in on the local level.

Then, too, schedules after that day also seem to be in flux. Marvel has said they will release new produce one week, then collections the following Wednesday until July. I’m going to be fascinated to see just who’s working on what title when official word arrives.

As I’ve previously mentioned, some LCS’s are worried that some of their customers won’t return when they do open for business full-time. Unemployment is sucking the money out of many fans, so we’ll have to find out just who is returning to buying comics as that information becomes available.

Some people are waiting breathlessly for new product from Diamond. My brother, for instance, is counting the days until the 20th when the LCS he buys from will have new books. I’m sure he’s not alone in that anticipation.

WILL THINGS GO BACK TO ‘NORMAL?’

2020, coronavirus, LCS, local comics shop, DC, Marvel, Diamond, Lunar Distributors, UCS Comic Distributors, COVID-19, Midtown, There’s still a lot of debate online just what state the industry will be in as we slowly move forward. Some have noted that some of the “new” distributors may or may not be around long. Apparently, at least one company may only be helping DC until things even out in the weeks or months ahead.

Is DC’s Tuesday release date going to last for long, then? Or will they go back to Wednesday through Diamond? Personally, I hope not! I’m always anxious to pick up and read new comics as early in the week as possible. However, some aren’t able to make more than one trip to their LCS a week, so it’s something we need to watch carefully in the next few months.

Then, too, there’s serious discussion about when, or perhaps if, conventions will return during the rest of this year. Several more cons have cancelled recently, and some are thinking that it will be spring of 2021 before cons can return in any “normal” way. For example, MegaCon in Orlando has announced that they will be holding a “limited edition” event on Halloween weekend this fall, only admitting 25,000 ticket-buyers. (I know that sounds like a lot to some cons, but that’s only a fraction of the attendance they normally attract.)

Given that some don’t feel comfortable going out in public at all yet and others may not be interested in doing that for the foreseeable future, a lot of us will be watching to see how MegaCon does that weekend!

Just so everyone is on the same page, the comics industry isn’t the only one slowly feeling its way along. The only thing we know for sure is that we really DON’T know exactly how things will unfold. I’m hoping that the positive signs will continue to happen as businesses reopen and this pandemic fades away. As always, though, be sure to stay safe and keep reading your comics!

What do you think? Are you planning on buying comics like you did before the pandemic hit? If not, what has changed? At what point would you be open to attending conventions again? Please share your thoughts in the space below!


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Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

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