I’m not alone when I say that I feel like one of the kids in the back seat of a car endlessly saying, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” The pandemic can end any time now!
DIAMOND VERSUS DC
Tomorrow (April 28th, 2020) is the first day that DC will be making new product available to local shops that can sell it. The company has been taking quite a drubbing online from supporters of Diamond. “Worst decision ever!” has been what some folks have been saying, and that is one of the cleanest phrases I’ve read from this point of view about DC’s interaction with Diamond and their decision to go with other distributors!
While some dealers these days have been buying their comics and related items only from Diamond, I still remember having multiple distributors around. I’m all for competition, as I always say. It benefits the customers, the shops, and the companies, in my opinion, to get the best deal they can. After all, no comic has “Distributed by Diamond” printed on it or that coming through that company makes it in any way more valuable. A comic is a comic no matter who gets it to you, I believe. I know that’s not going to make me very popular with some online right now, but it’s how I’ve long looked at the industry.
I know a store that used to tell people the comics they sold were in some way better than what you’d find at another store. Nuh, uh! As I told them, if I can find the same book somewhere else at a less expensive price, I will definitely buy it there! There’s no way to indicate where I got the book, after all!
I went to the DC comics website and found their LCS locator. I was happy to see there’s a shop not very far from me that I can get their product from earlier, maybe even tomorrow. I’m not sure how yet, but I’m going to support them as much as I can! They also are getting Indie books and the Bad Idea comics, which I put in an order for, too!
I’ll keep buying my books from my regular shop, of course, so that won’t change. However, I keep running into a philosophy I want to delve into some.
HIT ME AGAIN, DIAMOND, PLEASE!
I’ve been in contact with several LCS owners around the country and, interestingly enough, most of them are sticking with Diamond “no matter what.”
What fascinates me is that the shop owners admit that they really don’t know what will come out from Diamond or when. Mid- to late-May is the current estimate, which is hardly specific. And it very likely could change.
Granted, some stores can’t open because of their local government’s regulations. I do hear that some are thinking they might try to consider themselves “necessary” so they can be open again. It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission, right? And they do what they can through curbside or mail order service.
What worries me is that many stores are saying they will live with whatever Diamond decides to do. If they can’t get books from Diamond, then they’ll go to another source.
My personal opinion is that Diamond is looking out for Diamond, not the local stores or even the comics companies. Hey, if a shop closes its doors or a company goes under, someone else will come along and take their place, and Diamond will work with them, right? That’s the vibe I keep getting from what they’ve been saying, anyway.
A while back, Diamond said they were going to pay companies 25 percent of what they owed them. Last I heard, they haven’t paid anyone a single penny, much less 25 percent! Yet somehow shop owners think they’ll be exception and that Diamond will treat them right. I’ll believe that when I see it! I’m interested that no one seems to want to talk about this at all, either.
NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW
Yes, I’m critical of Diamond. They need to improve what they do at the very least!
I’m intrigued when I see people literally getting furious on the Internet with DC and anyone who dares to support them including the stores that will provide their product.
I’m a HUGE believer in variety. That also includes companies and stores. I do buy the vast majority of my comics from one LCS, but they know I will look elsewhere if they can’t, for whatever reason including any beyond their control, get me what I want. That happens in the real world sometimes, though not often!
As I said, I’m going to work on supporting those who will, in my opinion, make the industry better. That includes DC and stores that will get Indie product I’m interested in. And I’m seriously ready for COVID-19 to be a thing of the past! Still, stay safe and keep reading your comics!
What do you think? Will DC and the new distributors succeed? If not, why not? Will Diamond continue as they are, or will they make changes or improvements? Please share your thoughts in the space below!