Whoa! We have a weirdly big week in comics news and things I wanted to talk about, so it’s going to be a packed week full of takes of both the hot and cold variety. That’s right: it’s Comics Disassembled, and I’ll be going over ten bits from comics I liked or didn’t like from the past week, with an atypical lean towards the negative this week! I’m not going dark side, I swear! It just happened naturally!
1. Diamond, Not Calling It a Comeback
By the time this article has posted, retailers will have finalized their final orders on the first full new comic book day since the shutdown started on March 25th, as Diamond Comic Distributors appears to be starting things up again on May 20th. There’s even a list of the titles that will be released, with Marvel, DC, Image, BOOM!, IDW and others listed, with DC’s release list comprising every single comic they had already released via DCBS and Midtown, but also that week’s release list, ensuring they have A MILLION titles dropping that week.
That will be a very interesting week to watch, as many shops are largely closed and will still be closed. Who is going to order? How much are they going to order? Can they afford to order all of those DC titles, or even a portion of them? I’m not sure. It’s a massive ask from DC, and it’s going to be one of the most wild Wednesdays ever for a whole lot of reasons, without even considering the most important question of them all: will customers show up in whatever capacity they can?
It’s a question we’ll now be able to answer, as Diamond returns, bringing the bulk of the direct market with it. Some likely have hemmed and hawed about it, but I think it’s the right time. Shops I know, even some of the mostly closed ones, want new product because their customers want it. I’ve seen it at my own shop (or at least their social media presences, as I’m not going there any time soon), and I’m sure many of these folks have as well. Ultimately, I don’t there is a perfect answer for everyone, so Diamond just has to do the best they can with what they have. This feels like a middle ground that people can jive with. I can dig it.
2. Creators4Comics, Making It Rain
File this one under simple but amazing: the incredible band of creators who made #Creators4Comics happen officially raised over $430,000 for comic shops via the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, or BINC. #Creatorsr4Comics was a massive auction via Twitter in which creators auctioned off artwork, memorabilia, experiences like Zoom conversations, and all kinds of other things, with all proceeds benefiting shops via BINC. And you know what? It appeared to do the trick, because that’s a whole lot of money. It was amazing work by Sam Humphries, Kami Garcia, Gwenda Bond and everyone else who helped or participated, and hey, it even extended forwards as #Canucks4Comics was still going in this week to benefit Canadian shops.
Did I get outbid on two straight Faith Erin Hicks commissions for both endeavors? Yes I did. Am I bitter about it? Absolutely. Am I happy shops are benefiting from this? Heck yes. That’s an amazing job by everyone, and a beautiful moment for the comics community, even if it is one we’d have preferred to all avoid given…you know, the pandemic and all.