DC ends relationship with Diamond!

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nycjadie
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DC ends relationship with Diamond!

Post by nycjadie »

And boom!

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat- ... d1U--pTdSM

I'm not sure this is good for shops, as I believe the two new distributors in the article are essentially Midtown Comics and DCBS, if I recall correctly. Those are both online discount sellers of comic books.

It's a seismic shift, and I expect others to follow suit or do new innovations like Bad Idea.

I purchased a near entire full run of New52 and Rebirth for a song. I wonder if they just became more valuable. ;)

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Re: DC ends relationship with Diamond!

Post by magnusr »

nycjadie wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:25:11 pm
And boom!

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat- ... d1U--pTdSM

I'm not sure this is good for shops, as I believe the two new distributors in the article are essentially Midtown Comics and DCBS, if I recall correctly. Those are both online discount sellers of comic books.

It's a seismic shift, and I expect others to follow suit or do new innovations like Bad Idea.

I purchased a near entire full run of New52 and Rebirth for a song. I wonder if they just became more valuable. ;)
Ouch. At least in my experience, DCBS has both limited quality control and integrity. Putting them in this position can not be good for the comic business.

/Magnus

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Re: DC ends relationship with Diamond!

Post by geocarr »

magnusr wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:00:20 pm
nycjadie wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:25:11 pm
And boom!

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat- ... d1U--pTdSM

I'm not sure this is good for shops, as I believe the two new distributors in the article are essentially Midtown Comics and DCBS, if I recall correctly. Those are both online discount sellers of comic books.

It's a seismic shift, and I expect others to follow suit or do new innovations like Bad Idea.

I purchased a near entire full run of New52 and Rebirth for a song. I wonder if they just became more valuable. ;)
Ouch. At least in my experience, DCBS has both limited quality control and integrity. Putting them in this position can not be good for the comic business.

/Magnus
I'm having similar thoughts as well Magnus and wondering who is going to really benefit from this other than the people running Midtown and DCBS who will increase their profits. I can't see how this will benefit DC, retailers, or the fans in the long term. My paranoia suspects this is step in a larger plan.
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Re: DC ends relationship with Diamond!

Post by magnus20009 »

This is bad for independents. If Marvel follows suit could Diamond survive without the big two - I doubt it. Just seems to be a string of bad news in the world today.

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Re: DC ends relationship with Diamond!

Post by nycjadie »

I wonder if this will be the end of the direct market, through Diamond. News distribution is effectively dead.

I don’t think it will be the end of comics, but we won’t be picking them up from the newsstand. If fewer people read floppies, or have access to them, that dwindling distribution will contribute to the end of that. Comic shops could see smaller monthly customers and go under,

Where will we get comics? Digital, of course, but for many, comics are about collecting as well. If it wasn’t, we would see widespread adoption of digital, and comic supplies would not be a thing. It could be that comics will be mail order, or picked up at conventions. Stores could close, and a growing number of creators will look to different modes of income.

I am rambling and tipsy, but I do think that the end of comic distribution as we know it is near. If you have looked at comic distribution numbers, you’ve seen it for years.

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Re: DC ends relationship with Diamond!

Post by IMJ »

The comic market as we knew it died the minute people started calling them "floppies" as a pejorative when the industry was pushing a paradigm shift to trades. "Floppie" culture is like being shot in the stomach. It takes a long time to die, and the death throes are awful.

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Re: DC ends relationship with Diamond!

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Re: DC ends relationship with Diamond!

Post by IMJ »

magnusr wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:24:47 am
Mile High's reaction:
https://www.milehighcomics.com/newslett ... email.html

/Magnus
That's definitely a reaction letter more than anything analytical. Still, some interesting points there. I can't help but feel that Chuck's statement there is more akin to that office employee who doesn't want to get on board with a new initiative for some reason or another ("Bleh! It'll never work!" kind of thing).

I don't know the exact formula of DC's distribution method, but my first instinct is that competition for Diamond can only be a good thing in the long run - even if Diamond ultimately "wins". Chuck has a different one though: "Frankly, my first instinct is to say that they are all dead, and that the party is totally over for new comics."

Hm.

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Re: DC ends relationship with Diamond!

Post by nycjadie »

I read Chuck's email last night. His take definitely conforms to his line of thinking that the direct market is dying a slow death and is not healthy for most comic retailers. He has been right a lot. I do raise an eyebrow with his owing $1M to Diamond based on the purchase of new comics. That's a lot of comics. A LOT. Why was he buying (500K-1M) new comics he couldn't sell?

In any event, the facts are:
-Diamond no longer has a monopoly.
-DCBS and Midtown (the two biggest online sellers of comics) are now distributing one of the big 2 (as one retailer said, it's akin to Amazon and B&N being the distributors).
-The stress of onboarding a new distributor for many shops (establishing a line of credit, additional shipping costs) for what are likely ROI items will be too much for a good portion of comic stores.
-Many DC fans will move to online ordering, and may end up buying their other titles at DCBS or Midtown, who can stand to sell at a steeper discount, or will simply make more on their margin.

I'm guessing the impact might be:
-If DC has a market share of 1/3 of comic sales, it's going to hit Diamond hard, and it's going to hit stores hard.
-Many stores will close as a result of the market shift.
-With dwindling distribution of monthly titles happening for years, we may see many publishers move to digital and trade only.
-DC appears to be moving in that direction, by shifting many titles to digital only (as did Marvel).

Who is harmed, in my opinion?
-Stores for sure. My LCS posted a picture of the new comics this week. It fit on a small card table. Stores need product and then fans.
-Geezers like me. I prefer comic books. Traditional ones. I like to read them that way. I like to collect them. I like stories being told over time.
-DC Comics. This didn't happen overnight. If this is the level of discussion at DC, no wonder we saw some high-level departures. It's probably not a fun place to work at. They are going to lose talent. They are going to lose fans. They may even lose status as one of the big 2.

Who benefits?
-Midtown and DCBS for sure. They have a new funnel of business from their competitors, and from fans who are going to shift more sales to them.
-Small publishers. I think it's a great opportunity for smaller publishers to establish greater presence with stores and fans alike. Many of us geezers have been fans of small publishers, but now others might pick up new books and find new things.
-Licensors. One possibility that DC might opt for is getting out of the comic business altogether and license its characters and stories to other publishers. I could see a world where Dynamite or another publisher takes over publishing of stories. It's like Conan, which has been published by Marvel and Dark Horse. Same with Star Wars. Many DC heroes were acquired and published by others.

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Re: DC ends relationship with Diamond!

Post by paradise »

How about a retailer perspective? :) OK this will be long.

I will share here what I posted on my facebook wall below so that you can see how I FEEL about this, but there are also some facts I will list:
1. This significantly increases the amount of time I have to pay employees to process "new releases". Right now I pick up ALL comics from a shipper warehouse, at a specific time, and have employees scheduled at 3 locations based on when I am expected to bring them to that store. Now, in addition to that, I have to wait for the DC shipment to show up, at random times, and I can't do anything because in order to pull subs (200-400 per store) I have to have ALL books there.
2. This significantly increases shipping cost for my DC comics. Right now I get a pallet every week (all 3 locations) through a truck shipper, so the cost is very small per book. DC will be shipped by FedEx, so those books will cost a hell of a lot more.
3. My, (and most other stores) software that checks new books in and puts them in the system, is built for Diamond invoices (because that's what we have been doing for 26 years). I have to invest money or COMPLETELY change my software in order to deal with the new system.
4. DC has given the rights to distribute their products to the two most notorious BAD AGENTS in our industry, who survive not on service but on Discounts, and do things like price new graphic novels at 50% off to lure our customers and then send facebook ads targeted to specific zip codes where our stores are, to make sure they see the ads. When they were stores, that was just unethical business. But now, they distribute to us, and that's beyond unethical. They also can see our sales trends, and use that data to adjust their own orders. The privacy that was enjoyed by every Diamond account to order and not have that data shown, is GONE. If I think a book will be HUGE, I could order a bunch and if it hit, I could reap the rewards for my investment. Now they see my spike and act on it if they want to.

5. And this is the BIG ONE. This may kill the whole industry. Chuck alluded to it. Diamond lost a lot of money when they BRAVELY and rightfully stopped shipping new releases during the COVID crisis. More than half the country was shut down and it was the right choice. This has put them in a very bad but easily (i believe) survivable financial situation. Now their 2nd largest account, DC, is leaving. That's an awful thing to do to a company that is already down on one knee. And irresponsible thing to do to the industry which has supported your product for decades. It's 100% PREDATORY. If Diamond goes down, we are all done. I know some of you will think I am wrong, but I have been doing this for 26 years, and survived the last time this happened, Marvel's Heroes World fiasco. The industry survived that because we were the ONLY place you could find comic book characters. These days, they are everywhere and we are expendable. You can buy graphic novels at book stores or on amazon. You can view the characters on TV and movie theaters. If Diamond goes down, there may be others that will step up, but I don't know how many stores will survive the process, and if a certain percentage of stores closes (20%? 30%? who knows) it will tip beyond the recovery point as orders and print runs will get too low to financially produce the books. They are already low, but we have been recovering for the last 3 years and print runs have been rising. This can be the end. Realistically, we are at 50/50 righ tnow.

There are a ton of other factors. But this should be enough for now :)

-----------------
my feelings on the matter:
Those of you who are into comics, or in the comic book industry, today is an interesting day. DC Comics, the #2 comic book publisher (owned by AT&T), just ended their relationship with Diamond, the exclusive (till now) distributor of comics into comic book stores. Here is my take on this and other stuff.

First, Please do not post about Diamond monopoly that needs to go. I call 100% *SQUEE* on it. Diamond does an amazing job distributing comics, much better than any other industry that ships a lot of product (there are numbers to prove this) and has financially backed this industry for YEARS. Steve Geppi is a true HERO of our industry and most people do not know this, and it's a DAMN shame.

Second, before I even get to why and how, I want to say this. For DC Comics to do what they did during the Covid Crisis, the demonstrations outside our stores, boarded up windows, broken storefronts, stolen merchandise, Tough times for us and our employees is DESPICABLE. There is no other way to say it but *SQUEE* YOU, AT&T and DC. I really genuinely like a bunch of people who work at DC, and this is in no way towards them, and I know that they can't speak out on this, (some have even told me that) but what DC is doing, and at this SPECIFIC TIME in our lives, is IMMORAL.

Third, the way they described their decision, i.e. trying to grow the market.... is also COMPLETE GARBAGE. For one thing, it's much harder and more expensive for me to process shipments from multiple distributors at multiple times, in terms of employee time and shipping costs and everything else. I pick up my Diamond shipments and schedule my employees at all three stores at specific times. Now what happens when I no longer have any control of when my DC comics will show up due to shipping from another place? And a smaller shipment of JUST DC comics will cost more than those same books would have cost to ship together with everything else, right? So, how are they growing the market with this.

Fourth, we are not stupid. They gave distribution to two online discounters, who are completely amoral in their business practices, putting certain books at our cost, and then targeting geographic areas with facebook ads to get OUR customers, and who also administer their (DC's) own online subscriptions at the same time. This is DC saying that the whole marketplace in place right now DOES NOT MATTER. They know it and we know it and this will affect my support of them. I will not stop carrying DC books (I serve MY CUSTOMERS and not DC Comics) but I will not take big positions and will allocate a lot more of my budgets to publishers who support the direct market. Boom Studios, Vault, Aftershock, and many others, I want to help you grow, and I have 3 stores to do it at. LMK how we can do it. You all know how to find me.

Today I wanted to spend the day celebrating my daughter's high school graduation, and instead i am opening an account with a company I loathe, to serve my customers, and trying to make sure my customers do not lose out on anything, going forward. For that, *SQUEE* YOU, DC Comics!
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Re: DC ends relationship with Diamond!

Post by nycjadie »

Ed, I imagine that's the sentiment of most stores. Am I right?

Has DCBS or Midtown commented on this to other retailers?

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Re: DC ends relationship with Diamond!

Post by paradise »

I don't need to hear from them. It was also very underhanded the way DC announced these new distributors without saying who they really were. It took comic press 10 min to figure it out.
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Re: DC ends relationship with Diamond!

Post by nonplayer »

Change is the only thing that is constant.
With valiant crapping the bed and no other comics that interest me It might be time to focus on my family and the other hobbies that havent failed me.
I dont see this being good and it is very reminiscent of another nail in the coffin of the industry.
Carbone based information storage devices are pretty much a thing of the passed. Why are we still chopping down trees for disposable goods.
Covid has changed my spending habbits for the positive.
Xo and turok will forever be collected.
I Miss Dinesh running Valiant


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