We round up here a day’s events in the comics Biz in the unfolding Coronavirus Crisis of 2020.
And in an Open Letter to Publishers, Image Publisher Eric Stephenson called on other publishers with financial heft to take steps of their own to support comic stores, noting that "Image may be the third largest comics publisher in the United States, but percentage-wise that’s a long way from number two."
"With all due respect to our publishing peers, we urge you to enact similar measures that will help our retail partners get through these harrowing times," he wrote.
Suggestions for Comic Publishers and Retailers on the Coronavirus Pandemic"), and making specific suggestions of their own, including:
- Returnability of all comics and graphic novels shipped during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Extended terms. This is especially necessary for the most vulnerable stores – the ones on COD.
- No interest payments for back debt incurred during the crisis. Interest payments can cripple comic stores.
- Temporarily raising the Discount Levels. And making sure that reduced orders due to closings and reduced traffic don't affect these higher discount levels. By lowering the product cost to retailers, we will have more monies to be able to weather the storm.
- Publishers should limit output. Push major projects back. Slow Everything Down. Fewer titles mean less cost to retailers.
- And the postponement of Free Comic Book Day by at least a month, a reopening of FOC on FCBD titles, extended terms for FCBD items, and the postponement of FCBD-related product launches.
Lion Forge Donates $100K to Begin the Forge Fund to Help Comic Retailers") to help comic retailers in need.
Heidmann also announced that GFE headquarters staff, including Diamond Comic Distributors customer service reps, had begun working from home and urged customers to use email for primary communication.