We round up recent responses to the coronavirus crisis from the comics biz here, including a mysterious allusion to extended credit for comic stores, a new “status” field in the comic shop locator, and another publisher offering to send comic stores a share of its online revenues.
Marvel sent out two versions of its Marvel Mailer emailer (#700) to comic stores last week, roughly 90 minutes apart, with an intriguing difference related to a potential extended credit program for comic stores. The first version included this sentence: “[W]e have provided Diamond an extension on the timing of Diamond’s payments to Marvel, so that Diamond has the flexibility to manage Diamond’s payment terms with the retailers.” The second version, labeled “Correction,” did not include that sentence. We asked Diamond Comic Distributors whether the sentence in the first version was true, and why it was taken out of the second version. “The document Marvel sent was an early draft that included details that have not been finalized,” a Diamond spokesperson replied.
Diamond has added a “status” field to the Comic Shop Locator Service, to enable retailers to show whether they are fully open, temporarily closed, or available for local delivery, curbside pick-up, mail delivery, or other interaction with customers. Sadly, this seems like an excellent feature that may be useful for months to come.
Following in the footsteps of Black Mask Studios in the comics biz (see “Creative Comic Store Support from Black Mask”), and Japanime Games in the games biz (the first place we saw this retailer support mechanism used, see “Japanime Games to Paypal 50% of Its Online Product Purchases to Stores”), TKO Studios announced that it would also send 50% of sales through its online store to designated comic stores. TKO also laid a heavy social media campaign behind the initiative, giving it greater presence than previous initiatives of the kind.