Image Comics announced today that it has signed an exclusive, worldwide contract with Lunar Distributors for distribution to the direct market.  The contract will take effect with titles that go on sale in September 2023, which will be available for order on the Lunar website on June 14.

Image was previously exclusively distributed to the direct market by Diamond Comics Distributors.  In a statement accompanying the announcement, Image CFO Erik Larsen said that the move was a difficult one but was motivated by the needs of its readers and retailers, who are its real customers.  “There are services Lunar will provide that will make it easier for stores to buy our titles, and for fans to find our books,” he said.  “This is a big win for them, and we hope this new partnership is as strong and long-lasting as the previous one.”

Diamond will buy Image products from Lunar and sell them as a wholesaler.

Image also has a distribution agreement with Diamond Book Distributors for the book channel; at press time, neither Image nor Diamond had responded to ICv2’s question as to the status of that agreement.

“Over the past 30 years, Diamond’s collaboration with Image has been a source of inspiration and motivation,” said Steve Geppi, President and CEO of Diamond’s parent company Geppi Enterprises, in an official statement.  “We have cherished the opportunity to work closely with such a remarkable group, sharing goals, dreams, and overcoming challenges together.  While their announcement today marks a new chapter in our partnership, I am delighted that Diamond will continue to play a vital role as a key source for Image Comics to the Direct Market.”

“First and foremost we want to thank Steve Geppi, Chuck Parker, and everyone at Diamond for their ongoing service and all that they’ve done for Image over the years” said Todd McFarlane, President of Image, in a statement accompanying the announcement.  “For over three decades, they have been at our side, supporting our books from the moment we founded our company back in 1992.  Every Image comic published, since our inception in ’92, has been distributed to thousands of retail outlets by Diamond, and they have played a very important role in our company’s evolution.”

Lunar Distribution began distributing DC Comics in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic (see “DC to Resume Releasing New Comics on April 28”).  Since then it has expanded its footprint and now handles distribution for a number of publishers; its most recent announcement was a non-exclusive contract with the new publisher DSTLRY (see “Exclusive: DSTLRY Inks Distribution Deal with Lunar”).