Z2 Comics had a big year in 2020, and it plans to expand its scope in 2021 with a new direct-to-retailer program led by comics veteran Devin Funches, who has just joined Z2 as Director of Retail Sales.

As of today, retailers can order Z2 graphic novels directly from the publisher, in addition to Diamond Comics Distributors and Simon and Schuster. Z2 says the direct-to-retailer program will include competitive shipping rates and discount tiers based on volume, and books will be returnable after 60 days. In addition, Z2 will make its deluxe packages available to retailers in this program, marking the first time they have offered these higher-priced special editions outside their own direct-to-consumer program. Z2 will not require retailers to place a minimum order to be eligible to carry the deluxe packages. Finally, retailers who participate in the program will have first dibs on opportunities to host touring musicians for in-store signings and performances.

Funches, who previously worked for BOOM! Studios in sales and marketing and then as Sales Manager for Lion Forge, will spearhead the direct-to-retailer program. “We wanted to come up with some solutions for our retail partners to take some of the risk out of bringing our products into their stores, and help ensure they have the tools to not only sell our books, but to court these fanbases ready to fall in love with this art form we all work so hard to promote,” said Funches in a statement.

Z2 has already set up a fulfillment center in Denver, Colorado, for its direct-to-consumer sales, and the warehouse and staff will now serve retailers as well.

As Z2 Co-Founder and Publisher Josh Frankel explained to ICv2 earlier this year, the company works with musicians and bands who have small but very dedicated fanbases to create original, authorized graphic novels (see “ICv2 Interview: Z2 Comics Founders Josh Frankel and Sridhar Reddy”). The books are produced in two editions, a regular one and a deluxe edition, often with extras such as vinyl LPs. Until now, the deluxe editions have been sold only through their website, direct to consumer, while the regular edition was sold both direct to consumer and through retail outlets.