The superhero world is shaken by the DC Comic and Diamond Distributors’ breakup of their long-standing partnership. Here’s what it really means for the fans and retailers
With raging pandemic, closed businesses, oil spills, nationwide protests, racial injustices, and forest fires; there is yet another nail in the coffin. For the past week, DC and Diamond’s comic distribution partnership is hanging by a thread. A massive rift in the comic book industry was reported as publishing giant DC decided to breakup with Diamond comic book distributors.
Later, the news broke that the comic book giants are temporarily extending their partnership. So what’s the real deal with the ongoing breakup and makeup saga.
DC’s New Distribution Plan
“The change of direction is in line with DC’s overall strategic vision intended to improve the health of, and strengthen, the Direct Market as well as grow the number of fans who read comics worldwide.”Official Statement by DC
The official statement put forward by a DC spokesperson shows how this decision to break up a 25-year-old association is not a hasty one. The statement signifies deep thought, deliberation, and discussion. In fact, it proves that DC believes that this step will help improve their comic book experience and also lead to global expansion.
DC’s move shocked the comic book retailers, fans and creators alike.
As opposed to comic book giant Diamond; DC books and periodicals will now be distributed by Lunar, UCS, and Penguin Random house. The direct market operations in line for operations see no changes. As per the statement, all orders placed with Diamond until the 1st of June will be shipped the latest by the 23rd of June. Efforts have been made to make this colossal transition seamless for both customers and retailers.
The very fact that Lunar and UCS are the new distributors is troublesome for the comic book retailers. As both the giants are also comic retailers and will have an edge over the others in the direct market. On the other hand the market shares will see a major upheaval as DC makes a huge share of for Diamond Comics in the market.
The Underlying Reason for DC Diamond Breakup
While DC has officially not come up with a clear reason for this major upheaval, fans and critics have a lot to speculate on. There have been floating rumours on how Diamond decided to discontinue services in the wake of the pandemic that led DC to approach Lunar and USC.
It was believed that the union with Lunar and USC was temporary, however the sudden news has concealed the real situation and helped many join the dots. It seems like DC was prepared for a breakup. They were testing the waters to gauge response and reaction when they shifted to Lunar and USC. Many believe that Diamond had this coming.
What’s in it for Diamond distributors?
‘They might be named diamond but DC brought them the shine.’
DC secured almost 30 per cent of Diamond’s total market share and people associated the two and used them interchangeably. Some say this calls for a war in the comic book industry but wars happen when both sides have the same chance at winning. Diamond leads the market but it has always had issues.
Customers cribbed about how orders would take a lot of time and books won’t be received in the best conditions. The effects were not that prominent until this announcement. It is understood that other publishing houses would also take a step to review these changes.
What Does The Future Hold
Well, the future is uncertain, both for DC and for Diamond after the breakup. DC has the advantage of upholding the best phase of storytelling currently, and somehow the pandemic did not affect the flow of storytelling for any of their comics. Consequently, DC is at a better place to make changes than the troubled Diamond Distributors.
As the business sectors reopens, there is no ‘same old everything’. Things are bound to change and the industry will soon adapt itself. While fans were still rooting for a union between DC and Diamond seem like the ongoing tussle will prove otherwise.
Ultimately, DC cutting ties with Diamond is not entirely bad or good. The reports of DC and Diamond temporarily extending their partnership is a sign that there’s a lot that needs to be figured out.
Nevertheless, we believe both the enterprises will continue their premium services in the world of storytelling; comic books will continue to tell great stories, now and forever!