ComicsPRO Executive Director Marco Davanzo has shared a letter the comic book retailer trade organization has been sharing this week regarding ways Diamond Comic Distributors and coic publishers can help ease the issues the Direct Market is going through with the coronavirus outbreak.
Here is the letter, shared with permission:
The ComicsPRO Board of Directors wants to thank comic publishers who are working with the retail community to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 Virus. Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, and BOOM! Studios have or will announce returnability programs for their books during the crisis.
The Board would also like to thank former DC Executive Paul Levitz for penning an opinion column on ICV2 suggesting returnability and other steps that Publishers and Diamond can take.
The Board would also like to suggest other ways that Diamond Comics and the publishers can help save the comic industry. These five suggestions are based on the fact that comic book stores are the lynchpin of the comic industry; without a healthy, functioning comic store network, the comic book industry will implode.
1. Returnability of all comics and graphic novels shipped during the COVID-19 crisis.
2. Extended terms. This is especially necessary for the most vulnerable stores – the ones on COD.
3. No interest payments for back debt incurred during the crisis. Interest payments can cripple comic stores.
4. 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.
5. Publishers should limit output. Push major projects back. Slow Everything Down. Fewer titles mean less cost to retailers.
Additionally, the ComicsPRO Board of Directors suggests we postpone Free Comic Book Day by at least a month, reopen FOC, and also offer extended terms for FCBD items. And we suggest publishers postpone their FCBD related launches to coincide with this new date.
Currently, FCBD falls under the 2 month window, in which the CDC has suggested that no more than 50 people can congregate. We believe that having Free Comic Book Day during this window will be viewed negatively by the public.