Oni Press has joined the likes of Image Comics and Dynamite Entertainment in changing its returnability policy on titles, making their upcoming books returnable "for the foreseeable future" in reaction to the spreading coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter posted on a private Facebook page for comic book retailers, Oni Publisher James Lucas Jones shared those plans - as well as the consideration of further measures going forward.
Here is the message:
Friends and partners in the comics retail community,
We are all living in an unprecedented time of stress and uncertainty, and we recognize that many of you are facing challenges unlike you could have ever expected. One of the things which makes our industry so special and so unique is perhaps what also makes times like these so trying for all of us. The relationship between we, the publishers and you, the retailers is truly symbiotic, and Oni can only truly thrive when we are all healthy and happy doing what we love: selling comics.
First of all, we want to remind you of the partnership with the Book Industry Charitable Foundation created by David Steward II in the name of our sister company, Lion Forge. The Forge Fund is a resource that you and your employees can apply for assistance through right now. We remain committed to this important safety net for small businesses like yours, and are constantly looking for ways to further that partnership and the help it can provide in times of hardship. Please do visit bincfoundation.org for more information.
Secondly, beginning with all periodical titles on FOC this past Monday March 16, we will make these and future Oni periodical titles returnable for the foreseeable future, and are working closely to best implement a low impact plan with Diamond now. For titles that have yet to be released, but are out of the recent ordering window, we remain fully committed to assisting you with full marketing and sales support in publicity, social media, and advertising efforts.
We are staying abreast of developments on a national and global level as to how individual cities are impacted by shelter in place orders and other restrictions. With the short term uncertain for many folks around the world, we are actively looking at shifting release dates on some of the titles yet to be solicited, but scheduled for the next few months. We will get through this together, and there are multiple strategies and scenarios in discussion now.
We recognize that every situation is different, and no solution is universal, but will do our best to find ways to shoulder these challenges with you.
In the short term, I want to assure you that every decision we make with not only the vitality of our company but the overall health of this business we all love so dearly at the forefront of our mind.
Please feel free to reach out to me, or any member of my team directly with questions, clarification, or just a few positive words of support.
James Lucas Jones, Publisher