IDW Suspends MAY 2020 Publications, More Plans in Response to Diamond Shutdown

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Credit: IDW Publishing

IDW Publishing has responded to Diamond Comics Distributors' announced plans to cease accepting and distributing new products beginning April 1. 

In the statement, IDW President/Publisher/CCO Chris Ryall offers new, extended dates for returnability of IDW product, and has announced plans to suspend publication of its planned releases scheduled for May 6 through May 27, while shrinking its overall line into July.

Here's Ryall's statement in full:
 

To Our Partners Throughout the Comics Industry,

Last week, we sent out a statement to the comics community in which we pledged our support for the Direct Market during the current health and economic crisis. We’ve been keeping a very close eye on the public discussions taking place in forums and on social media, and the sentiment from retailers is abundantly clear:

It’s time to take action.

In light of Diamond’s statement today, our immediate steps to offer relief for our retail partners are:

·For the next three months, IDW will be offering 60-day no-fee returnable terms for all items on Final Order Cutoff (FOC) corresponding to the weekly on-sale dates from March 18th to June 24th.

·IDW is announcing the suspension of May releases corresponding to OSD dates from May 6th to May 27th.

·IDW will reduce its overall publishing line for products originally scheduled through July, with a focus on releasing our biggest projects in special editions to help drive traffic to stores through the summer.

With these measures, our hope is that we can lessen the immediate financial risk that retailers face for IDW products, and give retailers a much-needed break for their monthly budgets.

These are first steps. As the situation continues to unfold, we’re certain to initiate additional programs to help our retail partners. It’ll take insight from and coordination with shop owners, Diamond, and our publishing peers to shape a comprehensive strategy for the industry to move forward.

As a special note to our Creative Partners:

We know that you’re likewise feeling the pain of the current circumstances. Trimming our line through the summer in support of the Direct Market retailers will undoubtedly impact creative workflow for the short term. We fully appreciate the difficulty that this presents to freelancers. It’s our expectation that -- in the long term -- the Direct Market will bounce back as a result of these steps, and we can all continue the good work of making quality comics on the other side. Our Editorial team has been reaching out to creators and licensors with these latest updates, and we're here to help in any way we can: answering your questions, listening to your ideas, etc.

The IDW team is committed to working with retailers and creators to get through the coming weeks and months. As I mentioned in our previous statement, we’re here to listen and help. We invite you to contact us directly (ryall@idwpublishing.com, rosalind@idwpublishing.comdirk@idwpublishing.com) and we’ll field your questions as best as we can. 

Wishing you health and security,

Chris Ryall

If the first two responses to Diamond's announcement seem confusing, in a follow-up, a spokesperson for IDW explained the publisher is proceeding with the expectation Diamond accounts can still order products that have already been solicited even though distribution of products after April 1 has been suspended, and that when distribution is resumed all un-distributed products will not have to be resolicited, hence the current 60-day returnability window for products with an original on sale date through June 24. 

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