Dark Horse Comics is sticking to their guns and have re-stated their commitment to not release any new comics digitally that can't also be purchased in comic book stores.
Thursday, Image Comics' co-owner/President Todd McFarlane argued that the major publishers including Image, DC, Marvel, and Dark Horse should coordinate efforts and also suggested they offer 10 new, popular top titles with the most demand for free as digital downloads.
Earlier this week, Newsarama asked the major publishers for statements directly addressed to their readers on their current position in regards to digital publishing. Subsequently, given McFarlane’s call for a coordinated effort, we asked the publishers to respond to the Image co-owner’s position.
Here's is Dark Horse's Friday response, in full:
There’s no question that it’s a challenging time for everyone - and it is certainly no one's intention to “punish” readers. However, it’s important to remember that our printer is currently not printing any new comics for us, nor is Diamond, the industry's only distributor of comics, sending any new comics to retailers. Also, take into consideration a number of comics shops have temporarily closed their doors and are currently not conducting any business for the time being.
During this time we’ve made a commitment to comics retailers to not release any comics digitally that are not also available in print. We’re in a holding pattern until this pandemic passes, our printer and distribution system is up and running, and stay at home orders loosen. In order to make sure our readers and everyone else who is having to stay at home have reading material, we have released over 80 #1s available digitally for free as well as an extended digital sale with 50% off nearly all our titles digitally and an extra 50% off kids titles when readers use the code comics4kids. We’ve extended this sale through the end of April. There is no shortage of reading material for fans of every and any reading method.
Dark Horse normally releases digital comics day-and-date concurrent with print comics on several platforms including comiXology, Kindle, and their own Dark Horse Digital.
The publisher's founder/co-owner Mike Richardson has strong ties to the comic book store community, as he is also the founder and owner of the Northwest United States comic book retail chain Things From Another World.