Diamond Comic Distributors has confirmed that they intend to resume distribution of comics and other products in mid- to late-May, based on current data and internal projections. In a letter sent out to comic book retailers, publishers, and other clients by Diamond's parent company Geppi Family Enterprises, "the other side of COVID-19" in terms of comic distribution - with some reservations - is outlined.
"While there are many steps and conversations that need to happen between today and resuming distribution of new weekly product, we are currently targeting mid- to late-May with the hope that, as an industry, we can all work toward that timeframe," read the statement.
"Of course, as we have all seen, target dates sometimes need to be adjusted in this ever-changing new-normal. But we cannot wait for firm dates. We have started the planning process and are having these important conversations with publishers and retailers so that once we have more clarity, we are in a position to restart and scale operations over time."
Diamond suspended shipments to UK comic book shops after March 18's books, with North American comic shops last week of comics via Diamond was March 25. The current plan is that the comics intended for release during Diamond's downtime to be distributed later, spread out "over a longer period of time." The distributor doesn't specify if the solicited mid- and late-May titles (and those thereafter) will remain on thier currently solicited release dates.
"With health and safety of employees, retailers and customers a top priority, we need to be very deliberate about how we restart and scale operations," warned Diamond's parent company. "We must find that delicate balance between managing health and safety concerns, meeting the pent-up demand for product and working with retailers whose situations differ, and whose need for product may have changed."