Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Well this is gonna end well...DIAMOND Closing/"Free Comics?"

Hi, Everybody!

The new one: Attractive Cousins


The four different High Societys.

Although, I don't know why I'm bothering with the links, since this happened.

(In case you don't wanna click the link...):
Steve Geppi Addresses Coronavirus’ Effect on Distribution
A Message from Steve Geppi,
Chairman & CEO,
Geppi Family Enterprises
Founder, Diamond Comic Distributors

As everyone knows, the world faces ever-increasing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its effects on the comics & collectibles and tabletop gaming industries have been felt far and wide.  We are hearing from thousands of retailers that they can no longer service their customers as they have in the past, many of them forced to close by government action or resort to in-person or curbside delivery. Even those still open are seeing reduced foot traffic in most cases, a situation that seems likely to worsen with time.

Our publishing partners are also faced with numerous issues in their supply chain, working with creators, printers, and increasing uncertainty when it comes to the production and delivery of products for us to distribute. Our freight networks are feeling the strain and are already experiencing delays, while our distribution centers in New York, California, and Pennsylvania were all closed late last week. Our own home office in Maryland instituted a work from home policy, and experts say that we can expect further closures. Therefore, my only logical conclusion is to cease the distribution of new weekly product until there is greater clarity on the progress made toward stemming the spread of this disease.
Product distributed by Diamond and slated for an on-sale date of April 1st or later will not be shipped to retailers until further notice.  For the time being, however, we have been able to develop procedures with our teams at the distribution center in Olive Branch, MS to safely continue fulfillment of direct ship reorders for the retailers who are able to receive new product and need it to service their customers. It’s unlikely that orders will be filled on the same day they are placed, and these plans are subject to change if any point we no longer feel that we can safeguard our teams while fulfilling orders.

Product distributed by Diamond UK and slated for an on-sale date of March 25th or later will not be shipped to retailers until further notice. Further updates with regard to reorders and other Diamond UK-specific information will be communicated directly to their customers as information becomes available.
Product distributed by Alliance has been shipping from our Fort Wayne, IN and Austin, TX warehouses. Both are closing at the end of the day on Tuesday, March 24th, in the interest of employee safety and to comply with direction from local governments. Any orders not shipped by that time will not be processed until further notice. Your dedicated sales team will still be working remotely and help you with any orders you’d like to place today or questions you may have.
With these changes in our distribution strategy, we will work with our publishing partners to develop programs that will address product already in the pipeline and what will happen when we resume distribution. We know that during this time you will face many challenges, and we will direct our energies toward addressing them, rather than fighting on increasingly numerous fronts to get product out.

For those retailers who remain open in various forms, I encourage you let loose your own creativity. For the time being, you will be able to replenish your perennials from Diamond and/or Alliance, but you should also remember the stock you already have in your stores. If your doors remain open, it’s likely you will have customers who will continue to seek diversion from events of the world. Special sales, promotions, and even eBay can help you bring in cash during this trying time. Product for which you’ve already paid may well hold some of your answers. There have been many solid suggestions offered about how to help our retailers, and we will bring many of them together in future communications.

Besides the industry’s most immediate needs, we have been and will continue looking toward the future, when we see stores reopening, bringing staff back onboard, and getting customers in the door. We are looking at issues like debt accrued due to this crisis, what reduced ordering means for your discount tiers, and the availability of credit to help stores through and after this difficult time. We don’t have all those answers today, but we understand the many issues you are facing and look forward to addressing them as partners who all have an interest in the long-term health of the industry we love so much.

As I mentioned in my last update, this industry has been one of the greatest joys of my life, from my days as a collector to a retailer to today. I and my Leadership Team have made these decisions knowing full-well the effect this will have on all of you, as well as our publishing partners and our own team members around the world. At the end of the day, the safety and security of our teams and yours, along with the many customers we all serve, is paramount. I again thank you for your ongoing patience and support.

Thank You,

Steve Geppi
Chairman & CEO, Geppi Family Enterprises

Which means The Varking Dead (which will be in stores tomorrow (the stores that are still allowed to be open, that is...).) is the last issue of Cerebus in Hell? for the foreseeable future...

Except for this:

Which the CiH? team made four days ago (I think it was Hobbs. Might have been Birdsong...) and one thing lead to another, and we got a twenty-four page Coronavirus Super Special* that The Cerebus in Hell? team is going to be offering, FOR FREE, to anybody who wants a new comic. It's gonna be Digital (we're still..."discussing" printing copies. I think this will be how CiH? falls apart.)

So, join:
Eddie "Kunjin" Khanna, Matt "Dengue" Dow, David "Barmah" Birdsong, Benjamin "Hepatitis" Hobbs, Laura "Monkeypox" McFarland, Sean "Rubella" Robinson, and Dave "Sapporo" Sim as they make the most of their State ordered quarantines.

Details coming soon, "How soon?" REAL SOON!

Next Time: Hobbs, then Me/Hobbs/Birdsong/somebody with Free CiH? news!
*Title NOT final!


Larry Wooten said...

Laugh-a while you can, monkey-boy.

Birdsong said...

At this point laughter may, indeed, be the best medicine at all.

Dave was a bit skeptical, but once the strips started coming in he began re-writing and LOLing and got on board. He also made some predictions regarding this FREE issue:

"You don't pay for CIH?, you get it for free. You only pay for GOOD comics.

You're making FUN of sick people and dying people and people whose relatives are sick and have died?

What part of @#$% OFF AND GO AWAY doesn't Dave Sim understand?

I keep thinking of the Boss Jim Geddes line in CITIZEN KANE, 'if it was anyone else, I'd say it would be a lesson to him. But I can see you're going to need more than one lesson.'

Thank you, sir, may I have another?"

My hope is that Dave will be proven wrong in this case and that this will be a hit. A small hit, of course, but is anyone else making a comic in 4 days and giving it away? And if you think we've gone too far then you might want to look away... there is already another one in progress.

Stay safe everyone and try to laugh a little.

The Refuge said...

Does Geppi still own the Orioles?

David, how about Vark Wars Revenge of the Distributers or something? Geppi sends in a rag tag team of fanboys to blow up Walt's cryogenic tomb deep inside the caverns under the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. Anyone else Remember Ben Edlund parodying that myth? Reminds me of the Pope in his case at the Vatican. I can almost see him coming back as the Anti-Christ. Someone's got to save us from this virus. Reminds me of Cerebus' fake grandson. Hey, there's a Jabba the Hutt character. You could even fulfil Lucas's once intention of having Orson Wells play the Emperor.