Alterna Comics announced they are officially done with Diamond Comics.
Their announcement comes after Diamond Comics made it clear they would not be shipping any new comics due to the coronavirus pandemic. On top of that, Diamond announced they would be instituting a payment plan for all their vendors including publishers like Alterna Comics.
That payment plan would see Diamond Comics only pay their vendors 25% of what they owe their vendors. The plan was reportedly to begin the week of April 6th and continue for the next six weeks.
Following that six week period, Diamond announced they would begin paying the rest of amount owed to their vendors in payments over the following 13 weeks. It would mean Diamond would not be paying their vendors in full until sometime in late August or afterwards.
Along with announcing their payment plan, Diamond Comics founder Steve Geppi also outlined the company would not be paying rent and their executive team would be taking paycuts.
“While we understand that this will have significant impact on everyone, and the situation could change, we also recognize that our world is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis and aggressive action is necessary. In addition to the steps outlined above, our leadership team is accepting a 50% salary cut, landlords have agreed to rent deferrals, and various other providers of professional services have agreed to defer their payments.”
Alterna Comics announced their decision to break away from Diamond Comics on Twitter.
They detailed, “Due to news from Diamond that the potential earliest release date for new product will be in August, we have cancelled all of our solicits with them.”
Alterna Comics added, “We will be moving forward with selling direct to reads AND retailers for the foreseeable future. AlternaAccess.com.”
Due to news from Diamond that the potential earliest release date for new product will be in August, we have cancelled all of our solicits with them.
We will be moving forward with selling direct to readers AND retailers for the foreseeable future via https://t.co/bNjNudkabG
— Alterna Comics (@ALTERNACOMICS) April 11, 2020
Alterna Comics founder Peter Simeti would write on his personal Twitter, “For the time being… and perhaps indefinitely… ordering direct from Alterna will be the only way for readers and retailers to get our new comics.”
For the time being… and perhaps indefinitely… ordering direct from Alterna will be the only way for readers and retailers to get our new comics.
— Peter Simeti 💬 (@petersimeti) April 11, 2020
About a week after these initial tweets Diamond Comics sent an email to their clients, obtained by Newsarama, that they plan to begin distributing new product in mid- to late-May.”
The email sent to Diamond’s clients reads in part, “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.”
However, they added the caveat, “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.”
In a press release sent today, Simeti would elaborate on Alterna Comics’ decision to move away from Diamond in a press release.
Simeti explained, “At Alterna, taking care of our readers has always been our main priority. Getting them books in a fun, easy, and accessible way; making sure we’re putting out great content at an affordable price; reaching the widest possible audience — these things are important to us, but unfortunately, have been very difficult to do effectively while working within the current distribution system.”
He added, “Adding to the many woes our industry already faces, the recent state of the world has left most publishers, creators, and retailers in a state of uncertainty. Our industry depends on one distributor to be the beating heart of the entire comic book market and without them, most of us are stopped dead in our tracks.”
Simeti continued, “While we are fully aware that the current situation in the world is much bigger than comics and there’s little that Diamond can do to control what is occurring right now, we have to do what is necessary in order for our business to survive during these times. That is why we’re making the decision at Alterna to step away from distributing with Diamond Comics Distributors for the immediate and perhaps indefinite future. There are too many unknowns and variables at play for us to properly run our business and work with Diamond in any kind of effective capacity.”
The press release then reads, “Fortunately, we’ve spent over two years at Alterna building up our direct sales infrastructure and as a result — our direct sales have been greater than our distribution sales, month over month, for the past 18 months. We sell directly to both readers AND retailers and are fully equipped to continue to do so, and are even able to expand operations quickly, if demand warrants it.”
Simeti concludes writing, “Moving forward, we’ll continue to create new comics and distribute them directly to retailers and sell them directly to our readers. We’re also transitioning away from comiXology; introducing digital comics directly for purchase on AlternaAccess.com with 5 digital issues available every Friday.”
DC Comics Activates Multi-Distributor Model
Alterna Comics is not the only publisher moving away from Diamond Comics. DC Comics announced back in March they were exploring a multi-distributor model.
They would later detail they were teaming up with Lunar Distribution and UCS Comic Distributors in order to get their comics to participating stores.
In an email to retailers obtained by Newsarama, DC Comics stated, “To assist with the immediate distribution of DC titles during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we’ve secured the assistance of two distributors to help facilitate orders of and shipping of our revised publishing schedule.”
The email adds, “Lunar Distribution and UCS Comic Distributors have agreed to work with us to distribute these new comics.”
Along with the new distributors, they also announced that New Comic Book Day will be happening on Tuesday instead of Wednesday to “synced up release dates across all our retail channels.”
They will also be offering a different line-up of titles.
“Instead of simply ‘lifting and shifting’ the same scheduled titles for each of the missed in-store dates, we’ve made changes to the publishing schedule. The new schedule is designed to allow each of you to begin ordering a limited amount of DC product at first, and then ease back into the number of books that represents a normal release schedule from DC when your business can accommodate it.”
What do you think of Alterna Comics move away from Diamond Comics?