How DC is Killing Your Local Comic Shop

Many of you may already be aware, DC Comics has decided to leave Diamond distribution. Unless you are a retailer yourself, you may not realize the significance that this has on your local comic book shop. Sure, you may have had a conversation about it at your shop, if it’s currently open that is. They may express how unhappy they are with this decision, or how it’s not going to be all that big of a deal. Possibly the person behind the counter is expressing joy over the great “monopoly of Diamond” coming to an end.

I have been in the comic shop business in New Jersey for just about three decades. I have seen the industry with 3 different distribution centers available to comic shops and the transition to one. Have I been happy with Diamond distribution and their practices? 

No, no way.

I would be the first person in the line to see the end to Diamond’s stranglehold on the industry.

What DC is doing is not the answer and, in my opinion, has nothing to do with helping your LCS or stopping Diamonds monopoly.

First, start with the timing of this move.

The world is shut down due to a pandemic that has caused the entire comic book industry to stop producing material entirely and DC decides to start releasing material through two new distribution centers while Diamond is closed.

Again, I am no fan of Diamond but to be clear, Diamond had no real choice in their closure. It was pointless to stay open, not to mention illegal in most, if not all states and dangerous to their employees.

Then you have the two new distribution centers that are not really distribution centers at all. One is a comic store in NY and the other is an internet comic store. Neither are in any way capable of actually doing the job that Diamond was doing, especially not during a pandemic that no one was prepared for or has ever dealt with. Under normal circumstances, it would be a difficult transition for any business. Under the current atmosphere it is impossible.
When I first was told about DC adding distributors to help get there product out during the pandemic, I went on to set up accounts with both companies so I could be able to best service my customers no matter how things turned out during this time.

One distribution till this day has yet to even respond to finish set up.

The other allowed set up and just began to ship product weekly without any communication at all. I have been calling and emailing them since April and have yet to have any communication about my account. My retail location is still closed due to COVID-19 and I cannot take any shipments, however UCS has been shipping books to me each week and they have been returned each week. What is going to really be an issue is how DC and UCS plan on figuring out how to affordably get the books to your LCS. Each weekly shipment that was returned would have been returned by me if I was open. The shipments cost more than I could have made if I sold every book in the order at full price! Forget about the discounts my customers have been getting from me for decades on their books, I can’t even consider that when I’m losing money just selling them at full price.

I have done everything shy of smoke signals to get a response about this issue to no avail to date.

After almost 30 years of being in business selling comic books, I may be looking at not carrying DC comics at all or worse yet.... this may actually put me out of business.

I cannot be the only comic store facing these questions directly due to DC comics deciding during a pandemic to simply stop using Diamond distribution.

If this action was done to help the industry and your local comic store, then it was not thought out in any way. I cannot believe that for a second. This seems like DC attempting to salvage their business and create a situation that is all digital with 2 outlets only for the customers who would want to still collect their weekly issues, with the mainstream big boxes stores to have their product in graphic and trade paperback form.

In my opinion, from their actions during this entire situation, DC feels as though comic stores will not survive so they are cutting business with them to save themselves as you would a gangrene limb.

Why else would they just cut out a distribution center they have used for decades during a pandemic with no reasonable way for your LCS to affordably continue to supply you with their product? You can still purchase their books as a customer with a reasonable discount, but only from two sources that happen to be their two “new” distribution outlets.

This was thought out and each action from the start has been deliberate.

As for me, now I have to figure out what I will do with an industry that I have dedicated my entire adult life building a business around as half of this industry I loved so much has turned their back on me.

Sal Fichera has owned and operated comic book stores in South Jersey for decades.  An avid classic Marvel fan and friend to all professional wrestlers, Sal loves introducing the magic of comics to new readers.  Like many other shop owners, he's fighting for his business's life.  If you'd like to contribute, please visit
How DC is Killing Your Local Comic Shop How DC is Killing Your Local Comic Shop Reviewed by Adventureland on Friday, June 26, 2020 Rating: 5
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