DC is breaking its decades-long business relationship with Diamond Comics Distributors. The publisher states that Diamond's last shipment of DC books will be for the June 23 on-sale date - with orders due for those by June 1.
"After 25 years, DC and Diamond Comic Distributors are ending their long-standing relationship," read a statement from a DC spokesperson. "Moving forward, comic book retailers can obtain their DC books from Penguin Random House, or their books and periodicals through Lunar or UCS comic book distributors. DC continues to be committed to providing the Direct Market with best in class service and the fans with the world’s greatest comic books."
With a relationship that goes back even further, Diamond had been DC's exclusive Direct Market distributor for 25 years up until April 2020 when DC exercised an 'out' on that contract following the distribution company's decision to halt operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DC states that Diamond will be fulfilling retailers’ orders through the June 1 Final Order Cut-Off (FOC), after which the publisher will not be soliciting any new titles through Diamond.
DC is re-iterating that comic book stores order via the two new distributors based on geographic location.
"Retailers may choose from these three distributors as they like, but we suggest that U.S. and Canadian retailers on the west coast choose Lunar Distribution and those on the east coast choose UCS Comic Distributors to maximize shipping timelines," a separate DC letter to retailers reads. "For retailers outside North America, please choose any of the three distributors.
The publisher states this decision is "in line" with their "overall strategic vision intended to improve the health of, and strengthen, the Direct Market as well as grow the number of fans who read comics worldwide."
"We believe this new distribution system will bring you world class service using top of the line and modern systems that will provide you the most efficient operational supply chain," DC’s letter reads. "DC will continue to look for ways, together with our new partners, to better serve you and the fans to the best of our ability. We remain committed to the Direct Market and look forward to partnering with you to grow your business and to get the best comic books and graphic novels to the fans in the most efficient and seamless manner."
As part of the message to retailers, DC makes it a point to thank Diamond and their owner for working with them.
"We want to thank Steve Geppi and the great people at Diamond for all the years of service."