Marvel Comics won’t be releasing any new books next week, as confirmed by Comicbook.com. This extends to both digital and physical books. This will also make a full five weeks that Marvel has released any new books. There is no telling when the publisher will get back on a regular schedule. This serves as yet another big blow in an industry that continues to be hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis.
DC Comics recently announced plans to get books back in stores. The publisher cut deals with new distributors to make it happen, with new books set to arrive this week. Marvel, on the other hand, has been in something of a holding pattern ever since comic book shops were forced to shut down temporarily due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“There’s a lot behind the scenes about this that you guys don’t know about. But I PROMISE this is the right move for now. It’s complicated. If we put comics out digitally it hurts comic shops even more. Which in turn hurts you guys. Believe me, no one wants to sell Marvel comics more than Marvel. And we’re doing our best,” Absolute Carnage writer Donny Cates said in a since-deleted tweet.
The indication right now is that Marvel will not begin to publish new books until Diamond Comics Distributors is back up and running. Diamond is far and away the biggest distributor in the business. At one point it looked like Diamond might not be able to get operations back underway until August, but now it appears that sometime in May, they will be able to ship new books. So it may still be a few weeks until new Marvel Comics titles arrive.
“As you know, unfortunately there will not be any new print titles available at your shops this week,” Dan Buckley, President of Marvel Entertainment, said in an announcement to retailers last month “Marvel will also not be releasing any new comic book titles digitally on April 1. This is a fluid situation with details changing every day, so we appreciate your patience and understanding as we all navigate our way through this. As soon as more information is available, we will outline our longer-term plans and opportunities to support you and the industry. […] Revised release dates for our April 1 titles will be shared in the coming weeks.”
Comic book shops, in the meantime, are struggling to keep from going under. Many in the industry have stepped up to help these businesses try and weather the storm, such as Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld.