Self-proclaimed non-journalist Rich Johnston at Bleeding Cool “broke” the story that Diamond Comic Distributors is ceasing operations until further notice due to the COVID19 pandemic. That means they will no longer be distributing comic books for the foreseeable future. The thing that makes this fact such a monumental step is that Diamond is the sole distributor of comic books. If you’ve read a comic book in the last 25+ years, most likely Diamond distributed it.
Diamond Comic Distributors had to close
It’s important to note that Diamond did not have a choice. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan ordered all nonessential businesses to close yesterday by 5 PM. Diamond’s headquarters is located in Hunt Valley, Maryland. As important as comic books are to a lot of people, comics aren’t essential. Not in a life and death situation the Chinese coronavirus has put us in.
Even if Governor Hogan hadn’t issued the closedown order on nonessential Maryland businesses, I’m pretty sure Diamond Comic Distributors would have been forced to take this step anyway. With so many states and municipalities under their own nonessential business closures or shelter-in-place orders, distribution across the national landscape was going to be all but impossible. Even though the COVID19 virus doesn’t care about lines on a map, this pandemic is being addressed in a piecemeal fashion. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to do things this way. From where I live in Maryland, I’m only a 15-minute drive from Pennsylvania or West Virginia. I’m 40 minutes from Virginia and an hour from Washington D.C.
Doing things at a local level might have made more sense a hundred years ago when a person could live their entire life never leaving a 10-mile radius from where they were born. Things aren’t like that anywhere. We humans routinely travel great distances without giving it much thought.
We’ve never experienced a major pandemic where this was the case. That is, until now.
I think it’s safe to say things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. I also think things are going to get a lot weirder before they get normal.