Steve Geppi, CEO of Geppi Family Enterprises and owner of Diamond Comic Distributors, announced a cockamamie scheme to capitalize on comic book shops reopening. Most comic book shops were forced to close their doors because of COVID-19. That, and because Diamond Comic Distributors, the lone distributor of comics, decided not to distribute. They also decided not to pay publishers money owed for the books Diamond already distributed to comic book shops before the shutdown.
Geppi’s scheme is called “Back the Comeback.” It features a bright yellow logo and he wants publishers to put on their books. He thinks this logo will make books more collectible in the future. Geppi thinks collectors will seek out these books because they’ll want COVID-19 collectibles.
Seriously, that’s what Geppi said. From an interview with ICv2:
If you recall, back in the 50s, when the government wanted to regulate, [comic publishers] avoided it by having a self‑regulatory thing called the Comic Book Authority. Even though they all competed, they all had that in the corner to make them in some ways uniform. There’s going to be a time, particularly in the back issue market, when people are going to look at this period, and whatever they call it (the pandemic period, the coronavirus period, or COVID‑19), there’ll be a certain collectible nature to that. Even aside from that (that’s like a bonus round), I’m thinking that it will be a good way to drive people to the stores so you can clear the checklist: “If you want to have the complete pandemic period of comics, here’s what you’ve got to have.”
The complete pandemic period of comics? You have to be a psychopath to collect things based on the misery and misfortune of others. If a publisher puts this stupid yellow stamp on their book, I’m not buying it.
Steve Geppi is using the #BackTheComeback to restore his reputation
Geppi is selling $30 t-shirts with that terrible looking yellow logo on it. Proceeds supposedly go to comic book shops in need. Keep in mind, Geppi Family Enterprises is not a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charity. It’s a family-owned company created for the sole purpose of making money. And that’s fine. I have nothing against a company making money. I ‘m a super-fan of capitalism. What I have a problem with are companies that do not pay their debts. Geppi’s Diamond Comic Distributors owes money not only to Marvel and DC but to small publishers too. Some of these publishers, including Marvel, had to let employees go.
Instead of concentrating on a bogus scheme to paint himself as the savior of the comic book industry, Geppi should work harder at finding ways to quickly pay comic publishers the money he owes them.
If you want to support your local comic book shop, contact them directly and see if they’re selling gift cards. Don’t funnel your money through Steve Geppi. I don’t trust men who obviously dye their hair and I don’t trust companies that don’t pay their debts.