Thursday, March 26, 2020

Thursday's Headlines | DARK HORSE Cutting Down Line

Dark Horse Comics have joined in the growing chorus of publishers that are changing their upcoming releases in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects on Direct Market comic book retailers.

In a letter sent out to retailers Wednesday morning, Dark Horse founder/publisher/co-owner Mike Richardson commented on this "challenging" time and announced plans to trim their plans for upcoming releases (without giving specifics), and offer 90-day fully returnable terms (with affidavit) to retailers.

Richardson didn't specify how these changes would affect the publisher's digital releases, and specifically Dark Horse's in-house digital comics reading service Dark Horse Digital.

On the Direct Market retail side of things, Richardson is also founder/owner of the Northwest comic book store chain Things From Another World.

Here is Richardson's statement, reprinted with permission from Dark Horse:

To all of our retail partners,

We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. As I write this, the Coronavirus continues to threaten the health of our families and communities. With distributors shutting down or reducing capacity, retailers and printers closing their doors, and increasingly stringent government rules, it has become challenging to conduct business as usual. We know this has been an incredibly difficult time for everyone.

It is important that you know Dark Horse is committed to helping support your business through this trying time. It seems that market conditions change on a daily basis, which makes formulating a response difficult. While the details are still being worked out, here are our initial action items:

We will immediately reduce our monthly output of both comics and graphic novels for the coming months.

Dark Horse will indefinitely offer 90-day fully returnable terms (affidavit) on all periodicals on Final Order Cutoff corresponding to the weekly on-sale dates.

Dark Horse will continue to explore a variety of options intended to help our retail partners. Updates will be coming.

I've been in this business for a long time and witnessed our industry weather many storms. This new threat takes us all into uncharted territory, but we will do our best to help you through it.

All the best,

Mike Richardson