The coronavirus pandemic has impacted all aspects of life, including our beloved Star Wars comics in a galaxy far, far away. The latest impact comes in the form of upcoming Star Wars comics not being available in physical (print) form. How long this delay will last remains to be seen.
Diamond Shuts Down
Writers and artists are still producing comics. Much of the upcoming works are complete, or near completion. They just won’t be available in stores. This is due to the United States’ primary comics distributor, Diamond, suspending operations. Stores can’t sell products they don’t have.
This will have a massive impact on your local comics shops. Stores already struggling to stay afloat, assuming they are still allowed to be open, now have fewer reasons for customers to come by. Many comics retailers, including the ones in our local area of Central Florida, have started offering curbside pickup and other online-based systems. How this news will impact those offerings remains to be seen. Diamond’s CEO suggested to retailers they “let loose [their] own creativity” with sales and promotions of current inventory. How well that goes, who knows?
Everything On Hold
For now, Diamond’s announcement means all upcoming Star Wars releases won’t see a physical form until this is all over. This is especially disheartening as the IDW-published miniseries, Star Wars Adventures Clone Wars was set to launch next week. IDW is already on record with their response, placing all May comics (including Star Wars books) on hold and making other business changes. Marvel hasn’t released a statement.
Many online suggest a digital release strategy, as most major comics are day-and-date released through platforms like Comixology. This works in the short-term, but prominent creators are already indicating they will not participate as a show of solidarity with retailers.
The Waiting Game Continues
As with most things COVID-19 related, we are trapped in a waiting game. Publishers and retailers are still formulating their strategies. For now, you’ll have to get your fix via local retailers that are open or through online sellers like Amazon.
We will bring you the latest news on the availability of Star Wars comics and other impacts of coronavirus on Star Wars as soon as we can.