On Wednesday, the traditional day of receipt of the stores USA fresh comics, this has not happened for the first time in many decades. Epidemic COVID-19 dispersed Americans at home and resulted in physical closure of small shops. Most of those engaged in all forms of content have moved online, but for the comics industry, this is akin to betrayal of old traditions and now Studio and publishing at the crossroads – what to do?
Originally, a century ago, comic books sold in the U.S. at newsstands as a regular periodical. Then there was a coup and there were specialty stores with incomparable large assortment. Stores quickly evolved into a platform for like-minded people, become a place of gathering and socializing. For most American fans of the comics more important than the pictures, and the opportunity to stay in this environment.
But do comics, physical copies are essential. Particularly rare editions and limited editions are true artifacts, collectibles. They have never been digitizing and many comic fans do not accept the transition to the digital version. It will destroy and dehumanize all that has for them an almost sacred value. The most that dare some publications, is adding digital copies to physical copies, so that customers can receive content for a few seconds and not wait until the comics will be delivered to their home.
However, the pandemic coronavirus destroyed the existing system, shops are closed and even direct delivery does not cover the needs of customers. For giants such as Marvel and DC, it’s not critical, but if other studios decide to go digital, the stores are unlikely to open again. And this could be the ending of the comic book industry, at least in its current format.