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Comics will start shipping to shops again on May 20

Diamond Comic Distributors, America’s largest comics distributor, is opening back up

Various comic books for sale at The Birmingham Film and Comic Con, Collectormaina 24 at NEC Arena on June 4, 2017 in Birmingham, England. Ollie Millington/Getty Images
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

The sole distributor of product for all but the tiniest of American comics companies will reopen for business. Diamond Comic Distributors has announced it will return to regular business on Wednesday, May 20, about two months after it shuttered due to social distancing restrictions.

Diamond is the exclusive distributor — shipping comics from printers to retailers — for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and Image Comics, among other publishers. At least, it was until this spring. During Diamond’s shutdown, which began on April 1, most comics publishers stopped releasing books entirely, whether physically or digitally, and halted production on upcoming titles.

Marvel Comics announced that it would be pausing work on 15 to 20 percent of its books scheduled to be released in May and June. DC Comics forged distribution agreements with two of the US’s biggest comic book retail chains, and will begin to release a reduced schedule of new issues starting April 29.

Diamond’s return holds the potential of a new stability for the American comics industry, in which retailers have been faced with new safety measures and a lack of product, and artists have faced a dearth of work and networking opportunities.