New Marvel Distributor's First Week Fraught With Missing, Damaged Comics
Marvel Comics' first Penguin Random House-distributed shipments are causing a stir with retailers.
According to Bleeding Cool, a shipment sent to Discount Comic Book Service -- which distributes DC books through Lunar Distribution -- went missing. "We are writing to let you know that the shipment of Marvel items coming from Penguin Random House has gotten lost on its way to us," DCBS reported. "It is currently being looked for but since we have not yet received any of our Marvel items for this week we are unable to start processing shipments. We sincerely apologize for the delay that this is causing and appreciate your patience."
received our books today crammed in incredibly tiny boxes that had zero protection from the rigors of shipping and literally 70% of our books where damaged," one comic book shop owner explained. "I can only imagine how things went industry wide. It seems that these guys think they can ship comics like they ship their novels to book stores and everything will be fine. I can only imagine how much money they will be losing over the amount of damaged copies they will have to replace."
"Oh no," Comics Conspiracy owner Ryan Higgins tweeted. "The PRH packing of Marvel Comics is bad. Really bad. Like, really really bad."
Marvel's comics, much like DC's, were previously distributed through Diamond Comic Distributors. However, Diamond temporarily shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, and DC took that opportunity to find a new distributor in the DCBS-owned Lunar. In March 2021, Marvel similarly changed its distribution plans, though it didn't completely cut ties with Diamond.
"Today, Marvel announced a new arrangement for comics, trades, and graphic novels going to the Direct Market," Diamond's Steve Geppi said at the time. "Starting with product on-sale October 1, Diamond will purchase these Marvel products from Penguin Random House (PRH) as a wholesaler rather than distributing them directly from Marvel."
Ironically, in April, Marvel released a video detailing how Penguin Random House's new packaging would prevent damage to its comic books.