We’re facing a critical time in the comics industry. In a week when many retailers aren’t allowed to open their brick and mortar stores to customers, and won’t be getting new comics shipped to them for the foreseeable future, retailers, publishers, and creators have to think outside the box. Many retailers will be able to ship books to their customers, so that’s one option. Most, if not all, publishers have agreed not to submit new content to Comixology for now. And two publishers (so far) have come up with an even more direct solution to get their books into readers’ hands while still helping retailers.
TKO Studios released the following statement earlier today:
Comic Book Shops are the lifeblood of our industry, and Coronavirus is threatening their existence.
Over the last week, we’ve seen empty comic book shops, mandatory shut-downs, and shop owners worried they will not be able to keep their stores afloat during this pandemic.
TKO Studios wants to fight back.
Until the end of the Coronavirus threat, when any customer chooses a store during checkout at tkopresents.com, TKO will send that store 50% of the purchase price, the exact same amount the store would have made selling the book via their brick-and-mortar store.
Please share this message and make sure your local shop is aware of this opportunity. If you don’t see your local store listed in checkout, let us know at this link, and we will make sure it is included.
Comics will persevere. Our culture will persevere. We will persevere.
As always, much love from the TKO team.
Stay safe everyone.
And just to remind everyone, TKO also allows you to read the first issue of each series for free online — so explore, and know that you WILL find something you like, because every one of their books has been excellent.
Earlier in the week, Black Mask Studios made a similar offer. Publisher of series like Black and 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank, Black Mask will give 50% of your purchase from their store to your local retailer as well. You just have to put the name of your shop into the special instructions box on the order page.
Ric Bretschneider also let me know that game publisher Japanime Games has made the same offer — so if either your local comics shop carries games, or you have a favorite game shop, this is another opportunity to help AND still get your games. Here’s their press release:
We wanted to thank you all for being our fans and supporting us, being there for us, and allowing us to do what we do. We know we aren’t an essential service for humanity, but we love bringing games from Japan to you and spreading joy through entertainment. Entertainment is certainly a thing we can all appreciate right now as we are stuck at home.
As a company, we consider ourselves quite lucky in that we can mostly do work from home and are able to continue doing what we do – and we feel for all of you no matter what your work situation might be. We feel for the game stores that are suffering, that are always there for us as a community center to come to play games with friends, and quite honestly, we are concerned that many of those stores may go out of business in the coming months, as they are not able to remain open during this situation. Friendly Local Game Stores need your help. They need your support. They need our support. We want game stores to survive this.
What can we do to help?
If you buy any products currently in stock on our website right now, we will donate 50% of whatever you spend to the Friendly Local Game Store of your choice. No matter where you live be it America, Australia, Europe, or the Moon we will donate 50% of your order to a store of your choice.
Place an order today, and in the comments of your order, tell us what store you want to support. We will contact that store and PayPal them 50% of your order. Consider this a wholesale order placed directly through that store, and this is our way of bringing a sale to that store, to bring them a little bit of income.
This offer is good for however long it takes for us to get out of this mess. Let’s work together to get through this. Let’s help support our stores. Let’s continue to game on!
There are other smaller publishers we love that may not yet be set up to do sales — that’s what distributors are for, and it’s not distributors’ fault that right now, they have to suspend operations. This is an unprecedented event, and TKO is absolutely right — we are in this together.
If you know of other publishers making this offer, please let us know, and we’ll add them here. In the meantime, check out this conversation among former Hijinx Comics owner Dan Shahin and three retailers from across the country with comics inker (and possible nicest guy in the world) Mick Gray.
Use your powers for good!