COVID-19 Update & Our Outlook

Posted by Stephen Smith on

We live in interesting times. The spread of COVID-19 led to the cancellation of our Joker 80th Anniversary variant, stalled out the entire comics industry for two months and forced us to shut down temporarily. Long term, we weren't sure how this would affect Cover Alpha or our brick and mortar stores - Big Easy Comics in Covington, LA or I Want More Comics in Thornton, CO - but we were without a doubt worried about it. 

Let's kick this post off with some additional detail about the Joker 80th Anniversary variant that wasn't to be. We've had to make a number of difficult decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the most difficult so far being the cancellation of our Joker 80th Anniversary variants by Brian Bolland. The cost of the planned project in the midst of an extended shutdown was too risky and we were unable to work out a release plan that worked for us and for DC Comics. That's not to say that we think they're the bad guy here. While we couldn't negotiate a way to keep the release of the book, they were gracious enough to waive our project fees. 

All customers that placed orders for Joker were refunded. If by some chance you didn't receive yours, please get us your order number and we'll get it taken care of for you

Now open again, our brick and mortar stores both endured extended closures with small fractions of our typical revenue coming in via mail order and curbside pickup. An even larger challenge than that was that the comic and tabletop game industries that generate the vast majority of our revenue were shut down even longer than our stores and we're still feeling the effects of reduced product offerings and understaffed publishers/distributors that are regularly unable to get us the products we order on time. Another challenge that has caused a lot of issues is DC's decision to end their relationship with Diamond Comics and move to two new distributors. Whether or not in the long run it turns out to be good or bad is unknown, but it has caused tremendous amounts of additional work in the short term at a time when we're operating with reduced staffing.

Cover Alpha in particular has been quiet of late because publishers release schedules were in doubt as they paused or cancelled projects, leaving companies like ours with no comics on our release schedule. Well, fortunately that's changed and we've recently announced our Seven Secrets #1 variant by Qistina Khalidah (releasing this August), as well as a strong list of books beginning to fill out our schedule for the remainder of 2020. Beginning with September's solicitations we'll be releasing 2-3 variants every month for the remainder of 2020. While we can't share details of those with you yet, each project is exciting and we're confident you'll love them.

Stay safe!

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