A Letter From BOOM! Studios CEO Ross Richie
by James Ferguson
These are trying times for everyone, including comic book shops. With everyone in self-isolation due to COVID-19, retail is down and states are forcing “non-essential” businesses to stay closed. Since most comic shops rely heavily on Wednesday Warriors coming in and buying books every week, this could be a very difficult time for them. BOOM! Studios CEO Ross Richie is trying to help. He issued the below open letter this week.
To Our Retail Partners,
This is the moment where everything changes. Except for one thing.
We are all experiencing a lot of disruption, personally and professionally. It feels like every day brings new challenges.
I run a business and you run a business. We do the same thing. We sell comic books together.
That’s why, in 2017, I started tweeting that everyone in the comic book industry should #BoostYourLCS because local comic book shops are the lifeblood of this industry.
And then I put my money where my mouth is.
We introduced the BOOM! Guarantee retailer program, providing what I – and many of you – believe is the best retailer program in comics. In 2020, we’re making 33% of our single issues and 20% of our graphic novel releases returnable each month for comic shop retailers, while also reducing our output 10% to ensure we earn our space on your shelves. This program is free for comic shop retailers. You can sign up right now.
But these times require every publisher to do more, and BOOM! Studios is no exception.
We’ve been in conversations with Diamond Comic Distributors about our ideas for immediate additional relief and support that we believe should be adopted industry wide, including extended returnability. A unified approach from all major publishers will make this process easier for each of you and, ultimately, for every one of your customers.
While we’ll shortly announce new, additional initiatives that will provide new cashflow opportunities for comic shops, we’re also taking immediate steps right now, including paid support of our #BoostYourLCS program through social media (reaching 357,000+ fans) to make sure customers in your area know about all their preorder options and where to get their new comics every Wednesday. We’re also spotlighting retailers adopting Safe Service efforts, so that their customers know there’s nothing stopping them from safely acquiring their favorite new comics.
At the same time, we’re evaluating options to further stagger or reduce our new shipments over the coming months. We want to make sure we engage in conversations with retailers to understand what will ultimately provide the greatest relief while not negatively impacting your bottom line.
Everything may be changing around us in this moment, but nothing will ever change the one thing I’ve learned in the trenches with each of you – when we work together, we always come out stronger.
Now it’s time for us to get to work for you, our partners on the front line of this industry, and I promise you we won’t rest till we’ve all come through this together.