Marvel Leaves Diamond Comics, Signs Exclusive with Penguin Random House

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Marvel picks Penguin Random House as new distributor
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Marvel's relationship with comic book shops is about to change in a very big way

Marvel Comics has found a new distributor to get its comics into comic shops: Penguin Random House.

Marvel has entered into an exclusive multi-year deal with Penguin Random House's distribution arm to deliver its comic books, trade collections, and graphic novels to the comic shop market (the Direct Market) beginning on October 1.

"After a thorough analysis of the market environment, Marvel has chosen Penguin Random House Publisher Services (PRHPS) as its distribution partner to create a sustainable, productive supply chain and enhanced infrastructure for Marvel publications that will benefit comics retailers and fans alike for years to come," reads Marvel's announcement. "Penguin Random House is known for its state-of-the-art multi-ranging services that enable independent booksellers to increase efficiency and profitability."

What does this mean for Marvel's longstanding Direct Market distributor Diamond? Direct Market retailers can still order their Marvel comics through Diamond, although Diamond would be acting as a wholesaler to the Direct Market, ordering Marvel products through PRHPS.
"Comics are the core of the Marvel Universe, and we are confident this new partnership will continue to grow and evolve this resilient industry," Marvel Entertainment president Dan Buckley says in the announcement. "We look forward to advancing our capabilities with PRHPS to serve our fans and the Direct Market," Buckley says. "We thank Diamond for their many years of support and partnership as we continue our relationship with them in other areas."

Marvel will continue to partner with Hachette Book Group for distribution of its trade collections and graphic novels to the booktrade market.

PRHPS already distributes comics to the booktrade, but this would be their first major foray into the Direct Market. Their booktrade client list includes DC, Archie Comics, IDW Publishing, Dark Horse Comics, and Kodansha Comics. It's possible those booktrade clients of PRHPS could consider using it for the Direct Market as it enters this new arena.

Unlike DC when it similarly switched distribution partners in 2020, Marvel is sticking to its usual Wednesday release date.

Marvel's first releases for PRHPS will be solicited for order starting May 26.

#marvelcomics #comicbooks #comicbooknews

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