Oni Press (and its sister brands Lion Forge and Limerence Press) joined DC in partnering with new comic book distribution company Lunar to bring its comics and graphic novels to North American comic book stores. Unlike DC however, Oni will retain its long-standing comic book store distribution deal with Diamond Comics distributors – but Diamond will no longer be Oni’s. exclusive distributor to comic book stores.
“We are excited to be heading into the future alongside Lunar as part of our continued efforts to provide retailers of all shapes and sizes with their favorite titles Oni, Lion Forge and Limerence,” said publisher of Oni. Press James Lucas Jones. “With the addition of Lunar as one of our distribution partners, we are excited to offer new options and opportunities to the specialty comic market. Lunar shares our commitment to continue to develop this important market together. “
Oni is still working when the first week of new Oni Press comics goes out through Lunar.
Oni Press vice president of sales and marketing Alex Segura describes the new partnership as “additive” and that the goal is not to replace Diamond. Segura also said that Oni had no discussions with Penguin Random House, which recently began distributing to comic book stores through a deal with Marvel Comics.
“Diamond has been great partners for us and continues to champion our books to retailers,” says Segura. “It’s really about giving comic book stores more options to order Oni books and products.”
Lunar Distribution was launched in 2020 by mail-order comic giant Discount Comic Book Service (DCBS) after DC decided to end its 25-year relationship with Diamond. Lunar originally shared comic book distribution tasks for DC comics with another retailer turned distributor, but this second upstart went out of business, leaving Lunar as DC’s main pipeline to comic book stores.
Oni will now be Lunar’s fourth publishing customer, after DC, Scout Comics and Ahoy Comics; the latter two signed with Lunar in March and July 2021, respectively.
“Lunar is delighted to partner with Oni Press,” said Christina Merkler, co-owner of Lunar. “Oni is known in the industry as the independent publisher that retailers can count on to bring them high quality and inclusive products. With titles from Tea Dragon Society to Scott Pilgrim, they are a perfect addition to the Lunar family.
Currently, Lunar only distributes to North American comic book stores, so international distribution of Oni projects to comic book stores will always be de facto exclusive to Diamond. Apart from the comic book stores, Oni’s other distribution platforms remain the same – Simon & Schuster runs the bookstore business for the Portland-based publisher, and all of the major digital comic book platforms offer of Oni Press titles.
“The Oni-Lunar partnership seemed obvious to us. When Henry Barajas joined the marketing team just a few months after I joined Oni, we all took an in-depth look at our direct business side of the business, ”said Segura. . “He was a big supporter of expanding the options we offer to our comic book retail partners.
“We’ve all known Christina and the Lunar team for a long time, so it was very easy to find ways to make a partnership work in tandem with our existing distribution agreement with Diamond. We’re excited to give retailers more ways to order Oni products, and we look forward to working hand-in-hand with Lunar and their great team to grow our business. ”
But there is a catch, but maybe two …
What will the Oni / Lunar agreement mean to readers?
Oni Press comics distributed through Lunar will go on sale in comic book stores on Tuesday. DC’s titles are also released on Tuesday from their partnership with Lunar, a long-standing change from what was a universal release date Wednesday via Diamond. Oni books ordered by comic book stores through Diamond will have an on-sale date on Wednesday.
Titles from the Oni bookstore distributed by Simon & Schuster will also go on sale on Tuesday.
Oni’s on-sale dates for digital comics will remain Wednesday.
Another change spurred by the new distribution is the wholesale price of Oni titles that comic book stores are entitled to. It is largely based on the overall volume of orders placed by a store with a distributor. When DC moved from Diamond to Lunar, it affected the levels of discounts comic book stores would receive – and in turn, what discount on the cover price they could pass on to readers.
“We’re still working out the details of our retail discounts and will make sure to communicate this directly to them once we’re all ready, but the goal is to ensure that retailers have two great options when they decide. where to order Oni Press books from, ”Segura told Newsarama.
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