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Comics, Covid, and Community

(John Money)

By Emmanuel Batista

NYC is a hub of the comics community. The offices of Marvel and Valiant comics are in it, many comics writers and artists live in it, it hosts one of the biggest Comic Conventions in the US, New York Comic Con, and there are 34 comic shops across the five boroughs, some which have been around for upwards of 40 years.

As with most other industries, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected many parts of the comics industry. Diamond Distributors shut down temporarily, New York Comic Con 2020 had its physical events canceled and had to be a strictly digital event, and Comic stores (most of which are struggling small businesses) had to close with the rest of the city affecting their revenue, and comic sales went down overall. According to the Forbes.com article New Sales Data Reveals How COVID-19 Impacted The Comics Industry by Rob Salkowitz   “Sales in the comics retail channel plunged 29% over the summer, with sales of comic books down 37%, graphic novels down 18%, and manga down 8%. That was enough to drive at least 93 retailers into closure.”

In this series, I interviewed five NYC-based comics professionals from across the industry whose lives and careers were drastically changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They speak about their personal experiences, the highs and the lows of the pandemic, and how the comics industry as a whole has been changed forever.

Matthew Klein, Sales Manager US comics market

 

Jeff Ayers, Forbidden Planet Store Manager

 

Danny Lore, Comics writer of such titles as: Queen of Bad Dreams, Champions, Transformers Shattered Glass, Quarter Killer, and more, former comic shop employee

 

Gavin Mackie, Freelance comics artist, publisher of World’s Unknown comic anthology, former comic shop employee

 

Caitlin Chappell, Features Editor and writer/ Pop culture Journalist at CBR and freelance comic book editor, former comic shop employee

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