Dark Horse Comics has announced an exclusive partnership with Penguin Random House Publishing Services, along with Marvel and IDW, to sell comic books to comic book stores and bookstores on the direct market. Beginning in June 2023, this will be an exclusive global multi-year agreement for the sale and distribution of Dark Horse’s newly published comic book journals, graphic novels and comics to the market. Penguin Random House already sells and distributes Dark Horse graphic novels and books to bookstores, but not exclusively. There were major initial issues when Marvel first dropped the Diamond Comic Distribution exclusivity for PRHPS during the pandemic, not all of them were sold, and IDW later joined.
Like Marvel and IDW, Dark Horse will still be available to comic book stores through Diamond Comic Distributors as a third-party reseller, even in poorer conditions. Many people still use Diamond for Marvel and IDW, although the addition of Dark Horse to the product may see some stores think it’s time for a switch. Like Marvel and IDW and DC and Lunar, UK comic book stores are likely to stick with Diamond UK.
Penguin Random House said: “By continuing to expand its presence in the direct selling market, Penguin Random House’s mission is to support comic shops and foster a lifelong love of comics, graphic novels and manga in fans of all ages. PRH is a free trucking company and is committed to supporting all brick-and-mortar retail, of which independently owned comics and bookstores are some of the most passionate industry advocates and pillars of the community. The company’s newest distribution facility, a 1 million square foot fulfillment center, is located in Han, Maryland Together with the company’s fulfillment headquarters in nearby Westminster, Poststead’s company is at the heart of its comics direct-to-market supply chain.”
Mike Richardson, founder and CEO of Dark Horse, said: “This is an exciting time for the industry, as we move to Penguin Random House for direct market distribution following our successful partnership in bookstore distribution. Book House will help us expand our reach to retailers and fans globally.” Richardson added, “Diamond Distribution has been a valued partner to Dark Horse for nearly three decades. As we move into the next step in the company’s evolution stage, we would like to thank Steve Geppi, Chuck Parker and the Diamond team, and while we will be moving our comic distribution to Penguin Random House, it is important to note that our product will still be available through Diamond.”
Jeff Abraham, President of Penguin Random House Publisher Services, said: “We are incredibly proud of our long-term partnership with Dark Horse and are excited to reach new heights with this expansion. Together we grow in the ever-evolving retail landscape of graphic stories. Landscape, we think the next step is to further commit to supporting Dark Horse and our retail partners, and beyond.”