Could a Post office Shutdown derail Indie Comics Creators?
The U.S. Postal Service could be shuttered by June 2020 unless U.S Congress immediately delivers billions of dollars to counteract the impact of the coronavirus crisis, says Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.)
“Based on a number of briefings and warnings this week about a critical fall-off in the mail across the country, it has become clear that the Postal Service will not survive the summer without immediate help from Congress and the White House.” – Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.)
Since the COVID-19 epidemic reached the U.S The United States Post Office has seen a “drastic” reduction in mail volume. Without intervention that collapse could spell disaster for those Comic Book creators who have turned to crowdfunding to get their books into the hands of fans.
We spoke to some comics creators as well as Indie Volt contributors about the possibility of a shutdown.
Randy Zimmerman: Well first off I don’t think the post office is going to stop, there’s so much paranoia going on about what’s going to be down and what’s not that you can’t trust it until it happens. As for crowdfunding campaigns everything is again up in the air depending upon how the printers are as well as the shipping and fulfillment companies are going. I suspect there’s going to be a lot of projects available or a lot of campaigns started just from the folks who have nothing to do but stay under voluntary quarantine. Again time will tell. Hopefully my plans, I’m hoping to have everything done before I start my campaign. I’m looking at doing it un August and September, with the book out in October. Again, that’s if everything goes according to plan, haha! The ending of my crowdfunding book is still being written, so it’s probably good to have a few extra months to work on it. I also want to have it done, or as close to done as possible so I won’t have to worry about hitting deadlines, by the time I start my campaign.
Nick Gibson who plans to launch his crowdfunding campaign for his comic Project Axis soon says “With my Kickstarter around the corner and the world the way it currently is, something like the post office shutting down is definitely at the forefront of my mind. But like nature, I’ll find a way. There’s UPS, Fed Ex, or even couriers. Barring all of that, if I have to wait to ship it out I will.”
But creators like Nick may find themselves paying more than they originally intended for shipping. In the event of a shutdown mail delivery costs would skyrocket for rural customers. In fact, private delivery services like UPS and Fed-Ex rely on the USPS delivery network to get their parcels to these rural locations because the cost of delivering themselves is too high.
Rob Andersin The UNDERGROUND/INDIE ADVOCATING DEVIL has high hopes for such an event.
Without the Post Office creators are going to have to make the once considered impossible Digital Market a reality and will have entered into that operation with the realistic notion that the entire industry will have to work together to achieve such a lofty goal.
Luke Stone of Luke Stone Studios says he intends to “keep customers informed on changes to shipping” when it comes to his project Hybrids: The Sons of Gods now currently funding on Kickstarter.
Josh C. Lyman says “There’s an expression that states that “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it” While conventions are on hiatus for the next 60 to 90 days, the majority of artists have transitioned into taking on commissions; and subsequently shipping those originals. While unlikely that the postal service will close given previous instances of “debt crisis” in the last decades, the only course of action will be to, unfortunately, go to private shippers again. This will result in an increase in shipping costs to both the client and artist… and may actually reduce the amount of commissions as well. In short- we will have to plan to take that road when we come to it; but for now? Just keep working.”
With Diamond Distribution indefinitely ceasing distribution of comics after April 1st 2020 in the U.S and earlier in the U.K during the epidemic and now the threat of a Post Office Shut-down creators and publishers are right to be a bit nervous about the future of comics. But we want to know what you think? Are you now hesitant to back in crowdfunded books? Are you a creator concerned about getting books to your fans. Let us know below in the comments!