London’s Orbital Comics has announced it will no longer sell new comics and has dropped their Diamond account – not the first UK comic store to do this, but certainly the one with the highest profile – instead offering a standing order subscription service serviced by Comic Toolbox.
Citing spiralling prices in a Twitter thread, the popular London store will maintain a standing order subscription service meaning customers will be able to collect their new comics weekly as usual, but is refocusing on exclusive events, back issues and more, and its independent comics offering, as well as continuing its gallery.
The store has issued a joint statement with Comic Toolbox outlining the changes here, which kick in next week.
In February, Orbital Comics will also host space for the online UK comic book store and management system Comic Toolbox, which Bleeding Cool reported is making the move from clicks to bricks, as well as now providing provision of the store’s standing order comics to their customers.
As we’ve previously reported, Comic Toolbox runs the successful online subscription service, GetMyComics, catering for comic collectors that have no local shops, handling subscription services for the comics magazine ComicScene – and offering To the Death, its first comic series, created by Simon Furman and Geoff Senior.
The company offers a management system for existing shops to assist accurate ordering, increase sales and visibility of titles and to provide much-needed management information, and tools for independent comic creators to get their books out to a wider audience.
Orbital Comics customers – and other stores using the service – are able to log on to the Comic Toolbox standing order system and see what’s coming out in the following months to reserve specific issues, subscribe to crossovers and follow their favourite creators.
“The system that Comics Toolbox can offer to comic shops to their customers is great ,” enthuses ComicScene editor Tony Foster, “and of course you can order ComicScene Magazine through it too!”
Bleeding Cool noted Orbital’s change of business model did see neighbouring stores Gosh Comics and Forbidden Planet flooded with comic book readers on Wednesday, but given you can still order new comics at the Orbital, it suggests the management no longer feel comic distributors Diamond offer a service they want – joining smaller stores such as Lancaster’s First Age Comics, who stopped selling new comics earlier this year.
• Find out more about Comic Toolbox here: www.comictoolbox.com
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.