Welcome back to The Rundown, our daily breakdown on comic news stories we missed from the previous day. Have a link to share? Email our team at email@example.com.
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– Snoopy the Dog, Charlie Brown and the whole Peanuts gang will be doing their bit to help out kids stuck indoors with a swathe of new, free, online learning materials. “With school districts across the country closing due to COVID-19, many parents—including some right here at Team Peanuts—have been feeling overwhelmed at taking on a whole new responsibility: becoming their children’s teachers,” said Sr. Vice President Melissa Menta in a press release. “Fortunately, we have many educational materials that bring STEM, language arts, and social studies to new life with the help of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the gang. And we are delighted to provide them at no cost to parents everywhere.” The materials can be accessed on peanuts.com at the site’s home page.
– Founder of Diamond Comics Distributors Steve Geppi spoke out yesterday in an open letter, stating their intention to repay 25% of the total payments and deferrals to publishers. “Beginning this week, the week of April 6th, you [the publishers] will receive 25% of the weekly amount due under your contract terms. Each subsequent week, you will receive a 25% payment of that week’s balance due. This reduced payment schedule will continue for 6 weeks, with the remaining 75% due in each of those weeks being deferred. Following that 6-week period, we will begin payment of the deferred balance in equal payments over a 13-week period,” Geppi said. He also announced that he and the wider DCD leadership team would be taking a 50% salary cut during the crisis. “While we understand that this will have significant impact on everyone, and the situation could change, we also recognize that our world is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis and aggressive action is necessary.”
– Due to the economic stress placed on the company by COVID-19, Image Comics will be laying off four staff members, cutting them down to 20 staffers.”Letting someone go is always tough, but letting good people go due to circumstances like these is even harder,” said Image. “Cuts become necessary at times like this, though, and with comics shops and bookstores alike being forced to suspend business for an indeterminate amount of time, it’s important to plan ahead while that’s still an option.” It has been confirmed that production artist Carey Hall and Copy Editor Melissa Gifford were two of the lay-offs.
– Robert Meyer, the Senior Editorial Director at Valiant Entertainment, is leaving the company after a 7-year tenure to work as the Senior Editor of Licensing at Oni Press. Meyer began as an intern at Valiant, working his way up to Senior Editorial Director 15 months ago, and has since been replaced by senior editors Heather Antos and Lysa Hawkins. “Lysa and I are focused on what makes Valiant great and bringing it to the forefront of the industry,” said Antos in an interview with CBR.
– Warner Bros. and Lego have unveiled the first trailer for Lego DC: Shazam! Magic and Monsters, a home video movie that has Shazam meeting the Justice League for the first time and saving them from Black Adam and the Monster Society of Evil. The film stars Sean Astin as Shazam, Troy Baker as Batman, Nolan North as Superman and Imari Williams as Black Adam. Lego DC: Shazam! Magic and Monsters releases digitally on April 28 and on DVD/Blu-Ray on June 16.
– Film star Ezra Miller was caught on film choking a woman at a bar in Reykjavik, on Sunday night. Despite confusion and speculation, an employee at the bar, Prikið Kaffihús, stated that Miller was apparently provoked by “pushy” fans and escorted off the premises. Many were wondering why the public place was open at all, but Iceland has been in a rather paradoxical situation regarding COVID-19, with the highest number of cases per capita, but also the most thorough and widespread testing of any state, meaning many public businesses and tourist areas are still open as usual. The Justice League and Fantastic Beasts actor has had no other violent incidents like this in the past, and neither Miller nor their representatives have made a statement as of yet.