Image Comics lays off 4 staff members, citing the coronavirus pandemic

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With the weekly periodical side of the comics industry having come to a grinding halt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was only a matter of time before publishers started to feel the impact. Marvel has already ordered pencils down on one-third of its output for the next few months, impacting the freelancers working on those titles. Now Newsarama has revealed that four employees at Image Comics were laid off on Monday. The site received a quote from Eric Stephenson, Chief Creative Officer & Publisher of Image Comics, about the layoffs:

“Letting someone go is always tough, but letting good people go due to circumstances like these is even harder,” Stephenson tells Newsarama. “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 doesn’t make it any easier or less sad, but in order to survive this crisis, we have to make changes in how we do business.”

An Image representative told Newsarama that the staff members let go were ones with roles “hit first and hardest by the lack of new product shipping and the suspension of regular office business.”

Image declined to identify who was laid off, but Newsarama independently confirmed that two of the Image Comics layoffs were graphic designer/production artist Carey Hall and Content Manager/Copy Editor Melissa Gifford.

Image Comics was one of the first publishers to react to the news that Diamond is ceasing distribution of new weekly product, which is potentially devastating to retailers. Eric Stephenson released an open letter announcing that all new product on FOC for the next 60 days would be returnable, and that Image is canceling non-essential releases like second printings and reprints. He urged other publishers to join Image in its efforts to help retailers. Going by this news of layoffs, though, even Image Comics is struggling to stave off the effects of COVID-19.

The post Image Comics lays off 4 staff members, citing the coronavirus pandemic appeared first on The Beat.

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