DC's Desperate Measures

In trying to relaunch every single title in their line as a #1, DC once again misses the point entirely. People have largely walked way from comics because they are tired of being abused like this by the publishers. They read comics because they loved the characters and wanted good stories, but like Hollywood the publishers relied on crappy stars and bad sensation instead of getting down to making solid, dependable products.

The people running these companies don’t even know what good is. So they just rely one the same old people to crank out the same old stuff that is resulting in declining sales. I don’t now if they will ever get that, before its too late.

Loading Facebook Comments ...

8 Comments

  1. There aren’t enough comic stores left to sustain any type of dead tree comics renaissance, so mass sales are not going to happen. Why does relaunching every title automatically mean they won’t have quality stories and characters?  Perhaps they want to reboot the entire comics experience into the inevitable virtual marketplace with dollar downloadable comics – where you don’t have to find and buy a paper comic from nonexistent comics stores to get the entire story, and this is one way to attempt that.

    • The same people that have been in charge of DC for the better part of a decade and have been plowing sales into open cemetery plots are the brain trust behind this relaunch.

      IT SUCKS…!

      Superman’s had his origin retold at least 4 times in the last 12 years which is pathetic!!!  DC can’t even stick to the most basic of backstories and let it stand for more than 5 minutes…!!!

      On top of that, you have creators (Geoff Johns and Winnick, I’m looking at you!) who regularly kill off characters and then bring them back in another year or two…  If you’re going to kill any characters off, let them be supporting characters OR villains who are easy to replace with new characters.  It’s really dumb to kill off the heroes and then have to come up with some convoluted storyline to bring them back to life!  For every successful GL: Rebirth, you have 5-8 Flash:Rebirth’s that leave bad tastes in fan’s mouths.

      I’m sorry, but I’ve seen this Crisis B.S. be performed at least 5 times in the past 26 years.  It was bad the first time around when it was Crisis on Infinite Earths, and doesn’t matter whether they call if a “Final Crisis” and NuDC.  You have to get sick of the shenanigans with the current monthlies and clueless creators and editors.

      The situation never changes.  Someone comes up with a “master plan,” they repeat the same damn stories done for the past 20-30 years, and then blend and regurgitate the same crap over again in another 5-7 years!  It’s beyond pitiful right now.

      They’ve lost me on the monthlies.  I’ll stick to reprints of storylines that were good before it all started going south in the late 1980s…!

      P.S. — For all the hype about Jim Lee and his artistic prowess, he’s a horrible character and costume designer.  The traditional outfits of these characters are so much better than anything he and his art crew have come up with.  The redesigns are just horrible up and down the line.  Frankly, I also don’t care for the integration of the Wildstorm characters into the DC Universe.  There’s more than enough cynicism in comics as things stand now without darkening the waters even more.

  2. I dunno.

    On the one hand, I see what they’re trying to do (creating a new starting point for young readers just starting to read comics, or, even better, creating a new starting point for POTENTIAL readers). On the other, long-term fans get irritated with this sort of thing, feeling they’re being ignored.

    I would argue that the whole thing is a useless exercise; kids haven’t flocked to comics as something cool in ages, unless you count manga a few years back. Web comics have made some headway, but that’s about it. I meet with a group of self-publishing and aspiring artists each Saturday (though overtime work has kept me from attending the past few weeks), and I hear the same thing over and over again from these guys, whose ages range from 20 to 55. Each of them complains that they don’t see the stories that they are really interested in, how tired everyone is of rehashed origin stories, and how they all wish to do their own thing, so they can create the variety of stories they’d like to see.

    Mainly, I would argue that the biggest mistake in mainstream comics over the past few years has been a staggering lack of trying out new things. I understand that it can be expensive to gamble on new product, but the risk on a new comic book property is way, WAY less than a film or television show.  How much longer can the industry survive on rehashing the same stuff over and over? 

    I think the answer lies in the fact that the Big Two are now owned by larger media conglomerates who both treat the companies solely as intellectual property barns from which they can find easy-to-sell merchandise properties for film, video games, and toys, as opposed to running the companies like legitimate publishing houses, which tend to take on new authors, new ideas, and new books. The problem here, I would argue, isn’t the fact that conglomerates own said companies; it’s the fact that both conglomerates, with all their resources, take very few chances on new business ventures.

    Imagine if every few years, instead of publishing as they do now, companies like Random House, Scribner, etc. decided to hire writers to re-write a few of their most popularly selling books and release them as if they were new material. How fast would traditional book publishing then become a thing of the past?

    • Yes, exactly. I wrote an essay about that in the 90s. How its like the comics publishers are trying to do new versions of Moby Dick and Catcher in the Rye thinking that’s going to bring in new readers

      • The funny thing is, the folks in charge probably think they’re taking a big risk rebooting everything.

        I would argue, on the other hand, that there’s really no risk at all, as, if it tanks, they could arguably go back to the status quo if they deemed it necessary, and many of the outraged readers would most likely start reading again anyway (at least, I would argue that’s management’s logic).

  3. The real answer is tooooo much competition from DS and Wii and other things
    Everything is a niche market now and that’s the way it should be

    • Someone at The Comics Journal once made that argument this way: “Would kids rather read about Spider-Man, or BE Spider-Man (by controlling him in a video game)?”

      If people want to talk about the future of comics – the REAL future of comics – the answer lies in the web and various broadband methods, just as it does for talk radio (through podcasts and streaming content) and films (through Netflix and similar companies) and music (through iTunes, Amazon, etc.). 

      We’re living in a world where one can write and draw whatever they want and, after spending less than $1000 on a laptop, scanner (or simply spending a few bucks at a FedEx Office to scan in artwork), and $20 or so annually for a site through WordPress, anyone can upload their work, either for free or in an iPad app, or via print-on-demand, or any other creative way one can deliver their work. Hell, you could (assuming you take the time to learn) color and finish artwork without paying a few hundred bucks for Photoshop now, thanks to open source solutions like GIMP (I’d still recommend Photoshop, but whatever). The point remains that access to doing work and getting noticed, if even by a small number of people, is ridiculously high. 

       As time goes on, and DC and Marvel’s books continue their long, drawn-out death rattle, the fans who simply want to read new and exciting things will still find them. They may not be large audiences, but they will grow, if even by a little bit, over time. 

    • Someone at The Comics Journal once made that argument this way: “Would kids rather read about Spider-Man, or BE Spider-Man (by controlling him in a video game)?”

      If people want to talk about the future of comics – the REAL future of comics – the answer lies in the web and various broadband methods, just as it does for talk radio (through podcasts and streaming content) and films (through Netflix and similar companies) and music (through iTunes, Amazon, etc.). 

      We’re living in a world where one can write and draw whatever they want and, after spending less than $1000 on a laptop, scanner (or simply spending a few bucks at a FedEx Office to scan in artwork), and $20 or so annually for a site through WordPress, anyone can upload their work, either for free or in an iPad app, or via print-on-demand, or any other creative way one can deliver their work. Hell, you could (assuming you take the time to learn) color and finish artwork without paying a few hundred bucks for Photoshop now, thanks to open source solutions like GIMP (I’d still recommend Photoshop, but whatever). The point remains that access to doing work and getting noticed, if even by a small number of people, is ridiculously high. 

       As time goes on, and DC and Marvel’s books continue their long, drawn-out death rattle, the fans who simply want to read new and exciting things will still find them. They may not be large audiences, but they will grow, if even by a little bit, over time. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *