Pushed Far Enough Yet?
I’m hearing all sorts of reactions to DC’s multiple announcements this month. For those of you not familiar DC comics recently announced that they will be rebooting most of their titles, from Batman to Swamp Thing and starting with new first issues and new creative teams. They also announced day-and-date digital delivery of their comic’s titles.
I think I’m the least worried about the digital news. While I see why retailers would be worried- they have enough problems getting people into stores already- I’m not convinced yet that digital day-and-date releases will have any effect on existing sales. I think DC via WB is making the jump that they see as inevitable.
I’m wary and curious and hopeful all at once about this. It could mean more readers…or it could mean nothing changes and now people will get everything digital; comics, movies, books and music. That’s where we’re headed anyway. I just hope what happened to record and bookstores doesn’t happen to comic retailers. I think the most we can hope from this is a more increased awareness of comics online. We shall see.
I’m personally bummed about the reboots and renumbering as a fan. One of the greatest things about DC comics and characters was the long and rich history. My gut reaction to the renumbering is the same I have to any so-called event comics. Generally these things have a one, two-month life and then we’re right back where we started. That’s the thing about this reboot/renumbering…it’s been done, several times and it never worked before, so what makes this any different?
From a financial perspective, I understand 100% why other publishers and retailers are upset. There will be a flood of new books in September. It’s going to put a strain on the entire industry.
As for the actual line-ups of the new books, some of them sound intriguing. I’d never come out against any creator working, so for me the new teams are all a wait and see thing. I wish them all the best of luck and look forward to seeing what they do.
One thing nobody is really talking about, at least not in public, is the fact that the announcements of all the new books and teams also served as a massive pink slip to hundreds of writers and artists. Like many I’ve spoken to their reaction to the news was, “Guess I don’t have any work at DC.”
Now that said, what can we do? Should we get mad and fume all over the Internet? Sure, but what would it achieve? Nothing. Screaming about the decisions of a giant entertainment corporation will do about as much good as yelling at a brick wall. Besides, like I’ve said before, if I’m going to protest the acts of a corporation, Warner and or Disney are about dead last on the list.
I’m not saying don’t be mad. What I’m saying is maybe we can use that anger and disappointment and use it as fuel. This can also be seen as a great wake-up call to creators, publishers, retailers and fans alike.
Creators- Right now independent comics are surging and I don’t think it’s a fluke. As the big 2 become more and more corporate, ignoring the wants and needs of the market for a few bucks and sack of headlines, the market is also primed for new, original material. I know it’s tough out there and sacrifices must be made to do creator-owned books, but the time is now for us to position ourselves. I can’t make any solid announcements yet, but I am working with IDW, Image, Dark Horse and under Bloody Pulp Books to come up with ways to get books out without breaking the bank.
Publishers – There’s going to be a lot of top-notch talent out there looking for work. I know creator-owned is a tough sell right now, but I implore you to find ways to get new, original, books on the stands. If we can find a way to reduce risks on all sides, I think the long-term payoffs are huge.
Retailers- Order with your hearts AND minds. This is your industry too. I won’t and will never say ‘order this and don’t order that’. You know your business better than any of us and you know what’s helping and hurting comics retailing best. If something feels wrong, it probably is. We’re all in this together and I hope we can find new ways to help you sell creator-owned books.
Fans- You’re the biggest piece of the puzzle here, and you’re taking the most punishment too so my message to fans is a simple one… thank you for sticking with us through some pretty rough times. Like retailers, your purchases make or break most comics. My one request to any fans out there is to try something new whenever you get the chance. Don’t underestimate the power you have in comics. What you buy says a lot.
So, yeah. That’s that. Sure, I could be pissed and hurt, but what good would it do really? I’m happy for the people who have work and wouldn’t want to do anything to damage that. BUT we now have the news and we need to figure out what we’re going to do. DC will be fine, but I can’t say the same for the writers and artists who have found themselves out of work.
Let’s all work together to make sure comics have a future above and beyond what we have right now.
Thanks for reading.