Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I should point out that I wasn't at any of these panels, so I'm not sure whether the atmosphere was really as depressing as Newsarama reporter Albert Ching makes it sound. But, hell, it sounds really depressing.
[DC Comics editor Dan] DiDio asked the audience about writer Jim Shooter's current Legion of Super-Heroes - who was reading it and if they liked it. A fan that indicated he wasn't satisfied said that he liked what Mark Waid and Barry Kitson were doing, and was disappointed so far about the Shooter run. Another fan said it was "really flat."
DiDio polled the audience again - this time about what their favorite incarnation of the Legion of Super-Heroes was: the Levitz/Giffen Legion, the Abnett/Lanning/Coipel Legion or the Waid/Kiston [sic] Legion. It was a fairly even split between the three.
This led to DiDio asking fans about their favorite Aquaman - the original, the Peter David harpoon-hand Aquaman, and the current Arthur Curry Aquaman. None of the three received too warm of a reception.
DiDio then asked fans if DC could publish a comic called "Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes," who would buy it. "You got the name back?" an audience member quipped. "I said if we could do it," DiDio responded. "I don't want any more rumors starting." The response to the question from the audience was lukewarm, with only a few hands being raised before DiDio moved on.
To be fair, DC seem to be making some steps in the right direction lately. Still, I agree with Paul O'Brien: May's big Final Crisis title really, above everything else, needs to put all the ongoing threads that have been driving the DC Universe since 2005's Infinite Crisis to rest and give DC's writers a chance to start over and do their own thing.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Two more recent quotes on DC Comics sales to keep in mind. The first comes from a Newsarama report on a Q&A session at a DC Comics panel at the WizardWorld Los Angeles convention:
A fan identified himself as someone who likes to buy [paperback collections] more than [serial issues], and was wondering how this affected the chances of books he likes not getting canceled. [DC Comics editor Dan Didio] said that most of the time books that don't sell well in monthly [sic] don't sell well [as collections], though there's [sic] some exceptions, citing Jonah Hex specifically.
And a comment on Vertigo sales made by writer Warren Ellis at his Whitechapel message board:
I think it might be instructive to look at how these books are being sold.
High concepts are loathesome [sic]. But if you can't take a top slice, if you like, of a book, and distill its core interest into one or two punchy lines, you're fucked. If you can't put these books in the hands of someone whose name commands attention and get a quote out of them, you're in trouble. This all used to be well understood at DC. DC -- Patty Jeres and Martha Thomases and Peggy Burns -- wrote the playbook on how to sell a Vertigo book. None of them are there any more, and I don't know if the playbook was left behind.
Mind you, I think Ellis is criticizing DC's marketing efforts rather than the books themselves, but I'm not entirely sure.