Thursday, May 1, 2008

Honestly... Why Should DC Care?

I read a recent review where the critic talked about how DC isn't trying to listen to critics or market to newer readers. Now, I like this site, but I thought this point seemed rather fruitless. Why should DC care?

Think about it... yeah superhero comics get new fans from time to time but how many? I mean, DC, and Marvel, can't really bring in the shonen action manga fans in droves and lets be honest-there are similarities to those types of stories and superhero comics. Plus they already read comics. How many women do you know want to follow a superhero title where there's probably years of back story and you have to actually know the names of the creators to back track the trades(or you'll get the wrong ones)? That is-if they're interested and I highly doubt that. What are the chances of people buying comics who don't live near a comic shop? You think they're going to go out of their way because they heard good things about a book they never tried? Yeah.. I doubt it. I have actually bothered answering questions to non-comic fans about whatever they heard briefly in the news. I never get the impression that they care enough to buy the book. just a mild curiosity. And than there are those who enjoys superheroes only in TV and movies and don't feel the need to try superhero comics. That's my manager. Loves Superman, no interest in buying comics. It seems stupid to me to try hard to gain a fan base that just has no interest in the genre. Now, if DC and Marvel were promoting books that aren't superhero titles that are self-contained, I personally would agree they need to do more. But as long as superhero titles are bread and butter-no. I don't see how we can really complain to them for going after a fanbase they already have rather than a fanbase that just does not really seem to care. Unless we're talking taking from the other companies fans, but they're die-hards in their own way so that shouldn't count.

As for critics, come on. I love reading critiques but critics(hell, I use to be one on paperbackreader.com) shouldn't expect companies to listen. There are a ton of critical darling books that just don't' sale. Than there is the fact that titles that are bashed by critics that sell gangbusters. Hey, a lot of top selling comics are mediocre-but why should DC or any company change those books if they are making good money? That would be stupid. Plus, critics are also varied. I read two generally okay reviews of DC Universe #0 on two separate websites(no-not message boards but sites by reviewers/critics) before I read a bad one.

Now, I agree DC should be selling more. But I think all American comics should be selling more. But hey, back to DC, them being outsold by Marvel by "this amount" isn't that new. In fact, we're pretty much where we were several years ago. More or less, I don't feel like looking for specifics but you all know DC has had their asses kicked like this several years ago. Now, some of the Didio "apologists" would tell you-DC is still selling better now than it was before Didio.This is actually true. But don't you think we should be more worried about the lack of titles breaking 100K then we are about the gap between the two companies who have ruled the industry for decades? I do.

Comic books are a strange beast. The majority of people who read them and want to read them are die-hard fans. Or people who have family or friends into the medium and that becomes their gateway. You can't expect DC to get its act together when the entire industry doesn't have their act together. And critics(hell, Internet fans on message boards) have little impact on the sales of books. It would be nice if things changed a little but to expect it seems a bit naive to me.

But what do I know? Maybe I'm wrong and DC should try for more new fans and listen to critics. Maybe they could do it. I'm just negative like that.

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