Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Comic Fans Want To Have Their Cake, Eat It Too and Maybe Get Some Ice Cream and Have a Parade

So... You want to keep reading your favorite comic books, with your favorite creators and hopefully new fans will find it and the numbers will shoot up and the industry will be saved? Sure...

I guess I'm gonna have to defend the NEW 52 or DCnU or whatever you feel like calling it today. I have to 'cuz this sort of attitude that DC is making the biggest mistake ever and comics are going to suffer is stupid. Why? Because comic book fans HAVE NO OPTIMISIM. They want a magic answer to all that ails the industry without it fucking up their beloved Supergirl run well guess what? Not happening? That indy book you love is not gonna magically go from selling around 7K one month to 50K in a years time. That wonderful superhero comic thats selling 40K? Its gonna need a kick in the ass to double its figures.

Don't get me wrong-when DC announced this, like when they or Marvel announce events/reboots/relaunches, I roll my eyes. I know stuff is going down that I don't care about. I also know there are those IDIOT FANS who decide all hope is loss and decide to leave. You know the ones, so much faith in the big 2 they can't process sticking/trying to alternative comics or manga.(I try to match my superhero budget with non Big 2 books. BTW-check out Echo Complete Edition. Awesome stuff.)

Fans of comics are jaded. I know the message boards isn't usually a good barometer to measure an entire audience but the sales figures agree. Its been a bad year especially.

So DC has their plan. Could it have been a better plan? Of course but better a drastic plan that can be improved than sitting by and hoping that 4th Wonder Woman relaunch works(we're on four right?) or that people will wise up and realize that there is more to their superhero line up than Green Lantern or Batman.

So now the launch is underway, some people are completely avoiding it, that's their call. Those same people are already hoping it derails so they can pop out and say "I TOLD YOU SO."

"So... you're happy the industry is dying?"


"Than what would you have done?"

"Keep producing quality stories and showing your existing customer base that you care?"

"And do these quality stories exist without decades of continuity so that the proverbial 'new fan' can some how figure out why Dick Grayson is Batman in Detective Comics while Bruce is Batman in Batman Inc.? Or will you tell them to buy this trade or that trade to catch them up? How about what happened to Wonder Woman and why Supermans walking the Earth? Explain the last four years of Green Lantern to sum up how there are several different rings and we went through Sinestro Crops War to Blackest Night to War of the Green Lanterns?"

I know I want to have THAT conversation.

Continuity-important to comic geeks and a giant wall to non-comic reading audience. Its BS to think that all superhero comic writers can just create stories that will somehow allow them to pull some character that you haven't seen since the 80s and give it a new gloss for existing fans and new fans alike. Yeah, some writers can, most can't.

Create new villains? Yeah-that worked for Wonder Woman almost every time out right? Name a villain of hers that was created in the last 20 years that keeps being used in her book. Let me help you-NONE.

How about those fans who hated everything published between this year and that year?You know-those years that have influenced the work YOU LIKED. They probably are not checking out the same books.

Someone just watched Batman: TAS for the first time, wants a Batgirl book with Babs, gets Stephanie Brown. Really confused.

Continuity is why the argument falls flat. Perception form the mainstream of the industry also doesn't help.

So DC relaunches everything with a new #1. New continuity in their main line. Similar to the 80s(with the exception all new #1's). So while I totally understand the anger about the relaunch(Batman Inc on hiatus? The new Birds of Prey line up? No Stephanie Brown? The current Teen Titans team and creative team gone? NOOOOOOOOOO!!!) I just can't understand the desire/pessimism to see it fail because the point is to try and help the market-you comic fans want that right?

Justice League #1, the kick off book on the last day of August, is expected of over 200K orders. That's impressive. Even more so September's #1's looking to place 6 in the 100K area. How long has it been since more than 2 books broke 100K in the same month? One of those titles is Batman written by Scott Snyder. He wrote that Detective Comic run everyone likes(I haven't read it. Waiting for someone to describe it without the worlds psychological, grim n' gritty, or James Gordons son could be a killer"). Thats 100K vs. the current 40K. On Twitter writer Gail Simone said Batgirls numbers were looking really good. I mean, yeah, the figures will go down but can we hope for a moment that maybe the books will be good enough that they stabilize above the 25-35K mark. Because that would be progress. Can we hope that DC's digital comics plan somehow works well and those people who can't find their LCS or just prefer everything digital try out the new DC books?

Now-maybe this will fail because the stories are not good. However, maybe they are. Maybe they are real good and a whole slew of people are going to miss out because they are angry. I hated the fact tat after I looked up the new solicitations that I was buying slightly more DC. 12, up from 8. Yeah-not a significant up turn but still. I didn't like the solicitation for Green Arrow but I like the character and have been itching to read a book with him for a while. So I'm going to try it. I didn't put Superboy on my order form but I hear Rose Wilsons showing up so maybe I'll look into it. Plus I am excited for Batwoman, Wonder Woman, Action Comics and Justice League Dark. These stories have a sot at being good and judging them all as terrible just because of frustration at DC's notion to relaunch is stupid. This is not a couple new #1's this is a whole line with some the classic characters, b-listers, and strange choices.

Look-DC is trying something that will kick their sales in to gear. Are they out to save the market? More like making sure they make their new bottom line but that bottom line is a shot in the arm the industry needs because I'm really not interested in seeing this headline again: "Green Lantern now lowest selling #1 issue of all time."

Okay-thats it. Stop being so negative and hope that the stories are good and that this will help comics out a bit.

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