Friday, November 6, 2009

My DC Rant

So back in September, I mentioned how the first initial digital initiative by the new DC Entertainment was to send me some spam for ringtones or some such crap.

Well, I'm glad to announce that after two months, DC has now succeeded in moving forward with another foray into the digital frontier. With more spam. And this time they are pimping Batman Hoodies and Superman Watches.

Man, Time Warner, way to pull the effing trigger and unleash a damn tsunami of digital goodness on the masses!

Now, I guess it take a bit of time to make changes in a organization as old as DC Publishing, but after two months, the best they can do is send me spam for the WB Shop? Wasn't Dianne Nelson brought on to specificially find a way to better utilize the DC properties. In two months they still haven't been able to whip up cool ipod comics or something?

Meanwhile at Marvel...

And what really makes this seem even more rediculous is that in case you missed it, last week Marvel announced it is now distributing comics through not one, but THREE different iPod Comic vendors!

At ComiXology you can now buy...

Ditko's Spider-Man (1-6)
Civil War
Age of Apocalypse #1–6
Astonishing X-Men #1–24 (Full Whedon Cassaday run)
Captain America #1–30 (Brubaker, Epting)
Marvel Zombies #1–5
X-23 #1–6

Marvel on ComiXology

At iVerse

Age of Apocalypse #1–6
Amazing Spider-Man #519–524
Astonishing X-Men #1–12
Captain America #1–6 (Brubaker, Epting)
Invincible Iron Man #1–6
X-23 #1–6


And Panelfly...

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #1-25 (Lee, Ditko)
Amazing Spider-Man #519-524
Astonishing X-Men #1-24
Invincible Iron Man #1-16
X-23 #1-6
Age Of Apocalypse #1-6

Marvel On Panelfly

Also Marvel has had a genuine hit on their hands with the Spider-Woman Motion Comic. I'm not really a fan of the format, [ Den of Geek covers most of my sentiments ] but kudos to Marvel for their success here.

But is it just in the digital arena that DC is lagging?

No. DC is also baffling me with their backwards thinking in publishing lately. For instance, without a doubt, they have a runaway hit with Blackest Night. And to capitalize on the momentum, they have several satellite books (Blackest Night Batman, Blackest Night Teen Titans, etc...)

At the same time, they are puting James Robinson on Justice League of America. James Robinson is an insanely talented writer whose Starman is one of the all time great runs of comics history.

So let me ask you - if you were running a comic book company, what would you do at this point?

1) Publish Blackest Night Justice League
2) Renumber Justice League with Robinson's first issue
3) Announce Robinson's first issue in big letters on the cover


4) NONE of the above

Tiniest Logo EverIf you answered 4, then you are apparently ready to work for DC.

Seriously, check out this lame cover for Robinson's first issue on Justice League (a meandering issue that attempts to wrap up plot threads that no one really gives a damn about btw...)

Could the Logo be any freaking smaller? I guess they didn't want anything to outshine the brilliant and innovative cover blurb - Out of the Ashes.

Remember when Grant Morrison took over the title and just how huge the logo was back then? It really made you feel like it was going to be new chapter in comics history (and it sort of was wasn't it?)

On the flipside, this cover, with its tiny JLA logo, looks more like a pisspoor Elseworlds knockoff.

Oh well, at least Robinson is wowing them on the awesome Cry for Justice mini-series. And by them, I mean fans of JLA Elite and Extreme Justice.

What about DC's trades and graphic novels?

High Moon Volume 1To be honest, outside of the newly collected High Moon Vol 1, I haven't been impressed with a lot of DC's newly announced trade collections.

(BTW - congrats to David and Steve the High Moon creative team on their awesome Box 13, the first comic designed for the iPod! )

Here is what I don't understand about DC's collected editions - why are they so much more expensive than Marvels?

Check this out:

Here is DC Classic Library collections of Justice League by George Perez
Price: $37 for 176 pages. On what feels like crappy newsprint. :P

Here the Marvel Masterworks Deathlok
Price: $45 for 352 Pages. On high grade paper stock.


So for about $7 more, Marvel gives me almost 200 more pages on a better stock of paper! Now the DC Archives were on good paper stock, but they seem to be phasing those out in favor of these new (more expensive?) DC Classics Library editions. Why? What is Marvel doing differently that they can continue high quality collected editions and DC can't?

While I'm questioning DC's business wisdom, please tell me - is this REALLY going to be the cover for the new Steve Ditko Creeper collection?

Lame Creeper Cover

That's got to just be some really slack assed artwork pulled together for Amazon, right? Still, I'm a little curious why DC Publishing Entertainment weren't able to make something better than that...

Here's what I did in 5 minutes in Photoshop...

Better Creeper Cover

Seriously - 5 minutes. Which looks like the better image to sell with?

I don't know. Maybe 2010 is going to be when Dianne Nelson really kicks it in high gear and we see some amazing things from DC, you know? Or maybe we will just get more stuff like this...

Thus endeth the rant. ;)

Dr K 100 Page SpectacularBefore I go - hat's off to Dr. K for his amazing write up of the recent JMS Brave and the Bold featuring the Flash and Blackhawk! Great stuff Dr. K!

Also, thanks to Reno for encouraging me to rant this week! :)

Have a great weekend!

- Jim


dlg87020 said...

You listed all those Marvel ipod comics, I would like to add the upcoming Marvel Digital Comics for the PSP. I'm kind of excited about it. I hope you guys do a story or review when they come out!

Sphinx Magoo said...

One thing which I think is affecting DC's digital presence is their reluctance to do anything which might be considered as "following the leader". Jumping on a format after Marvel has already done it, as with the iPhone distribution deals or with the Marvel Digital Comics, will make Marvel look like they know what they're doing. Of course, not making any moves plays into that as well, making them appear as though they don't know what to do.

That said... the mini-JLA logo? Prolly meant to not obscure the picture of The Big 3 in the background. I'm really digging Mark Bagley's work on JLA; he'll provide some dynamism and confidence I felt was missing in other artists' recent work.

Reno said...

You're welcome, Jim! :)

Might it be that DC's reluctance to go digital is that they don't want their comics pirated too easily?

But then given your previous post that most of DC's comics have already been scanned and floating around on the net, I guess that would be the least of their concerns.

Speaking of Showcase collections, did DC ever push through with the Suicide Squad (by John Ostrander) collection? They announced it a while back, but I haven't seen it materialize yet.

GACN said...

I thought the latest issue of Justice League was so odd and out of place...I actually asked my pals if I had missed something. DC did run a centerfold spread for it in CSN, but even that made no real sense of what was to come and Bagley's artwork looked a bit too cartoony for the spread -- the entire piece had that rushed look.

JimShelley said...

@dlg8700 - I don't have a PSP. Would you be interested in reviewing the Marvel Digital Comics when they become available for that platform?

@Sphinx, you may be right about DC's tardiness to the digital party. I wonder if Time Warner cut some dumb licensing deal with another company that precludes them from going digital at the moment (which can happen when contracts are worded incorrectly - and as the Watchmen movie proved, DC/Time Warner aren't the best when it comes to reviewing/writing contracts.)

@Reno - Man I would love to see a Suicide Squad Showcase, but so far they haven't budged on that. Seems strange because they sure get along with Ostrander well enough. I wonder what the hold up is on that!

@GACN - the one saving grace on that cover is that it does begin Bagley's run on the book, which hopefully will as good as his other runs. I loved him on Thunderbolts!


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