Monday, June 6, 2011

Breaks Over

So I had this grand scheme of putting together a post of all the interesting things that had occurred while I was on break (and I'll do that that this week hopefully) but I was starting to see that the task of composing such an article was slowing me down from getting to the business of actually posting again.

Well...what about that DC Relaunch thing? Tired of hearing about it yet? I'm sure you are, but I feel inclined to add my 2 cents so be kind and indulge and old man if you will.

I'm not sure how well this is going to play out. Based on what they are saying (52 titles?) there are going to be way too many comics to really ride herd on every storyline, so while they all may be even out of the gate - a year from now we may see quite a scattered assortment of tones and treatments.

Recurring themes across message boards seem to be:
  • Good for DC - Digital is the way to go!
  • RIP Retailers - with good riddance tossed in occasionally
  • DC is going to muck everything up
  • Jim Lee is redesigning everything? Horror! (He's not really a good designer, is he?)

I've been more interested in the backroom business side of this decision. We can't say for sure, but one of the most interesting aspects of this is that DC, no matter how they do this, is going to have to split a huge chunk of their profits on their digital sales with Apple, a company that is more tied to Marvel than they are. If they are using ComiXology as the distributor, then that will cut into their profits even more. None of this is new - it's exactly how they've been selling digital comics for the past two years, but what, if anything, has changed that has made them decide to go full out like this? This doesn't really feel like the next safe toe dip in the digital waters, but more like a complete cannonball. So, on one hand, this may be a complete Hail Mary pass.

Or...and I've said this before, sometimes corporations just make grand moves without really thinking things through - stockholders getting antsy because your digital offerings seem lame? Jeff Bewkes caught sounding like a fool when asked about Netflix in Businessweek? No problem! here's HBOGo and Day and Date digital comics! Time Warner is down with the kids on this this digital thing!

Ultimately, if all of this proves unsuccessful (storywise or businesswise) DC can always scale back and retool as necessary.

Now - how long before Marvel follows suit?

Finally, it looks like my Captain Comet article was more prescient than I realized. ;) 

Have a great day!

- Jim

10 comments:

Trey said...

Welcome back!

Flashback Universe Blog gets a reboot before DC. ;)

JP Cote said...

Great to have you folks back!

I've been waiting for something like this to come out of DC for the last few years or so. DC had its big makeover in the 1960s, then 1985 with Crisis and now, again about 25 years later since Crisis, time for the make over. The fountain of fresh ideas has been running low. Everything being done now is such an epic scale (eg Blackest Night, Final Crisis), where can writers possibly go? The Earth One series they started looked like it would be the big event but it never seemed to approach that level. I don't think it is a terrible idea. The makeover worked well the previous two times but are they really planning full scale changes or just rehashing more of the same?

JimShelley said...

@Trey - Thank you! I prefer to think of it as more of a retcon. In this reality I was never a member of the Legion of Superheroes.

JimShelley said...

@JP Cote - like you, I'm interested in seeing what DC does with this opportunity. I think you are dead on when you mention The Earth One Superman graphic novel by JM Straczynski. I think the fact that it sold so well (and *still* sells well) was one of the things encouraging DC to try this.

JP Cote said...

Do you think any of this could be a legal thing as well? With the court rulings giving the Siegel family ownership of Superman's origin story as of 2012(?, DC might feel a push to get something like this done before then. As well, with 52 titles (man,what will those be?) how many of them are just copyright publications to retain rights to character names? I can't imagine DC thinking it will be able to support 52 titles forever. All said, I am excited to see what happens. The Post-Crisis stories and retelling were pretty fun for a while.

GACN said...

Fans have been riding DC hard on this on their facebook page -- today they deleted threads filled with negative feedback, so DC certainly knows that people are not happy.

And welcome back Jim!!! :-)

Reno said...

Welcome back! Feels like it's been years. :)

As for the DC hoopla, what gets my goat are the costume designs. If they're not wearing v-collars, they're sporting chin guards. Do they all go to one tailor in the DCNewniverse?

JimShelley said...

@GACN and Reno - thank you guys for the welcome back! I gotta be honest - when I decided I would start posting again, I was resigned to the probability that I had been gone to long to hear from the regulars. It's rewarding to see both of you back here!

JP Cote said...

Maybe they need the collars . . . could be cold in the DC New'Verse . . . entropy and all that . . .

MattComix said...

The DC relaunch fills me with equal parts eye-rolls and the voice of Clint Eastwood saying "Get off my lawn."

..and that's not just the nostalgia talking either. If really thinks it was the trunks that were keeping Superman and Wonder Woman from selling better the editors are bigger idiots than I thought possible.

Also why does everybody get Star Trek TNG collars, including wonder woman who looks like the lovechild of Zealot and Voodoo. Maybe Spartan carried it.

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