Robot 6

DC Comics gets the F out of ‘WTF Certified’

WTF CertifiedLike the early-morning regrets after an all-night bender, DC Comics reportedly has decided to pull back from plans for its “WTF Certified” cover promotion — at least in terms of the controversial title.

Newsarama reports that Co-Publisher Dan DiDio told attendees at last week’s ComicsPRO annual meeting the “WTF Certified” logo won’t appear on any of the comics released in April, “because we don’t need it.” According to an unnamed retailer, DiDio said there’s already awareness of the event among store owners and readers.

When contacted this morning by ROBOT 6, DC declined comment.

The title refers to the linewide event featuring gatefold covers designed to reveal scenes that “leave reader in a state of shock.” “This was a way to accentuate that threat or shocking moments in our heroes’ lives,” Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras said in a Jan. 14 interview with Comic Book Resources. “What we’re doing with the covers is thematically linked to that. They will be page-fold covers; the covers will tell you a story. There will be an image that will crack the page fold, and as you open up the cover, you’ll say, ‘Oh, wow!’”

DC Editorial Director Bobbie Chase followed Harras’ comments with a seemingly off-hand remark about “What the F?” moments, publicly linking the phrase to the gatefold promotion. “WTF Certified” became official less than three week later with the release of the above logo, which drew criticism from some retailers, fans and industry pundits for its abbreviated reference to profanity.

There’s certainly more to this story, as it certainly seems as if DC had second thoughts about the name of the promotion — despite going to the trouble of creating a logo and publicizing it — and is hoping to un-ring a bell.

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Comments

35 Comments

It’s good that they dropped it. I’m generally alright with DC’s marketing moves, but this one just didn’t make any sense. They don’t have characters swear in their books, so why plaster “What the Fuck!” all over the covers? Also if you’re doing a line-wide gatefold cover promotion, why mar the covers with a crappy stamp graphic?

Dropping this is a good decision.

Suddenly I can’t think of a good reason why there isn’t swearing in some DC comic books? Maybe the blood from torn-off limbs could spell the words?

‘Oh, wow!’
Bob Harras is stupid

Oh, please, I am always saying to myself, “What the Fuck are you doing DC?!?!?!?!” Granted, I pretty much answer my own question because when you have half-wits like Nelson, DiDio, Lee, and Harris running the company.

This should make Marc Maron happy.

If I made decisions the way DC does, I’d have rotted to death through hunger by now.

Honestly, I think the near unanimous cry of “Isn’t every month WTF month for DC?” made them realize they’d just be putting a giant kick-me sign on their backs.

I mean really you could dub this entire era of DC the WTF?! Age.

Really wish you would reference the website that actually wrote the original article, not the the website that took the information from another article and re-purposed it. As a retailer, the run around to get original information is ridiculous.

I think Didio is pulling it because of the backlash. It was an incredibly stupid, unnecessary, irresponsible and just plain wrong move to put that brand on their books. It’s a direct reference to profanity and therefore promotes it. Yeah, I know comic-book readers are generally older these days, but kids do still read them. And, yeah, I know most kids have at least heard the f-word, but the more that we show people behaving badly and using words like this, the more it influences them and makes what parents are trying to teach them, civility and morality, that much harder.

I don’t know who came up with this idea, Didio, Lee, Harras, or Chase, but it was a really bad and stupid call. I never would have thought that DC would ever put WTF on the cover of Superman (to say nothing of all its other books). It just seems so very wrong.

And I just think it’s yet another example of the incredibly poor editorial decisions made under Didio, Lee, Harras, and Chase’s aegis. They’ve hurt the characters and their universe, through the completely unnecessary and poor “new-52″ reboot, the elimination of “Hellblazer,” etc., and they’ve hurt the reputation of their company with all the firings, frequent changes to creative teams, editorial interference, etc. There’s just too much smoke for their not to be a fire, based on the comments of ex-DC writers Mark Waid, Greg Rucka, Chris Roberson, George Perez, Rob Liefeld (yeah, I think he’s a jerk, but I believe what he said about the editors), John Rozum (ex-static writer), etc. What would possess Didio to alienate both Waid and Rucka after all the great books they wrote? Why fire Roberson, who showed a lot of talent, because he spoke his mind on creator’s rights? Why did Gail Simone get fired off Batgirl (yeah, I know she got hired back but it should never have happened in the first place). Something is rotten in the state of DC Comics, and it’s been festering for a long long time. I never thought I’d say this, but I wish Mike Carlin was in charge again. And Paul Levitz sounded like a good guy.

I’ve been a DC reader for years now, but I’m really thinking of jumping ship. I do like the variety of books they have now for the new-52, and I’m glad that the Batman and GL franchises weren’t altered (I’d say more like damaged) by the reboot as much as most of the other books were), and I know their are definitely some really good books with great writers, but it mostly hurts to see what’s become of this company and the universe and characters they were custodians of. I hate the preposterous 5 year timeline (4 Robins and 4 earth GLs in 5 years?), the elimination of the Justice Society from the DC earth, the arbitrary decision to make Alan Scott gay (I’m not anti-gay. I liked a lot of DC’s gay characters, especially Batwoman and Mikaal Tomas, but imo one’s sexuality is an intrinsic aspect of one’s identity. If they wanted a gay GL I wish they’d just invented a new character. I liked the hetero Alan Scott, married to Molly with children Jade and Obsidian (another cool gay character)), Barbara Gordon back as Batgirl, the elimination of Wally West (why are Dick Grayson and Kyle Rayner around but Wally, who’s book was so successful and celebrated, gone?!?!), the inclusion of the Wildstorm characters, particularly the Stormwatch/Authority characters, in the DCU, and the list goes on. I really do think it’s directly due to the people in charge not caring or respecting their characters, their employees or their readers for that manner. This stupid “WTF” marketing campaign is just the latest example. It’s just so darn dissapointing to me. I’m sure most readers love it and think I’m just not giving it a chance or am out of touch (especially the new readers who jumped on board), but, sorry, that’s how I feel.

It’d be nice if they actually read the reactions of their readers and acknowledged that some people, maybe a lot, I don’t know, are unhappy with their current state of affairs. I’m so sick of the obvious spin by Didio, Harras, and Chase. At least with some of the writers still working for DC (i.e. Snyder, Tomasi, Simone, etc.) you could see a little more of an indication of how unhappy they generally were with the reboot (at least it sounded to me that they were in their interviews). The guys responsible, though, obviously, aren’t going to be straight with the readers.

Sorry for the long rant but I just had to get that out of my system. It’s all just blowing in the wind, anyway, I expect. Maybe it’s time I just quit buying new comics. : (

change it to : WTH

problem solved

Hasn’t the whole New52 been WTF certified???

Nelson Muntz says, “Ha ha!”

It’s probably better DC go forward with this, but it’s already done its job.

Stay classy Harras!

The folks at DC comics frequently forget that anyone other than 18-34 year old men might be interested in buying their comics. Glad that they finally wised up, at least in this one small instance.

This is an awkward but necessary back-track on a stunningly naff promotional concept.

However, with Didio & Harras holding the reigns, can anyone have actually been surprised? They truly are the ‘Anti-Editors’.

I would love to be a fly on the wall in the various meetings where they ‘explain’ to Diane Nelson how the comics industry works. Comedy gold, right there.

I understand that Dan apologised to the creators that attended their recent summit, regarding the much discussed ‘ongoing editorial problems’. I’m sure those not attending were sent an email.

I think it’s a shame that they didn’t follow through, resign en-masse & facilitate a complete editorial staff re-boot.

At senior management level, all I see is shoddy, hastily conceived concepts or knee-jerk reactions.

No vision. No clarity. And absolutely no style.

Mixed feeling on DC right now.
i’m so sorry for how bad some titles r doing..
still when i see things like this! i mean, you never thought WTF was going to get that backlash? come on!

I don’t think the implied profanity is as offensive to me as the hilarious idea of a fake “certified’ stamp tainting artwork on a cover. It’s bad enough that DC has adopted Harris’s fetish for badly lettered proclamations like “Razorlung–Betrayed!!” all over the covers of their comics, like that means anything to anyone or is going draw in new readers; a bizarre and misguided tribute to Lee/Kirby comics I guess. the complimentary idea to a “certified” cover is that there are uncertified ones. Who the hell would bootleg a shitty gimmick on a (most likely) shitty super-hero comic?!

“No vision. No clarity. And absolutely no style.”

and above all, no class.

It didn’t make any sense to me.

“Why the Face?” Certified? That’s just a load of hogcock.

The unpleasant face I’m making is due to the unpleasant aroma of Bob Harras and Bobbi Chase wafting through my LCS. That’s why the face. Bleaugh.

The only bad thing about this is that the logo is ugly.

I have an idea for a sitcom! It’s called “DC Editorial.”

Truer words never spoken, rocketscientist. Well said!

Thanks Kory. I’m glad someone at least tolerated my rant. I’ve largely been silent on MBs and the like wrt my problems with the “New 52,” including the utter incoherence of the 5 year timeline, the arbitrary mutation of some of existing characters (Tim Drake, Alan Scott, Green Arrow (I hated what they did to him)etc.), the inclusion of the Wildstorm characters, the exclusion (except in tremendously altered forms) of the JSA.

I can remember an interview prior to the reboot where Bob Harras said they had the new 5 year timeline all worked out and how it would be consistent with major events and it would work. In point of fact, it just does not. At all. All this talk about the position of Robin being a year-long internship, the age of Damian Wayne, etc., is just preposterous, even for comic books, because it just does not work wrt the Batman and GL franchises where all the Robins and GLs were kept. And, of course, there are other problems. Like, what does Darkest Night look like without all those dead superheroes showing up? I mean, that whole event, when you think about it, was predicated on digging up (and animating) DC’s past to torture its characters in the present. How many dead superheroes and villains showed up in Darkest Night? How does GL Rebirth happen? How long was Hal the sole GL? 1 year, 2? It just obviously doesn’t hold up and the editors have to know it. The writers sure do (Kyle Higgins even said that he thought they should’ve just rebooted the Batman franchise too, because he knew the 5 year timeline wasn’t going to work with all those Robins and, especially, Damian).

How Didio, Harrass, Lee, etc. sign off on this?!??! They must have known the five year span wouldn’t work. How could they not?

But they’ll never admit it. They’ll never ever be honest and forthright enough to admit they totally screwed up. And they probably won’t fix it either.

Lookee there, I ranted again. Sorry.

Damn…sounds bad times for DC-lites

Schnitzey Pretzelpants

February 27, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Is it just me or is it incredibly weird/ironic that they are giving a crap about this WTF business from a pr/public relations level, but had no real qualms with contracting Orson Scott Card?

I’m happy with DC’s decision to dispense with that purile advertising campaign! Seriously, heads should roll…and Diane Nelson should start paying attention. DC Entertainment is squandering away the good will of the successful, high-profile New 52 relaunch with debacle after debacle.
I have money to throw at this company for product, but the news items/decisions over the last few months have left me shaking my head: Karen Berger leaving, the Gail Simone incident, the WTF promotion, involving themselves with Orson Scott Card, endless stories of editorial interference.
I’m e-mailing my latest pull list from Previews tonight….and I’ve, for the first time in over 40 years of collecting, culling ‘borderline’ choices from my DC list JUST BECAUSE they’re starting to bug me!! In the REAL world—not ‘in-story’! It’s not even a financial choice!
I think DC has a great bullpen of creators overall, and still enjoy many titles—but as an above poster stated, something seems rotton at DC these days. It’s affecting my view of the brand, and under current management, I fear for the future! (And I was all for a relaunch!)

I can’t imagine a person who reads and is unoffended by the content in DC comics but is offended by “WTF”. If you read bloody,misogynistic stories that occasionally have the benefit of being written by prominent gaybashers but can’t read a commonly used message board acronym then it may be time to think about your priorities a little bit.

DC has left me in a “state of shock” ever since they rebooted.
Their entire nu52 comics line makes me shout “WTF?!”

i remember when DC was great.

Enter a Joke about ComicFans

February 27, 2013 at 10:42 pm

I think the whole new-52 reboot whine and preposterous bashing at dc editorial should just stop. Are you pro-Marvel or something hipster? In terms of favorite characters getting either forgotten or destroyed, Marvel has much more to answer for – and there’s no “even not 2 years has passed after” excuse for them. I don’t recall Alex Alonso, for example, getting any negative responses after saying openly in a recent interview that X-Men is all about teenage angst. Can’t believe it’s what x-titles represent for everyone, and don’t know how deap it impacted x-world while he was editing it, but i am so tired of seing “fuck you dc where’s steph and wallywest you ruin my life” posts, so I am here to add my two pennies.

It seems the one thing is ever gotten acknowledged and praised about New 52 is the number of the sales in the market, and not the diversity of titles and enthusiasm of authors who stand begind it. Even if not everything went smoothly (just as it usually is in business), ’cause 52 books, y’ know, is a heavy bulk, the improvement between the one-year timespan is rather clear for me, at least. Can’t people just appreciate what is good now (For example, I was greatly amused with Frankeshtein’s and SoS books. Not anybody’s piece of pie, I guess, as both were cancelled, but I don’t regret and grieve about it) and hope for better? And give a DC a bit of understanding and support – strategy-wise, they are not playing safe, and while it backfires sometimes, it sure is remarkable, seldom seen in industry and, what may be most important of all, makes a rather exciting ride.

Ah, and the last. The nit-picking in 5 years timeline case makes me wonder how many other things people see as inapppropiate and making very little sense in comics (even nowadays, not talking about legendary Silver-Golden age storytelling) ? It can’t be the only one, can it?

This comes off as a Pussy Move on DC’s part. If they weren’t going to follow though on this because they are afraid of Offending anyone then they shouldn’t have launched the Campaign in the first place.

Enter a Joke about Publishers/EiC/Editors

February 28, 2013 at 10:26 am

DC Comics is ruled today by incompetent publishers, a disreputable EiC, and an uncreative CCO.

That’s no big secret.

The behind-the-scenes silliness at DC is much more interesting than their comics nowadays.

I bet they dropped the “WTF” after they started hearing all the jokes that resulted from it.

I swear, DiDio and company couldn’t kidnap a clue.

This has been a slow motion train wreck since day one.

The reboot made one of it’s first big splashes with the news Superman and Lois were no longer married. DiDio and company leaked it to TMZ and then rewrote their marriage history in every interview given. They lied about the timeline, saying the marriage only happened because of the Lois&Clark TV show. They forgot that Stern and others were interviewed for documentaries and books saying the exact opposite. The Death of Superman happened because of the TV show, they had to delay the already planned wedding. Really though, who cares about historical accuracy? Clearly not the current powers that be. They just wanted to break up the marriage so lie lie lie.

Then we’re told they had a timeline figured out. Sure. Except they didn’t. How did all these events happen in a five year time line? Meanwhile DiDio said on his facebook page that the Crisis never happened.

Some backlash later..

WAIT. It did. He was going out to dinner when he said that, he really didn’t mean it.

Foolishness. All of it.

WTF is quite appropriate for the whole debacle.

WTF certified should be the legacy of DiDio’s reign.

As in WTF DC, how was this guy hired in the first place? WTF DC, how did he survive Countdown? WTF DC, why was he put in charge to put out fires he started?

WTF DC?

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