Robot 6

Grumpy Old Fan | ‘B&B,’ and bridging the fan/pro divide

The great stone face

The great stone face

After four installments, Comic Book Resources’ monthly “B&B” feature, in which DC Comics Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras and Editorial Director Bobbie Chase answered questions from readers and CBR’s Josie Campbell, is no more. Jerry Ordway’s work situation, and controversies generally, were apparently to blame. Of course, DC is free not to participate in such things, and CBR is likewise free to investigate such controversies on its own. Still, the whole thing only highlights the problems DC has had in connecting successfully with fans.

Now, it may be more accurate to say DC has had problems connecting successfully with fans who are vocal about their negative opinions of the company. For all I know, DC may be quite popular with whatever audience it has targeted. Regardless, despite its constant PR presence, today’s DC seems a lot more guarded than it has been; and I think that can only hurt it in the long run.

Ironically, part of the problem is the corporate-comics news cycle. Each week’s worth of DC books has a couple of promotional features, namely the “All Access” editorial and the new “Channel 52″ two-pager. Beyond that (and probably more frequently than once a week) the company issues press releases and facilitates interviews for various news sites. Furthermore, each month’s solicitations advertise what’s coming out at least two months in the future; and during convention season the company can manage its particular messages in person. That’s a lot of information for a company whose bread and butter come from a few dozen monthly 20-page story installments.

Accordingly, I have to think it’s not all about the comics. Certainly DC wants to do whatever it can to sell as many books as it can (in whatever format), but its efforts also make me think it wants to create a sense of community among readers. The cynic in me knows that “community” is an excellent way to learn one’s specific tastes, and specifically what it takes to get someone to buy all the DC comics he can. To be charitable, though, the communal impulse comes naturally to a pastime like superhero comics, which has always had strong fanbases. DC probably just wants to be able to leverage its fanbase in, shall we say, practical ways.

Unfortunately, it seems to be doing it at arm’s length. Both “All Access” and “Channel 52″ are meant to be ingratiating, but both come across somewhat forced. Although the “AA” for the week of April 17 invited readers to experience all the DC-related events this weekend at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, it turned into a list of creative personnel and convention exclusives — and DC won’t have its own booth at C2E2 anyway. The April 24 “All Access” spotlight on The Movement is better, because it describes the new title efficiently and with an eye toward luring both Gail Simone’s readership and superhero fans generally.

As for “Channel 52,” for me neither the dialogue nor the art manages to rise above its basic promotional purpose. The DC books of the ‘70s and ‘80s had a one-page “Daily Planet” feature that used a mix of in-universe and real-world perspectives to hype individual issues.  It also had non-promotional elements, like a weekly Fred Hembeck gag strip and writer Bob Rozakis’ “Ask the Answer Man” column. One week the “Planet” page might feature a portion of, say, a Superman cover with a big headline like “Bizarro’s Back!” and a little blurb about the story, topped off with instructions to check out the particular issue when it came out. As far as I can tell, “Channel 52″ doesn’t actually direct readers to specific books, it just encourages them to seek the issues out on their own, based on clues like “Supergirl fights Power Girl” (which could happen either in Supergirl or Worlds’ Finest) and “JLA throws Catwoman in Arkham Asylum” (which happens first in Catwoman, but which then ties into JLA). Again, this week’s installment is a slight improvement, highlighting a Trigon story in Teen Titans but asking the reader to fill in some blanks on All-Star Western.

More to the point, if space is valuable in DC’s single issues, it must use those three pages effectively. For decades, DC’s singles had at least one editorial page and one or two pages for readers’ letters. DC brought back letter columns a few years ago, but they didn’t last very long. Marvel still has theirs. In fact, let’s compare last week’s Daredevil #25 and Superior Spider-Man #8 with Vibe #3 and Catwoman #19. For what it’s worth, DD’s recap/credits pages are structured like newspapers (or news sites), with huge headlines, art samples, and brief synopses. Both DD #25 and SSM #8 have a one-page recap/credits page and a one-page lettercolumn, but SSM’s letters page is used (this issue) to hype the various issues under editor Steve Wacker’s purview (including Hawkeye, DD and Captain Marvel). The two DC issues have no recap page and the aforementioned three pages’ worth of editorial and promos.

This is still roughly comparable to the three to four pages of editorial content in DC’s Bronze Age books. The “Daily Planet” page gave way eventually to a one-page weekly editorial (usually Executive Editor Dick Giordano’s “Meanwhile …”), which included at the bottom of the page a list of that week’s comics. The letter columns still got at least one page, and often two pages. While nostalgia undoubtedly makes me look back more fondly on these older offerings, they still seem more authentic than today’s editorial presentations. You could get a good sense of Dick Giordano’s business and/or creative philosophies from a steady diet of “Meanwhiles,” and similarly from Jenette Kahn’s occasional “Publishorial.”  Every now and then they touched on controversial topics, like Kahn’s criteria for cancelling titles (foreshadowing the late ‘70s “DC Implosion”) and a guest “Meanwhile” that talked about the dearth of female leads. Some things never change.

Of course, before the Internet, the main lines of communication between company and readers were those editorial pages and letter columns. Today it’s easy to imagine that they’ve been not just supplemented, but superseded, by message boards, blogs, news sites, and social media. Nevertheless, we’re all familiar with the ways in which online forums combine both access and anonymity, often with unfortunate results. In that respect, it’s not hard to imagine DC’s creative and business personnel wanting to micromanage their messaging, and interacting online at their peril. However, in the aggregate that can come across as somewhere between aloof and condescending. It might insulate DC’s people from trolls, but it only frustrates fans with legitimate (or at least reasonable) concerns.

It also reinforces the perception of DC as a faceless corporate monolith. I don’t have much sense of the company’s editorial personality beyond Dan DiDio, Jim Lee and Geoff Johns — and by and large, that’s because they’ve been around DC for so long. DiDio had a regular editorial feature a few years back, as did Lee when he was at WildStorm, but as far as I can tell they don’t have anything like a regular column (even a shared one) in the books themselves. I have even less of a feel for the comics’ editors. I follow Batman group editor Mike Marts on Twitter, but couldn’t find any feeds for his colleagues Matt Idelson, Eddie Berganza, or Brian Cunningham. Johns, Lee, and DiDio are on Twitter, and there’s a fake Bob Harras account (@WhatIfBobHarras), but neither the real one nor the real Bobbie Chase are readily identifiable.

To be sure, there are a lot of writers and artists on Twitter. I follow Scott Snyder, Dan Slott and Stuart Immonen (among others), and they’re pretty verbose. (So is DC’s PR guru Alex Segura, who recruited yours truly for his own group blog many years ago.) Gail Simone tweets often and has a very active Tumblr account, as does Kurt Busiek, who I suppose is back in the larger DC family with Astro City’s return. Everyone has specific social boundaries.  Heck, I am barely on Twitter (@TomBondurant, by the way) myself.

Still, I’m not sure why DC’s editorial trinity (DiDio, Lee, Johns) hasn’t established its own regular soapbox space, even if it’s just a few paragraphs once a week on the DC website. That would be a significant step toward a more cordial posture, but a slight attitude shift is also in order. While I appreciated Dick Giordano and Jenette Kahn taking the time to share their thoughts, what I appreciated more was their (apparent) respect for the readership. Although I was in grade school when Kahn came aboard, and was a teenager when “Meanwhile …” started, I never got the sense that they were talking down to me. Maybe as a 43-year-old I’m just more attuned to corporate-speak, but I can’t tell you how Marts’ stewardship of the Bat-books is different from Cunningham’s management of the Green Lantern line, or if I prefer Eddie Berganza or Matt Idelson on the Superman titles. DC may well want to leave its editors in the background, so the writers and artists aren’t overshadowed; but I’d like to know what roles they play in the grand scheme of things. When Denny O’Neil succeeded Len Wein as Batman group editor in 1986, it was a big deal, and O’Neil added a periodic “From the Den” mini-editorial to the lettercolumns to emphasize his place in the Bat-hierarchy. DC might not need to go that far today, but just checking in with the editors in substantive ways every now and then — including overall scorecards telling who’s editing what — would be helpful.

I am trying not to suggest these things out of some sense of entitlement. DC certainly doesn’t owe me any special courtesy. I understand that I’m asking these folks to open up a little about what they do every day, and how would I like it if it were my job, etc. However, DC already devotes three pages per issue for promotion and outreach, which is about what it’s done in the past; and it doesn’t seem unreasonable to wonder why the company isn’t at least superficially more approachable. The few times I have seen Dan DiDio in person, he’s been especially gregarious and eager to interact with all kinds of fans. DC regularly sets up open-mike forums at conventions, where fans and pros can talk about their personal experiences reading comics. It makes the impenetrability that much harder to reconcile.

Again, I know DC is trying hard to cultivate a certain sense of community. It’s restructuring its website to appeal to fans, families, and the press. The “B&B” column was the latest attempt to bring its editors into more direct contact with fans and the online press. Any such stab at openness risks exposing oneself to uncomfortable topics — but that doesn’t mean openness is to be avoided. There are ways to peek around the barriers between the company and the public, and DC needs to use those judiciously to avoid walling itself off.  It has plenty of opportunities, and the Internet gives it a variety of options.  Otherwise, DC will end up inscrutable, unapproachable, and unable to participate meaningfully in whatever community it may eventually form.

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33 Comments

The Channel 52 pages are absolutely dreadful. DC reminds me of Oz, never wanting anyone to look behind the curtain. And I like a lot of DC books- but it’s almost in spite of them, instead of because of them.

Great column. I have felt more and more DC is distancing itself from the fans. Instead of the horrendous Channel 52, reinstate letter pages. That allows each comic to have its own little community. I still read some of the letter’s columns in Kirkman’s books and when the writer answer the mail in Marvel books.

In many ways it is almost too late. DC has pushed me away with both hands. They threw away the entire legacy nature of their line and have relied on gimmicks and marketing to try and stay alive. I was a hard core DC fan first and foremost and now Alternative publishers are biggest weekly buy, then Marvel, then DC. Vertigo is dying, most of DC’s big books are sad shadow of their better years. Heck some of Marvel’s top editorial talent used to be with DC. I think until Didio, Harras and (I’ll include) Chase are gone, it will never be fixed.

Good riddance to B&B, a misbegotten and ill-conceived vanity page.

Tick tock, Channel 52, the clock is running and your time will be up soon.

Channel 52 is the worst. I read the very first one, and now I barely even scan the images quickly before putting the book down.

Bring back the letter pages!

A complete reevaluation and reformulation of the roles performed by DiDio, Lee, Harras and Johns would be a reasonable solution.

Maybe someone like Karen Berger or Mark Waid can help to fix that ship.

Jan Robert Andersen

April 25, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Just a year ago DC had the All Access page and also a two page spot-light on anything important. Those two pagers could be everything from information on other group titles, the Before Watchmen line, the #0 month, checklists and even an updated Who’s Who. Far too often I have found the All Access page offered too little if any contents and more some marketing tool apparently with more focus on layout and images.

Those Channel 52 comes across as forces and without charm and given they have replaced the two pages they really offer too little for the fan and reader base. When referencing issues and story lines they should have some editorial notes on where to read those stories. In a few years when reading these they will read even more without any meaning.

When comparing to most Marvel titles I also find the one page story update and the one page letters page more in tune with fans and any new potential readers. Unlike generally on the internet Marvel have some editorial control of the chosen letters in the letters pages. Just like it has always been and should be given those pages in the end is included for more sales.

The updated DC Comics internet site looks and reads too corporate being pretty without being flashy. I tend to watch the DC Nation shorts but everything else I can find on other internet sites. Character bios I can find on Wikipedia and/or DC Wikia and news I can find on ComicBookResources, Newsarama, ComicsContiuum etc.

The Marvel internet page is corporate looking sleek and polished. However it does have more to offer and just seems more tuned to their reader and fan base. I can find similar news and contents as everywhere else on the internet and I don’t have to leave their site to find more or better information. When constructing their site DC should have looked at the Marvel site making their site more fluid and with more relevant content.

When meeting DC at conventions DC can be very open and welcoming with Dan DiDio, Jim Lee and the artist/writers they choose to bring along. However I have also met Bob Wayne who I really feel is another part of DC representing the worst inside DC and their corporate structure. DC is apparently micromanaged and something appears not quite right at DC. There has been to many negative stories of creative freelancers being treated poorly and a forced impact on the stories.

Marvel seem to treat their creative pool differently and there have been fewer news of treating their artist and writers badly resulting in bad publicity. There are stories like the George Perez, Gail Simone and Jerry Ordway ones but they seem fewer and even the ones that comes to mind even a years back during the Bill Jemas era. Looking in from the outside Marvel seem hire whomever they want and then simply leaving them alone unlike DC’s apparent micromanagement..

All in all DC does indeed seem to have a problem meeting their readers and fans especially inside their own publications and also have some bad publicity gathering against them.

Dick Giordano’s Meanwhile… columns are a large part of the reason why I was such a DC fan as a kid. They were incredibly appealing, and even with Twitter, Facebook and all the other social media, I still think there’s a place for a regular column like that from someone at DC editorial. We’re constantly hearing that a large portion of their readership never talks about the comics online or goes to sites like CBR, so why toss away a chance to interact with them in favor of a two-page strip about the week’s books that just kind of sits there? But the columns would need to be more than just hyping the books, and I’m not sure DC seems all that interested in that sort of thing anymore.

Great column, and I agree on all fronts. Heck, even going back a few years ago when Dan DiDio was writing the DC Nation page, there seemed to be a real effort to build DC fandom into a community. But since the switch to All-Access, and the introduction of the painfully stupid Channel 52 shorts, well, they’re not exactly keeping fans at a distance but they’re not trying to pull them into the DC community, either.

Jake Earlewine

April 26, 2013 at 6:32 am

Perhaps DC editorial is too ashamed to interact with fans after ruining the once-great DC universe for short-term sales gain.

Like a criminal politician who has betrayed the public’s trust, DC’s safest position is “No comment.”

Excellent column, Tom (so Tweet more and, er, @MartGray). I used to love those Meanwhile columns, I remember one in which Dick Giordano was writing from his train ride to work, making promotional information feel like real intimate, insider stuff. DC needs an equivalent column today, by a designated person – rotating columns tend not to work as editors tend to treat them as a) a chore and b) Plug City, Arizona.

I’m with everyone else, bring back the lettercols, they really aren’t like online chat, they’re a place for considered nuggets of opinion and exchange. The three promo pages we have at the moment should morph into a recap page, a lettercol and a Daily Planet/Editorial page.

I’ll say one nice thing about Channel 52 – the different art each week at least bids you read it, whereas the heavily templated All Access page that follows is so samey looking month after month that it begs to be ignored.

I mentioned to Dan DiDio on Facebook a couple of weeks back that directing us to where the things referenced in Channel 52 actually appear might not be the worst idea ever, and he said he’d get on it, so maybe in a monthly or two the info will improve …

If DC wants to learn my tastes and cater to them to get me to buy comics, that’s OK with me. There aren’t enough good comics worth buying yet.

I just skip the channel 52 pages now. It doesn’t read well and the art is below par.

DC, you want to connect with fans? OK, here it is:
DC Elseworlds – FanFic monthly title.

Bring one fan’s DC FanFic to life every month in an Elseworlds format.

And bring back Karen Berger to edit it.

I just HATE the Channel 52 page. The letter pages would be great or those two page of STORY.

Nelson, DiDio, Lee, Harris, and Johns are so out of touch.

While, I am not a big Marvel’s fan, I am reading Daredevil (my favorite Marvel character) and to me, that is a comic book to the highest definition.

I would MUCH prefer a recap page and a letters column to what DC is currently doing. For whatever reason, DC seems hellbent on homogenizing their books rather than allowing them to have their own personality and content. I currently buy 2 titles each from both Marvel and DC. I enjoy Batman as much as FF but because of little touches like the letters column in the Marvel book, I find it to be a better experience. Why EVERY comic doesn’t have a recap page is beyond me; Gotham Central always had a good one (informative AND fun). Ive always been a DC guy but a more tone deaf company simply doesn’t exist.

The New 52 has obviously had a lot of critics from the outset, but for me there was at least a relatively decent chunk I didn’t mind (not creme de creme but not totally god-awful) in the beginning. I find myself becoming less enamoured with DC with every passing week. They’re going to want to start connecting with readers soon before I drop the few I am still getting; as Roberto noted, Daredevil is the pinnacle right now.

I hate the Channel 52 as well, but I never really read any Letters pages too closely either. They’re still going to be selective regarding which letters to include. I wouldn’t take it at face value from my government, let alone a corporation.

I loved the old Daily Planet pages. The Hembeck strip was one of my favorite things about comics when I was a kid. I would love it if they brought that back instead of this 52 junk.

Brian from Canada

April 27, 2013 at 10:49 am

Channel 52 isn’t an attempt to build community, it’s an attempt at building continuity. For all that DC’s New 52 has going for it, the connections aren’t are tied closely as at Marvel (where everyone is now an Avenger).

But there’s more to it than that.

DC’s justified to cancelling its column because there’s not been a single column in months here in the online community where some responder hasn’t used it as a soapbox for the calling of the jobs from Harras, Chase and Didio — to the point now that every weakness, no matter the size, is blamed on that trio.

What’s missing from this whole discussion is the intentions BEHIND New 52. No one — NO ONE! — here on CBR really likes to talk about the fact that DC was in desperate times before New 52. The company hasn’t turned a profit since being bought in 1971, licensing deals were drying up and interest in its properties for film and television development was stalling and in decline.

WB had to do something drastic. They needed the company to quit being such a money pit. So the head office was moved down the street in California, the emphasis placed on digital and new readers, and on getting the properties attractive for movie deals. And on THAT basis, DC is doing right: sales are up, Arrow’s a hit, movies are coming… interest in DC’s books are rising.

So *that’s* why they are trying to build a community. It’s the next step of momentum. And it’s failing because the anger and outrage of the fans who want to go back to the weaker version of the company keep hammering at them to get rid of management.

It’s one thing to complain about Channel 52. That deserves criticism, and DC recognizes that when it’s framed (like this column) as an example of what’s not clicking with audiences when other devices are known to.

But it’s another to go after the firing of management or the writing assignments you feel are wrong because pen hits paper. (What Card’s pitch was for Superman was lost completely over the activism against it.)

If you took these responses as typical letter columns, every 2nd or 3rd letter would be: “You suck! Go back to pre-Crisis!” That’s not going to happen, but a portion of the fan community doesn’t believe it.

And DC has a hard time because of it. DC can’t seem to get the community Marvel got and wants something similar — which is, at this rate, never going to happen.

Marvel hid their transformations through a side panel called “Ultimate universe.” The changes we have now started there, and since no one really complained about the alternate version being changed, the changes happened again in the main universe. New Nick Fury? check. No more X-Men? check. Dead Peter Parker? check.

If DC wants to build a fan community, it has to rely on time just as it did in the past. Movies, TV, more risks in title choices, good stories in trade paperbacks… that will get them positive responses. And eventually it will build. (And coming up with a better way to promote the books of the week other than Channel 52 would also be a good start!)

But so long as that portion of hate is still smouldering, DC has to stay away from online columns. CBR has become a place of corporate promotion and DC bashing; stick with what’s civil, DC, and leave the lovefest to Marvel.

I notice a lot of seasoned fans trying to dictate to young or newer ones what is in or better. The day CBR can get in the perspective of someone truly fresh to DC and comics and run that perspective then I will say you have a great point. Sales drive the market and sales indicate success not rants. yet all we get are rants filling the spaces. For comics to survive you need new readers. Old ones are already biased and spoiled because they say they seen it before and in a way they kill enthusiasm for comics on the whole.

@js CBR allows every fan equal access to opine. As a newer reader, you and all the other new readers, can dive in and talk about what you like.

But surely you don’t like everything? You can’t really believe that newer readers all love the New 52 and all older readers hate it? We’re all just a bit more complicated than that.

And if you think DC/Warners doesn’t want the money of us older types – many of whom have a higher disposable income – you’re living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

I love talking comics with readers of whatever vintage, please don’t try and turn this into a generational Us vs Them thing – Tom’s column is about how DC communicates with us, not the wisdom or otherwise of the New 52.

This sort of thing always makes me wonder how meetings in these bigger offices go:

“We seem to be loosing readers and not turning more people on. What should we do?”

“Well, should we try to address some of the problems these people have in order to make them happier?”

“Nah, we shouldn’t try that!”

Realitätsprüfung

April 27, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Chuck wrote: “The Channel 52 pages are absolutely dreadful. DC reminds me of Oz, never wanting anyone to look behind the curtain.”

That’s more or less correct. But the sense of information entitlement amongst the fanbase – and mostly the older, disgruntled fans – is the REAL issue here. Just like you, me or any other company, DC isn’t obligated to answer questions about internal politics, people being fired or hired, or anything not content-related.

That stuff is out of bounds. It always has been. If you’re looking back at DC of the 70s/80s and thinking they were much more open about their internal issues, then take off your rose-colored glasses. They pushed out old creators, they burned bridges, made last-minute changes to their books, pissed off creators, etc. They also never talked about that stuff in corporate PR and interviews.

CBR isn’t the Washington Post. They aren’t uncovering political scandals, solving murder mysteries or correcting great injustices. It’s an interview piece discussing the current status of the DCU and upcoming publishing initiatives.

The problem is the source of questions – message board fans with an axe to grind. They’re negative, and they want all the dirt they can get. And now they’re disappointed that DC is obviously not listening.

Oh well.

The channel 52 art is insultingly bad. I dont waste time even reading the crap.

Comic-Reader Lad

April 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Count me as an older fan who is GLAD DC rebooted themselves after Flashpoint. I just wish they didn’t try to have it both ways by incorporating any pre-Flashpoint continuity.

It seems to me like DC is trying to control the conversation about their company and products- and that’s what rubs most fans wrong.

The old website had a message board where anyone could post about anything. Now no one can post anything, they can only respond to post DC puts up (all noncontroversial). I never even go to their website anymore, it’s more about PR pitches than info on their products.

The Daily Planet was a simple sales pitch combined with some decent entertainment content. Channel 52 is just a hype machine. I don’t even look at it, let alone read it.

I used to buy 10-15 DC comics a month, now a days maybe only two. To me, DC is fighting so hard not to be the #2 comic book company, that they are sacrificing more ground than they are gaining.

The DC reboot failed miserably, well represented by the Channel 52 two-page spread. It was a hard, full-line reboot spinning out of a forgettable mini. Yet by the time of the second month of the hard, full-line reboot, the writers and the continuity was in no way whatsoever uniform. There were two Superman books covering two versions of Superman set apart by five years. Batman was a bigger continuity mess, and the Green Lantern books paid next to no attention to the reboot. Within that first month, what was pitched as a hard, line-wide reboot (and how it is still being pitched) quickly fell apart across the entire line. Only certain titles were hard reboots, many immediately falling back on the pre-reboot storylines, origins, backgrounds, and character characterizations. Whether one title to the next was actually a soft or hard reboot was and is completely inexplicable and followed absolutely no sort of line-wide policy or uniformity.

The result is that it has and is failing in its only two goals stated repeatedly (like a mantra) by DC: 1. Make the entire line accessible to new readers. 2. Streamline continuity for old readers. These two groups have, ironically, the exact same problem when reading post-reboot: everyone, new or old, is forced to ask the same unanswerable question: “Which origin and which stories, if any, from the pre-reboot timeline are still considered ‘canon’ or ‘occurred’ in the New 52?”

The very fact that whether readers are new or old both get hung on the same question shows system-wide failure. To compare it to Marvel, Marvel would have had to take an event mini like Siege, used that to alter reality, then use that excuse to do an Ultimate-style reboot across their entire line of books, but within a month show that even though some books are sticking to the Ultimate “method”, most of the books immediately relapse from the very concept by still building off of pre-Ultimate stories, origins, backgrounds and characterizations. (Instead Marvel successfully enough kept their reboot in a different universe, that still exists separately and alongside the main continuity universe which weathered rough patches as the Ultimate lines grew and fell out of fashion with those times.)

As each month passes, DC across every book is a complete mishmash of old and new, with no rhyme or reason beyond what past stories any given writer for any book wants to either include or “homage” into the background of whatever book they happen to be assigned. (Or if editorial demands it.)

The Channel 52 spread may as use photos of the editors of each “family” of books instead of DCU characters, each one frantically trying to explain to readers how any of these books is actually “new” (post-reboot) BUT ALSO how they’re “inter-connected” (pretty much using only pre-reboot tropes and character-to-character associations.

Brian from Canada. The only sensible comment to an insensible article. Some of you need to look up what failed means. You want your old DC back. Wanna know why you aren’t getting it? Because DC is makin money. Go look at the New 52 sales fugues six months in and compare them to six months of Marvel Now. You can cite the Marvel Now creative success all you want – its not adding up to sales the way the New 52 did six months in. Retailers are happy, the New 52 collections are pushing ahead and soon the DC Animated Movies line will follow suit. Cosplayers are making New 52 costumes. Toys are being sold. So scream all you want online. No one is listening.

The very best superhero writers always figure out a way to incorporate past continuity into their stories…to BUILD on the past.
The worst superhero writers are so ego-centric they toss out ANY story they didn’t write in order to make THEIR stories work.

Any news section in a comic book is uncalled for period.

There were letters pages because that’s the only way ppl comunicated: letters are we forgetting that???
Now we have the Internet and cbr and dc and marvel have twitter feeds and blah blah.
I buy comics cause I want to read the story that’s portrayed on the cover. Not to read letters and propaganda and news. Thatso what the Internet is for! Let’s say I buy 6 dc books a month. I rather have an extra two pages of story then the same BS x6.
And who needs a news section anyways?? Only 2 of the 14 ad pages in my action comics were actually ads. The rest were dc ads about other stories or graphic novels.

So it’s not just a 2 pager. It’s more like a 14er. Multiplied by how many books u buy a month?

Why should a company that has driven away fans and based it’s business model on CYA principles do anything but protect themselves from eventual firings? Firings that are long overdue and yet no one at any level of DC/WB seems to recognise that fact.Time to move on people to other companies that aren’t carrying the unecessary corporate overhead that DC is carrying and accept the demise of DC for what it is.Maybe once the intellectual property is in the hands of someone who cares to make the creative and fiscal bottomline work together we will see a difference that matters.Fans also have to get their heads out of decades of samo samo continuity and be willing to accept innovative spins on iconic characters and embrace some new ones as well.

Brian from Canada nails it.

I was going to stop reading the B&B column anyway because the answer to every question was the same — Keep reading, kids! I know that many people asked legitimate questions and did so without pointing fingers and getting angry but those questions weren’t answered. It was at best a fluff piece and at worst a complete misuse of what could have been a great venue.

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