Robot 6

Quote of the Day | ‘… The readership will reap what it sows’

dc vs marvel

“It might, if what DC was doing was impacting on their sales at all — but it really isn’t. Doesn’t mean we’re going to change the way we go about our business or anything, but for all that there’s a lot of uproar on the internet about whatever decisions DC is making, their sales remain constant. Sends a very clear signal to folks in charge both over there and elsewhere that it really doesn’t matter who works on what series, or how well or poorly they’re treated. So as a whole, the readership will reap what it sows.”

Tom Brevoort, Marvel’s senior vice president-executive editor, responding to a fan who wondered if, “with DC continuing on their weird way of interfering with creative teams and basically hating people does this kinda give you guys a new sense of that you’re on target for the quality of product and creative composure that needs to help make the industry thrive.”



I dropped them all many months ago. But it’s true; my retailer and I will drop our conversation about the DC trainwreck when a customer gets his pull-stack brimming with DC books.

Different strokes for different folks!

Does the Talking Heads “Road To Nowhere” waft muzak style through the DC offices 24/7 these days?

But he is right, the readership will always reap what they sow in comics.

Brevoort’s not incorrect, but made me very sad to read that statement coming from him anyway.

Dropped all my DC books (the last two last month along with many other folks upset with DC. Let’s see what sales for 3rd quarter look like once the numbers come in.

He’s right but is Marvel really better? Both companies are betting on crossovers, gimmicks and editorial edicts to keep propping up sales to a rapidly shrinking customer base. And it seems like every couple of years the two companies switch their reputation[s] as to which one is more heavy handed with creators.

As a teenager, I stopped buying DC comics, after COIE. Primarily a JSA fan, it had become clear that DC Editorial didn’t share my enthusiasm for their ‘legacy’ heroes.

Archie Goodwin facilitated the JSA revival which pulled me back, in 1999.
I’ve been a loyal and active reader right through to the new52 relaunch, which I initially supported.

I also ‘embraced’ James Robinson’s Earth 2 reboot, which fast became an object lesson as to how the wider new52 relaunch could/should have been implemented.

I’m now pulling less DC titles than at any time since the end of the last century. This number may well soon become ‘0’ if :-

1. Tom Taylor doesn’t deliver on Earth 2.

2. Brian Azzarello tires of his continuous efforts to resist DC Editorial and walks.

The quality of overall output from DC has gone down the toilet. I’ve been ‘voting with my wallet’ and cumulatively, I expect more readers to do the same over the next six months or so.

So here’s the thing: I like the DC books I am reading. I don’t like it when this writer or that artist is fired, and there is a good chance I will stop reading something if the new creative team is not one I like.

But so far, the only time one of these kerfluffles affected me as a reader was the Gail Simone Batgirl controversy. Which was reversed because of the fans. Nothing I have been reading constantly since the reboot has been a case of someone being fired and someone inferior being hired. And the only book I was reading where the writer changed is Demon Knights, and Cornell endorsed Vendetti immediately.

Am I being enlightened when I choose to keep reading DC’s comics? Probably not. But I see no reason to stop reading the specific series I like as long as the specific writers and artists I like are still getting to write and draw them.

@Simon DelMonte – Enlightened or not, your reasons for continuing with a title are the best possible ones.

It was the combination of Scott Snyder & line-wide cross-overs that led to me dropping Batgirl, not Gail Simone’s work. She’s one of the best.

The New52 brought me back into the comic shop weekly. Curious as to how a revamp like the one promised initially (but not delivered) would be handled and if it’d be good, I bought all 52 books. It had been five years since I was reading regularly, buying trades and the occasional issue or mini that caught my eye and sparked interest.
To make a long story short, instead of recounting what books and how many I dropped when and why: I pull 3 DC books now, and two are on life support. Meanwhile Marvel, Image, Valiant, and Avatar make up the rest of a thirty five book a month pull list.
The company that sucked me back in…sucks.

I remember in the 80s getting into comics adn dropping a titles at Mavel because of the cross over crap,,,went to DC adn loved the grelll green Arrow run ect…found a daredevel comic with no cross overs and stayed with that,

now i have given up on both and are reading the Marvel Masterworks from 60s and 70s and will read till comics start it again

reap what they sow – exactly why NINO Nova is tanking

Funny you chose that particular image to use with this article. I quit buying new super-hero titles from DC and Marvel a couple of years after the JLAvengers. It was the super-hero comic I had dreamed of seeing since 1977 (the year I started reading comics). At the time, nothing else being released by either company could compare to the excitement of waiting for that book.

I decided to start spending my money on back issues and only a few non-super titles each month (my goal is to build a collection from January 1977 to “Crisis on Infinite Earths” for DC and January 1977 to the wedding of Spider-Man and Mary Jane for Marvel). I told myself that if anything new ever excited me as much as the announcement of JLAvengers, I’d give it a try.

Nothing has.

I quit comics for the longest, all through the ’00’s, at least. New52 brought me back and I’m still buying. Granted, unlike some folks, I’m only picking up a meager 8 titles but that’s 8 more titles than DC used to make off me. I suppose I might drop Batwoman but only if the quality in the content goes down.

I much prefer DC over Marvel for quite awhile now. I’m down to only 2 Marvel books and that may become 1 if I drop FF.

DC sales have impacted, and badly. Justice League and Batman keep in the top 10 each month, but Lazarus outsold Catwoman and will soon outsell Batwoman. The trend has been downwards for all . DC is pasting Zero Year onto the cover of Green Arrow to salvage it, which is shocking considering the book is running concurrently with a hit TV show and has DC’s best creators on it.

Personally I only read about 5 DC books anymore (Batman, Batgirl, Injustice, Arkham Unhinged, and Supergirl). I read Batman for arcs. Although, I’ve still contemplated dropping the book. Mostly because the past two events have been exciting with their build up, and then I get let down some with the ending. With Supergirl and Batgirl, I enjoy them, but mostly because they’re girls that kick butt. I’ll read a few other titles here and there, but mostly I become intrigued with how their going to mess with each of the characters. I’ll be reading Forever Evil, Arkham War, and will try out Harley in hopes that they will end up being a good story. I’ll admit, I’m probably part of the problem, but I just keep hoping that they’ll turn these characters in the right direction. Also, I tend to think that Marvel is doing better work with their writing and is why I enjoy reading the Superior lineup, Captain Marvel, Deadpool, and the Battle of the Atom storyline. I do have a few problems with some of the Superior stuff, but all in all, I still put them ahead of DC any day.

This is an interesting quote. I find it strange that he says this despite the continued narrow focus by both companies on a hardcore readership. Is it any surprise that there’s no change in sales? It’s a hardcore readership, they’ll buy anything with a bat on the cover. This completely ignores the continued lack of expansion in to a broader audience that is perhaps precluded by the narrow focus on the hardcore. We’ll just see what happens in ten years when nobody wants to see superhero movies anymore.

I dropped DC completely when they rebooted (although I hung in there for a while on Grant Morrison’s books and Batwoman). After buying 20-30 DC’s every month for thirty years! Shame on them.

There’s this term I’ve never ever used that seems appropriate for DC: cluster-f**k. I’m truly surprised they’re still in business.

I dropped all my DC books! If you don’t like what they are doing, do the same! Tom Brevoort is absolutely correct, if DC does not see a change in their sales they have no reason to change their practices.

There has to be a point in time when sales/money stops being an impenetrable force field that protects companies from the repercussions that normal individuals face when they’re chronically unethical. One day, perhaps, we’ll pull our fat, ignorant, masochistic asses away from internet porn, the NFL and fast food and realize that we, the mindless masses, could have all the power if only we could manage the collective IQ of a 9th grade dropout.

I read a decent amount of DC titles, although most of my pulls are IDW, lately. The titles that I like from DC (chiefly, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, All-Star western and Adventures of Superman) are being handled well. Trust me, I will drop them if I get wind of any kind of unwarranted roster shifts, but all the DC books I read are quite enjoyable, and remain being worthy of their cover price. As much as any comic is, anyway. I don’t get into the “politics” of the comic book industry, since I have no idea what actually goes on behind closed doors. If I enjoy it, I keep reading it, but I remain loyal to my favorite creative teams, and I’ll support them if I hear they’re being treated unfairly.

It’s hard to support DC after all the things their creators have vented about online. I still pull Animal Man and Batman and will until Lemire or Snyder leave, but I give most of my money to Image every month. What I love about Image is that creators are allowed to take risks and tell complete stories. Over the last few years, I’ve really become burnt out on superhero books in general since nothing ever really changes. Even mainstream books that I love that have taken bold directions (like Superior Spider-Man) I know are just biding their time before the status quo is reinstated to satiate all of the fanboys who never want anything different to happen. I’m much more interested in reading creator owned books like Mind MGMT or Sex Criminals that bring something different to the table than just “Superman beats the bad guy.”

I’m actually pulling more titles now then I have in a long time. I’ve seen a big improvement lately in the books I read. That is really all that matters to me. Keep cranking out the good books and I’ll keep buying them.

I highly recommend people do what I do, and drop DC for at least a year, then see what they have to say for themselves.

I’ve read Marvel the untold story, it’s really good by the way but the nineties section right down to Liefeld’s being a dick is DC NOW. Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Greg Capullo, Jim Lee, Liefeld (though no more) Deathstroke, Aquaman actually being cool again, It’s like they looked at when Marvel was HUGE and said we’ll follow THAT model, not realising it was actually a bit shit back then.

Marvel chopped and changed creators for the sake of ‘the next big thing’ all the time back then and they suffered for it, Marc Grunewald (rip) even died for it.

The New52 brought me back in to the comic store after about 5 years of not reading anything… I didn’t pick up any Marvel books, save Daredevil, which is sort of a special case, because his adventures don’t impact the broader Marvel U… and it is consistently a better book because of that (Fraction’s Hawkeye does the same, and that’s why I started reading that).

After about 6 months, the New52 bored me and I dropped everything… however, being back in the comic store got me reading THIEF OF THIEVES and SAGA from the beginning, the relaunch of Valiant (which is maybe B-/C+… the crossovers f*ck stuff, IMO) and some more than exciting Image books — LAZARUS? EAST OF WEST? THE ACTIVITY? These are the books that I look forward to every month with the same energy and excitement walking out of the comic store I once gave Flash, Batman, Spiderman and FF 20 years ago…

Marvel & DC are like network TV doing procedurals, and Image et al. are like the best of cable…. less viewers, but infinitely more impressive work.

Brevoort’s quote is just wishful thinking. Do those who continue to buy Hot Wheels from Mattel reap what they sow because the current brand of hot wheels are total crap compared to what they used to be? No. The generation that buys them grows up, moves on and the next generation moves in and continues to buy the same crappy toys. DC Comics is a brand sold to a particular demographic that will always buy the product. Sales might bump up a tad, might drop a bit, but the product endures. Boycotts don’t matter, whatever writer artist team that gets bumped off a book doesn’t matter any more than if the guy who casts the toy cars in Taiwan for Mattel getting fired. The DC kooks…er…fans can continue to whine and criticize and Monday morning quarterback and second guess decisions, but in the end, none of that matters. There are lots of artists/writers out there chomping at the bit to work at DC simply for the prestige of drawing or writing an issue of Batman or Superman or Wonder Woman(well, maybe not so much Wonder Woman, but you get the idea). Those people don’t care how DC treats it’s staff, they just want to make their bones and work on some of the most iconic characters in comic book history. So how is any of this a bad thing for DC again?

@ Greg M: I mean this ever so kindly, but…what the fuck are you talking about? Brevoort said the same thing you said. That DC’s sales haven’t dropped off, so for all the tumblrs and blogposts that get made, shared, and retweeted, in the end it doesn’t matter and DC’s going to do what they want.

Your Hot Wheels comparison would be apt, but it falls apart in that: comic fans are shown, time and again, to simply stick around, and never “grow up” or “grow out of” the fandom. You’ll find no small amount of fans who were there for Infinite Crisis that were also there for Zero Hour and Crisis on Infinite Earths. So yes, they ARE around to reap what they sow.

And to that end, while I was an ardent fan of DC AND a supporter of the New 52, a certain comic book finally broke me, and September’s Villains’ Month only drove the point home. There’s no animosity between me and DC, I’m just done as a fan of the company in general until the direction changes. I’ll still pick up a few comics off the basis of them being well done, but I’ve dropped down to a scant handful of titles (I still like Geoff Johns, so basically his work and one or two other books) and for the forseeable future, it will stay that way.

@SageShini – I admit to being curious as to what was the ‘certain comic book’ that finally broke you?

Actually, they do grow out of fandom. Or at least evolve into different kinds. Older fans over time gravitate more to collections, Marvel Masterworks, DC Archives, Artist Editions, etc. Their tastes do change. This entire comment thread proves it. Comment after comment shows people dropping DC titles from their pull list time and again. That doesn’t mean they’re leaving the hobby, just that they’re moving on to different companies such as Image or Dark Horse where they find more diversity. Leaving their Hot Wheels for something more sophisticated. Like Matchbox.

The wishful thinking was the false notion that fans reap what they sow. The rather hilarious and naïve notion that “you fans are gonna pay for buying this crap!!!”. If there are better comics to be had from other sources and all one has to do is walk away, then where exactly is the “reaping”? DC/Marvel product stays the same and people just go somewhere else while the big two just absorbs more new fans. Kids like Happy Meals but not so much when they get older. They still eat at McDonalds, they’re just eating Big Macs. No one is doing any reaping. So the comparisons are actually spot on. I know frustrated fans like yourself feel the need to get angry at something when their little comic book world doesn’t revolve the way they think it should. But there is no Karma in comics.

As long as Batman books are good, I’m sticking with DC.

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