DC Implosion II: DC Comics in 2020 and Beyond

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As a brief update for the uninitiated: AT&T acquired Time Warner in mid-2018 and promptly showed itself to be somewhere between cool and actively hostile to DC Comics as anything more than a bottomless IP well for use by DC Entertainment.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/robsalkowitz/2019/07/31/where-does-dc-fit-in-atts-vision-for-warnermedia/#7d38e6e379b7

AT&T proceeded to badly fuck up launching HBO Max and, as of this writing, is in the midst of goof-proof restructuring/re-siloing its ridiculously sprawling holdings - including Warner Brothers Studio, all the Turner networks (CNN, TCM, TNT, Cartoon Network) and HBO - into parcels of territory it thinks it can more ably control. The general industry take seems to be that AT&T is at a loss as to why they are in a dying pamphlet publishing industry and, as no one ever got around to figuring out how to properly monetize digital, they a)want out or b)are happy to deprioritize DC Comics indefinitely.
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/at-t-loses-streaming-pay-tv-subscribers-warnermedia-earnings-drop-1274002
https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/03/04/is-att-getting-ready-to-kill-dc-comics.aspx

In August of 2020, following the layoffs of thousands of people in their direct-to-consumer stores, AT&T fired hundreds of staff people at Warner Brothers and DC including much of the latter's senior staff and editorial.
https://www.comicsbeat.com/dc-layoffs-reportedly-a-bloodbath/
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/dcs-jim-lee-companys-future-we-are-still-business-publishing-comics-1307413

DC Comics is currently canceling somewhere between a third and half of its currently active books before the end of the year.
https://www.gamesradar.com/dc-cancels-teen-titans-young-justice-suicide-squad-hawkman-and-more/

COVID, of course, isn't helping and neither is the life-support system status of the direct market or DC's recent break with Diamond as exclusive distributors.
http://www.tcj.com/diamond-comics-to-end-weekly-comics-delivery-starting-april-1st-until-further-notice/
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/comic-stores-diamond-distributors-clash-as-industry-reopens-1301472
https://screenrant.com/dc-comics-break-with-diamond-a-major-success/

In the midst of all this tumult, DC launched a previously-to-the-layoffs-announced first-time virtual "Fandome" convention this past weekend. What exciting DC Comics info could you learn about at Fandome? Well there was an announcement for a new HBO Batman series, a new Captain Mar - er - SHAZAM movie, more info on The Rock's Black Adam movie, a trailer for yet another Batman movie reboot, the cast for the new Suicide Squad movie, a preview for a Flash movie, news about another new Batman video game (based on a specific comic book run, does that count?), a trailer for the "Snyder Cut" of the three year old Justice League movie, some promise that Sandman on Netflix is still in production... and then waaaaaaaaaaaaay down at the bottom, two very vague bits of information about actual comics at this comic convention: screenwriter John Ridley announcing he's writing a four-issue series about Batman in 2021 that MIGHT have a Black protagonist ("it's probably a little better than a 47% chance," wake the kids and tell them racism is over!) and a planned reboot of the predominantly Black written/drawn/cast Milestone imprint in 2021... on Black History Month... with two one-shot books... in digital format. Maybe put the kids back to bed?
https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/22/21397238/fandome-dc-zack-snyder-justice-league-batman-robert-pattinson-black-adam-gotham-knights

All in all, a company and a publishing legacy that seems ripe for shuttering or sale. It's a fucking shame considering that the company has been publishing something more than a handful of very good books as recently as the past twelve months: a wacky meta-Jimmy Olsen book by Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber, Grant Morrison's space-procedural take on Green Lantern, an excellent reboot of Hellblazer by Simon Spurrier, NK Jemisin's stellar Green Lantern Corp spin-off Far Sector, Mark Russell's admirably kooky and cohesively-structured take on the Wonder Twins, Gene Luen Yang's better-in-concept-than-execution but still completely laudable Superman Smashes the Klan, Greg Rucka and Mike Perkin's loopy Ms Tree-influenced Lois Lane miniseries... heck, if you're of the right mindset, the Bendisverse and Tom King's multiple books have been worth keeping up with too! But it's hard to imagine any extended new work of merit blossoming in 2021 from either established or new creators when your grand vision exists only on a month-to-month basis.

Here's a thread to discuss the corporate and creative future of DC Comics and why/if we should care.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 24 August 2020 14:21 (eight months ago) link

Thread title reference btw: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DC_Implosion

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 24 August 2020 14:26 (eight months ago) link

I literally just yesterday finished reading this:

https://twomorrows.com/images/large/books/Implosion_LRG.jpg

Recommended. Good reminder that DC has been punching itself in the face/been punched in the face by its corporate overlords for decades.

the secret of sucess is to know all rules ...and brake them (Old Lunch), Monday, 24 August 2020 14:33 (eight months ago) link

Also worth noting that the original programming on the DC Universe streaming service (which kicked off less than two years ago) are being moved over to HBO Max, in a move that all but guarantees that the service itself will be shuttered in the near future.

the secret of sucess is to know all rules ...and brake them (Old Lunch), Monday, 24 August 2020 14:41 (eight months ago) link

I think they've already talked about moving the comics to a service like Marvel Unlimited.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 24 August 2020 14:53 (eight months ago) link

Great recap, ulysses! Thanks for pointing all those great books that DC actually did publish this past year, too. Love Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane was really solid, sort of a throwback to Gotham Central. Plan to read the rest of those, too; been collecting Far Sector for a good sit.

One I would add to the "great if it's your kind of thing" is the Tom Taylor DCeased books. Yeah, I know, it's like, Marvel Zombies did this already, but I love Taylor's fun pulp since his epic Injustice run (also see his current Suicide Squad series which hopefully isn't cancelled already).

Picking up a bit on the Bendis talk earlier, I must give praise to Batman: Universe, fun tale with great art by Nick Derington. Part of a character swap he did with Tom King (doing Superman: Up in the Sky, not quite so good but interesting) for what was originally a Walmart-exclusive book.

Re: Marvel Unlimited - It's already been built, more or less, for DC Universe streaming, wasn't it? I didn't have any experience with it though, and it seemed under-advertised.

Nhex, Monday, 24 August 2020 15:21 (eight months ago) link

Yeah. It's just that with the shows all moving to HBO Max they'll rebrand it as a standalone thing

EZ Snappin, Monday, 24 August 2020 15:25 (eight months ago) link

I agree that the DCeased stuff is compulsive, pulpy stuff, good toilet reading for sure and it absolutely beats the FOR TEENZ ONLY silliness of the Heavy Metal books.

Batman: Universe WAS good and you're totally correct that Deringer's art is the strongest component there. He hits a sweet spot between Jim Aparo and Darwyn Cooke that really works for me.

I subscribed to Marvel Unlimited for a few years until I got frustrated with the many many technical issues and library restrictions and slow load times. I would honestly pay three times what MU is charging if they would only make the functionality anywhere near the same as torrenting! Can anyone speak to how well the DCU streaming comic platform works? A quick glance suggests the library is anything but comprehensive.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 24 August 2020 15:42 (eight months ago) link

for reference: https://www.dcuniverse.com/browse/comics

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 24 August 2020 15:43 (eight months ago) link

I know it doesn't speak well to my moral character but this is all popcorn.gif to me based on personal history

and i can almost smell your PG Tips (Jon not Jon), Monday, 24 August 2020 16:40 (eight months ago) link

Great summation btw

and i can almost smell your PG Tips (Jon not Jon), Monday, 24 August 2020 16:40 (eight months ago) link

FWIW, I imagine someone at Disney is probably arguing that they should drastically overpay for the whole shbang with deferred inheritance of the properties for television/movies? Maybe four times what they paid for Star Wars would get AT&T's attention?

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 24 August 2020 16:46 (eight months ago) link

sure do wish i could find ZS's Bat-Sicnal.jpeg

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 24 August 2020 23:18 (eight months ago) link

I gambled on the stupid fucking Three Jokers premium variants and it's annoying that it seems to be an actual hit. At least we won't lose money but this will encourage them.

DC solicits point to them juicing their numbers with incentive variants heavily over the next few months - since Rebirth they'd barely done any but there are 1:25 and 1:100 everywhere. Positively Marvel-esque.

Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 00:47 (eight months ago) link

Actually as much as I hate DC right now, they're still much less embarrassing than Marvel on the variant front

Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 00:48 (eight months ago) link

if it's a hit, why is that annoying? (and yeah, every single damn DC title has variants now)

Nhex, Wednesday, 26 August 2020 00:51 (eight months ago) link

The variant shit is legit annoying. Catering to the pogs crowd imo.

the secret of sucess is to know all rules ...and brake them (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 01:56 (eight months ago) link

xp - I don't like them being rewarded for pushing retailers hard into ordering 450 covers of 9 "premium variants" that sell for cover. It's bad for shops and the industry in the long run.

Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 02:01 (eight months ago) link

also tbh I may be jumping the gun in calling it a hit, we'll see what happens with the last set of five covers in three months.

Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 02:01 (eight months ago) link

Based on presold bundles etc. we will at least not lose money so I can't be mad mad I just don't like it

Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 02:02 (eight months ago) link

ah, ok. i didn't understand that the pre-order minimums were so high for those

Nhex, Wednesday, 26 August 2020 03:00 (eight months ago) link

Yep, 50 per premium variant x 9 covers, plus the A & B - which were a PITA to order because of the commitment to 150 premiums.

Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 05:50 (eight months ago) link

A brief on the past ten years of abuse of power in comics that is about 45% DC focused
http://www.tcj.com/the-2020-report-day-seven-finale/

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 14:08 (eight months ago) link

Wish that could've been stuck to being an informative piece without so much tortured prose and opinion... but yeah, it's good to know

Nhex, Wednesday, 26 August 2020 18:09 (eight months ago) link

TCJ house style

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 18:10 (eight months ago) link

TCJ house style being pretty much the entire reason I eventually stopped buying TCJ but I digress.

the secret of sucess is to know all rules ...and brake them (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 18:33 (eight months ago) link

I wish Abhay had toned down his tumblr's house style about 70% for the series, but I don't think anyone else has ever written for the Journal in its 44-year-history like him (and iirc his only previous credit was the 2015 Spectacufuck, although his drop-ins on Tucker's blog posts were always entertaining) - certainly not in reportage / feature writing, and I'd class this more alongside Groth's '80s op-eds than the factual, asking-questions-on-the-phone news reporting that used to be a hallmark of the periodical version.

Also, all variant covers are an evil in the marketplace, although to a lesser degree on Love & Rockets or Henry & Glenn Forever or Bone.

erratic wolf angular guitarist (sic), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 18:45 (eight months ago) link

my suggestion there was that TCJ house style is "tortured prose and opinion."

i will always cherish my glenn ganges chromefoil variant

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 18:55 (eight months ago) link

TBF, my POV on TCJ is based on when I was still subscribing like...what, almost twenty years ago now? Fffffuuuuuuck, I'm old... But yes, interviews/main features were almost always solid.

the secret of sucess is to know all rules ...and brake them (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 19:06 (eight months ago) link

I still think that clarity of prose was a hallmark of TCJ golden age writers (aside from Ken Smith, whose column was solidly ignored by anyone except Groth - iirc the oral history has at least one editor say they didn't even bother to read it when laying out an issue?). Opinions are what you buy a magazine of criticism, columns, editorials and interviews for, but despite clearly ~knowing some words~, the greatest strength of writers like Fiore and Thompson and Macdonald and Spurgeon was an ability to be clear, personable and funny while conveying their opinions.



too scared to search "glenn ganges chromefoil variant"

erratic wolf angular guitarist (sic), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 19:13 (eight months ago) link

like...what, almost twenty years ago

*searches to see when Ann3 El!zabeth M00re's brief tenure as editor was*

looks like mid-2001 to early 2002

erratic wolf angular guitarist (sic), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 19:21 (eight months ago) link

Yeah, that would've been almost exactly the time I let my sub lapse iirc.

the secret of sucess is to know all rules ...and brake them (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 20:05 (eight months ago) link

ganges chromefoil was just sicbait, don't fear the variant

current TCJ online writing is kinda all over the place in terms of writing quality; this bizarre hitpiece on Urasawa is the latest headscratcher
http://www.tcj.com/reviews/mujirushi-the-sign-of-dreams/

That said, they're one of the few places I still read regularly for comic info and the weekly link wrap up is very necessary.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 20:11 (eight months ago) link

Got a couple of paragraphs in... *sigh* ok, yeah. This is why I am not a fan of TCJ in general. No thanks.

Nhex, Wednesday, 26 August 2020 20:24 (eight months ago) link

They're still posting good stuff!
Try this: http://www.tcj.com/bd-is-my-beat-a-long-hard-squint-at-manchette-and-tardi/

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 20:26 (eight months ago) link

As a DC enthuiasiast, Nhex might enjoy Tom Kaczynski's or Tegan O'Neill's recent essay series on their universes more than a single link to something deliberately pointed to as being bad and incomprehensible

erratic wolf angular guitarist (sic), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 20:42 (eight months ago) link

well i wasn't trying to win him over with the Urasawa link!
I found that Crisis piece pretty overwrought tbh.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 20:44 (eight months ago) link

I know, just an observation!

Maybe a bit overwrought but it's enjoying the playful wallow in nerdy nostalgia, and the building thesis about The Event is both fun and meta. Each mention is like another appearance by The Monitor and Lyla!

Tegan's recent-years comics writing has often been too ~personal essay~ for me to fully enjoy the commentary, but re-evaluating the Morrison/Case Doom Patrol in a post-transition perspective is obviously a rich and relevant vein

erratic wolf angular guitarist (sic), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 20:58 (eight months ago) link

This Tegan one on Stan Lee was good: http://www.tcj.com/what-he-taught-me/

erratic wolf angular guitarist (sic), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 21:04 (eight months ago) link

I liked their Doom Patrol piece too.
http://www.tcj.com/the-wreckage-part-one/

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 21:09 (eight months ago) link

*searches to see when Ann3 El!zabeth M00re's brief tenure as editor was*

looks like mid-2001 to early 2002

That was the worst incarnation of the print TCJ, wasn't it? The number of columns and reviews dwindled significantly and M00re seemed determined to turn it into her own personal zine (there were two Ghost World fumettis starring her which served no purpose).

the greatest strength of writers like Fiore and Thompson and Macdonald and Spurgeon was an ability to be clear, personable and funny while conveying their opinions.

I wish Fiore still wrote for TCJ instead of just hanging out on the Greil Marcus site.

And what happened to classic.tcj.com? It disappeared without a trace. They have always been half assed with preserving their online legacy.

gjoon1, Wednesday, 26 August 2020 23:13 (eight months ago) link

Oy, that Urasawa piece is overlong, overwrought and a pretty terrible reading t'boot

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 27 August 2020 14:44 (eight months ago) link

The fumetti would have been great if they were funny or representative of any greater push to bring weird and playful material back to the magazine. As it was they just made her look disconnected from the aims of the publication and its other contributors.

Kinda delighted to hear that Fiore has an old-man message baord to hang out on!

Yeah, there's never been the institutional will or funding to have a coherent online strategy - dates and times have disappeared off the comments on the current (a decade or so?) version, and Tucker is aggressive about not wanting to repair them. Even when people try and point out it damages the historical record, makes it impossible to track conversations in eg. the long thread where Dave Sim makes Kim pitch him on the reprint rights for Cerebus. Still, that's a step up from the days when they had to periodically delete every single post on the message board bcz they had such a small hosting plan that it took up room needed to add new books to the shop.

erratic wolf angular guitarist (sic), Thursday, 27 August 2020 21:37 (eight months ago) link

Didn't know these guys started up their podcast again.
https://www.factualopinion.com/the_factual_opinion/graphic_novel/
McCulloch is my favorite guy who isn't Gary Groth.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 27 August 2020 23:20 (eight months ago) link

lol at the DC comics thread turning into a Comics Journal thread

Robert, yeah, both that and Travis Bickle On The Riviera are weekly now, presumably due to lockdown

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 28 August 2020 09:31 (eight months ago) link

Interesting that there's been a bunch of reports on Geoff Johns as an abusive boss - well, Ray Fisher's and Abhay's anyway. I wonder if they've been timed to drop now for a specific reason.

In other news, who would've seen it coming that a comics dude with a penchant for writing about limb disfigurement and for remaking every IP in DC Comics history in his own image (even Alan Moore's!) could've been an abusive, narcissistic person to work for

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 28 August 2020 14:12 (eight months ago) link

An engaging essay from the proprietors of an Edmonton comic shop about how DC's withdrawing from Diamond has been a stressful net positive for them: https://www.comicsbeat.com/the-coronavirus-journal-dc-comics-distribution-change-aftermath/

erratic wolf angular guitarist (sic), Friday, 28 August 2020 22:21 (eight months ago) link

As it stands, every single graphic novel product I can get through other vendors comes into the store faster that Diamond can turn around, in better condition, and at a better price point.

I can only conclude that his was a small store on a lower discount tier or this is a Canadian issue. (This is the case with a ton of people's attitudes - the retail side of the comic industry is about a half dozen different kinds of specialty retail. Some shops survive entirely on back issues, some are in college/artsy areas and can basically be curated book stores catering to a GN crowd, some are 50/50 comics/games)(currently I'm at 33% games/single issue comics/GNs and I don't do back issues as they're usually done).

Penguin Random House offers free shipping for a $150 minimum order but their discount is 7% lower than my Diamond tier was or my DC initial order tier is (I can't restock GNs from my comic distributor, one of the A+ things about this new arrangement) - shipping does not make up that 7% difference. Their ordering system is also hot fuckin' garbage, from week to week it hasn't worked on one browser or another because of back end issues with security certificates or something. One week I had to find an old version of Internet Explorer to install on an old laptop to place my order.)

Hachette (Marvel, etc.) is even worse - 16% lower until one threshold then 6%.

I find his argument regarding Diamond's shutdown a bit squirrelly - retailers were begging for publishers and Diamond to stop shipping, because they weren't open. Books that you can't sell but have to pay for - I don't think that math works very well. (If you could even get them - my drop point was closed for a month.)

Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Saturday, 29 August 2020 00:54 (eight months ago) link

Yeah, "for them" is key there, and the amount of changes they had to do to get to being happier now is significant.

Already having in-city delivery set up was a fascinating wrinkle.

erratic wolf angular guitarist (sic), Saturday, 29 August 2020 01:07 (eight months ago) link

Very strange article to read. Probably the only one I've read praising DC for their actions. I mean, it's clear they're pushing to get DC to have their own Canadian distributor, and stop shipping issues from Canada to the US back to Canada, quite openly.

As milo just quoted, and as someone who has struggled to reliably order GNs from my locals, this rung with me:

As it stands, every single graphic novel product I can get through other vendors comes into the store faster that Diamond can turn around, in better condition, and at a better price point. This was even the case pre-COVID. They became, through their own complacency, the worst place to order graphic novels from, and they are in no condition to make that pivot today.

Nhex, Saturday, 29 August 2020 03:09 (eight months ago) link

Kyle MacLachlan (dad from Inside Out) actually has voiced Superman, so I guess it all ties together?

Four Jacks and a Jill (morrisp), Wednesday, 30 December 2020 21:20 (four months ago) link

A somewhat younger MacLachlan would have perfect as a (live action) Superman / Clark Kent, btw

Four Jacks and a Jill (morrisp), Wednesday, 30 December 2020 21:22 (four months ago) link

<3

Four Jacks and a Jill (morrisp), Wednesday, 30 December 2020 22:20 (four months ago) link

Anyone here read the “Wonder Woman: Dead Earth” miniseries? Sounds interesting.

Four Jacks and a Jill (morrisp), Thursday, 31 December 2020 01:35 (four months ago) link

it's good.

EZ Snappin, Thursday, 31 December 2020 15:56 (four months ago) link

one month passes...

Guys.

They're changing Black Adam's name to

(hang on)

(wait for it, it's worth it)

SHAZADAM

Vladislav Bibidonurtmi (Old Lunch), Friday, 5 February 2021 12:44 (three months ago) link

Gesundheit!

Andrew Farrell, Friday, 5 February 2021 12:47 (three months ago) link

His mother's name will be changed to Shazmartha.

shivers me timber (sic), Friday, 5 February 2021 19:18 (three months ago) link

Okay, u just about made me choke on my lunch there

Vladislav Bibidonurtmi (Old Lunch), Friday, 5 February 2021 19:25 (three months ago) link

Holy shit

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Saturday, 6 February 2021 09:32 (three months ago) link

(Also don't know why it didn't occur to me before but: Shazadam and Boogaloo Shrimp)

The Mandolinrainian (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 12:56 (three months ago) link

that sounds disastrous

Nhex, Tuesday, 16 February 2021 14:45 (three months ago) link

t/s: dc is run by a bunch of clueless rich assholes on a salary vs dc is run by a bunch of clueless rich assholes who also own the company

you are like a scampicane, there's calm in your fries (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 15:08 (three months ago) link

https://bleedingcool.com/comics/other-people-who-have-heard-about-the-big-dc-buyout-pitch/

So weird to think that there's a pool of high roller comic nerd venture capitalists floating around out there. Like they clearly have accrued their wealth from some entirely different, non-comics thing but for some reason comics are the toilet they're eager to flush their money down (to which I say: welcome to the club).

The Mandolinrainian (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 16:31 (three months ago) link

gotta burn them $GME profits!

Nhex, Tuesday, 16 February 2021 16:38 (three months ago) link

Bleeding Cool understands that it was former DC President Diane Nelson's decision to move DC Comics from relatively expensive offices in Manhattan to insanely expensive offices in Burbank that was the biggest factor in the decision.

I have been assuming this was likely a major factor, lol / nice to have it semi-confirmed

shivers me timber (sic), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 20:50 (three months ago) link

Why are the offices in Burbank more expensive? (It's not mentioned or explained in the link.)

Some quick Googling suggests that midtown Manhattan is #2 in the country, while Burbank is much, much cheaper -- on average, of course.

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 21:52 (three months ago) link

DC moved from 666 5th (now owned by Jared Kushner, and a major liability that he's tried to leverage through various of his governmental roles through the last four years) to across the road from Letterman around... 1993? '95?

When Levitz left all the way back in 2009 and Diane Nelson took over, moving the offices to the West Coast was once again considered—and a whole west coast office that was staff-ready was already built— but Levitz, or someone, had signed such a long lease on the offices that to break it would literally have cost more than the move.

Dc Entertainment staff began using that Warners-built office in 2010; in 2011 they signed a https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/dc-entertainment-readies-move-new-2051786 million lease even closer to Warner, but it took a few years to purpose-build another space in the floor they leased in that tower. In 2013, DC Entertainment and relocated DC Comics staff moved in; in 2015 DC Comics as a whole was moved to the west coast.

MAD was a major canary in the coalmine of my thinking, too.

shivers me timber (sic), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 22:29 (three months ago) link

NB that Nelson told the Wall Street Journal in 2013 that the awkwardness of judging the office Halloween costume contest via video conferencing is what convinced her to require the entire New York staff to move a few buildings away from her, or to pay out their redundancies.

shivers me timber (sic), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 22:32 (three months ago) link

Haha

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 23:04 (three months ago) link

that linking glitch should say "$16 million lease" btw

shivers me timber (sic), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 23:18 (three months ago) link

Well, Nelson's sure sounds like an opinion one should throw millions of dollars at.

Can we say for certain that DC/WB/AT&T isn't some Producers-esque scam whose architects desperately want it to fail? Because Occam's Razor suggests...

The Mandolinrainian (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 23:34 (three months ago) link

AT&T seem all-in on WB; they've been aggressively remaking the studio (to the dismay of longtime staffers). I don't know how they feel about the publishing business, though.

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 23:40 (three months ago) link

they are actively shopping the publishing business to dipshit nerd venture capitalists; estimates are $300 million to half a billion for print rights in perpetuity, no underlying IP.

shivers me timber (sic), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 23:56 (three months ago) link

these podcasts have been surprisingly successful for Marvel, so I guess why not

Nhex, Tuesday, 23 February 2021 18:33 (two months ago) link

Not 2020, but I've been reading John Ostrander's Legends miniseries from' 86, post-Crisis. Setup to launch new series, particular his run on Suicide Squad which I'm also reading. While that one's good, this series has got a lot of painful Len Wein dialogue. Vibe is part of the JLA and required to say "amigo" every other line. Also, I didn't realize just how early DC was doing the "public turns against the superheroes!" bit, as this feature Darkseid as the main villain utilizing G. Gordon Godfrey as propagandist. Boy, they went back to that well a lot in the past decade, didn't they?

Nhex, Saturday, 6 March 2021 19:41 (two months ago) link

tbf that schtick is a old as the birth of marvel

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Saturday, 6 March 2021 22:30 (two months ago) link

Sure, but it's something of a dividing line between them, I'd have thought?

Andrew Farrell, Saturday, 6 March 2021 23:13 (two months ago) link

sure. DC was doing wacky superheroes well into the 80s before they caught the grim and gritty bug.

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Saturday, 6 March 2021 23:15 (two months ago) link

his name was Ambush Bug, iirc

stuck in the version layer (morrisp), Saturday, 6 March 2021 23:17 (two months ago) link

POP!

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Saturday, 6 March 2021 23:22 (two months ago) link

were early Avengers storylines like that or something? i haven't read the early Marvel stuff in-depth... though Spider-Man of course always had people hating him as a major plot element, it didn't have this particular feeling or nostalgia behind it

Nhex, Sunday, 7 March 2021 04:39 (two months ago) link

X-Men were always hated and feared
Avengers and FF definitely had early storylines about them being good or bad
same, as you say, for Spider-Man
Captain America is the only earthly hero who get off without suspicion in the early MU iirc

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Sunday, 7 March 2021 04:41 (two months ago) link

oh, duh, X-Men. that's the most outstanding example for sure. but i guess, in my mind, since they and Spider-Man were hated from the beginning as outcasts/freaks/racial allegories it felt "baked in"?

in Legends, there's a scene where a brainwashed mob of "everyday" citizens beats the life out of Jason Todd and puts him in the hospital, I was surprised to see it

Nhex, Sunday, 7 March 2021 05:23 (two months ago) link

caught him stealing their rims

armoured van, Holden (sic), Sunday, 7 March 2021 09:10 (two months ago) link

two weeks pass...

DC officially done waiting for the floppy to die on its own, hastens its demise by raising cover price to six fucking dollars (for 40 pages): https://bleedingcool.com/comics/dc-increases-price-of-batman-monthly-comic-and-others-to-6-each/

Clem McFlannery's Clam Phlegm Cannery (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 23 March 2021 15:01 (one month ago) link

This is even funnier considering that for the last six months, almost every DC book I've bought doesn't even scan for sale properly, due to all the distribution shenanigans that happened in 2020

Nhex, Tuesday, 23 March 2021 16:01 (one month ago) link

Also I bet those $5.99 books will still be crawling with ads. Let's pay for more Snickers advertainment!

Nhex, Tuesday, 23 March 2021 16:06 (one month ago) link

Yeah, I thought the least concession they could make was to slap 'No Ads!' on the cover but I'm sure there's little chance of that.

Like god knows I do more than my fair share to keep the floppy market afloat, but if Marvel winds up going down this road, I might honestly throw in the towel. I'd like to think Disney isn't that stupid but maybe they're equally eager to kill off our beloved pamphlets and this is just the direction the entire market will go.

Clem McFlannery's Clam Phlegm Cannery (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 23 March 2021 16:08 (one month ago) link

you've got to be kidding me

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 23 March 2021 16:23 (one month ago) link

And with the Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #1-6 priced at $4.99

jesus is this what i think it is?

BTW, the right way to do this would be to note that each issue has a "limited run" and then sell them as the collectibles they need them to be for that price point but they don't seem to give a shit

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 23 March 2021 16:25 (one month ago) link

I guess it just applies to a handful of titles at the moment but it's a tremendously shitty precedent. Hopefully one that will blow up in their faces before it really takes root.

Clem McFlannery's Clam Phlegm Cannery (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 23 March 2021 16:27 (one month ago) link

i presume they're curious to see how much if at all pricing impacts the floppy audience. They might not be wrong in assuming that anyone who already submits to the indignity of buying these pamphlets will buy three floppies for $18 instead of six for the same and bitch about it but put up with it.

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 23 March 2021 16:30 (one month ago) link

Probably the latter, guilty as charged. (So much indignity, lol)
Especially those Black Label books which sometimes use cardstock covers and bump up the price to $5 already.
Hell, even TMNT: The Last Ronin (which wasn't bad, as a corny and fun deliberate throwback story) was printed in a semi-prestige oversized format at $7.99 per issue, which largely inspired me not to continue. This week I saw Batman: Urban Legends - a new anthology series which I would have tried at normal price - selling at $7.99 as well, and said no. In fairness, at least that book was 64 pages, but still... that's almost the price of a 200pg manga black and white volume.

Nhex, Tuesday, 23 March 2021 17:24 (one month ago) link

With Rebirth their schtick was $2.99 comics - that was ultimately a failure so I guess they're going to aim higher.

Joe Bombin (milo z), Thursday, 25 March 2021 17:33 (one month ago) link


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