It’s another light-ish week in the world of comic news, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t have plenty to say in my weekly round-up column! Let’s look at a kind of shockingly DC heavy edition of Comics Disassembled, by dive into ten things I liked or didn’t like from the past week in comics, led by the two guys at the top-ish for DC chatting it up.
1. DC’s Leaders, Sharing Thoughts
I always find Milton Griepp’s intermittent check-ins with Dan DiDio and Jim Lee at DC on ICv2 to be very interesting reads, and as per usual, the one that dropped Wednesday was just that. It’s a two parter, and both parts have a lot to chew one, particularly the first one.
What do they cover? The big things for me are Lee and DiDio sharing their perspectives on the current marketplace, with DiDio railing on “the overreliance on nostalgia, speculator marketing, variant covers, and a lot of things that seem to be driving numbers in sales to give the appearance of a healthy industry.” It’s a good take, and a truthful one, as these are real problems. It’s hard to address the health of an industry that’s fundamentally built on not quite false numbers, but certainly inflated, unsustainable ones. Lee is generally the more positive one of the two, but even he has his pain point, as he notes how frustratingly flat digital has been for them outside of the DC Universe subscription service. This isn’t too surprising, as that’s an industry wide trend for direct purchase digital.
But it is surprising in the sense that it really doesn’t seem like that should be the way it is. Why is digital flat? People hypothesize it’s because of price, and from what I understand, the best selling digital anything for DC has been Injustice, the 99 cent digital series. But I’m not sure that’s what is holding them back. I’d love to see a bit more experimentation on that side of the business, as DC has been keen on trying new things. There’s opportunity there, and if Lee’s frustrated, let’s find some answers, my guy.
On the positive side of things, it sounds like the artists formerly known as Ink and Zoom – speaking of, the reorg is addressed within – are doing well, with Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo’s Raven being the first giganto hit. Paired with a strong single issue market that has rewarded them for the reduction of their line, and it sounds like DC is doing fairly well outside of a troubled market and a flat digital. Oh, and it sounds like the whole Walmart Giants deal will expand further beyond just Walmart and comic shops. It’s a TBD on where that means, but that’s an exciting development, and I’m glad to see that idea expand. It’s a winner, especially now that they’ve seemingly appeased comic shops by promising to deliver the same product to them.
Give those pieces a read. Solid stuff from Griepp, as per usual. But hey, Jim, Dan, if you want to really get into the thick of things, you have my number. Or you can if you want it. Let’s talk!
2. Marie Javins, Moving Up
Hey! Congrats to Marie Javins, one of the most well-liked people in comics, as she was promoted to become DC’s Executive Editor of New Publishing Initiatives, which is yet another title at the publisher that sounds like it was put through a randomizer to create. What does that mean, exactly? Who knows! The linked to article suggests it will include a greater focus on making waves internationally, and that makes sense. But given how Javins has helped foster some exciting comics and find creators outside DC’s usual wheelhouse in someone like Mark Russell (whom she pitched on Prez, which is how he got there), I hope Javins is still given the opportunity to be a tastemaker, because she’s clearly got it, whatever it might actually be.
But seriously though, congrats to Javins. I have literally never heard a bad word about her, so I’m happy to hear about this. And if you have heard a bad word about her, don’t share it with me! I would prefer to live in my current fiction, please and thank you.