DC Backs Off From WTF Month

In what may be a case of calmer heads prevailing, word is leaking out of the ComicsPro members meeting that DC is taking a step back from their “WTF Certified” promotion.wtf-month

As you may recall, DC’s April promotion, announced a bit after solicitations came out, was to have foldout covers for all their titles.  When you fold out the cover, the completed image is intended to shock the reader… presumably making them say “What The F***?!?”  They even went so far as to circulate a WTF Certified logo for it.

Newsarama is reporting that said logo will not be on the actual covers of the April titles, though the covers will still fold out. DC co-publisher Dan DiDio allegedly spun the decision this way:

According again to a retailer in attendance, co-publisher Dan DiDio said that the “WTF” branding would not be used “because we don’t need it.” The retailer tells Newsarama that DiDio went on to say that the books have attracted attention from the marketplace already, and that retailers and readers are now aware of the significance of the gatefold covers.

So either somebody talked DC out of the logo or the logo was a publicity stunt designed to attract outrage and gain attention.  I’m not sure the significance can be judged until the covers are seen, but I’m sure store owners in more conservative areas and store owners with healthy amounts of children (more specifically children whose parents are with them when they look at the racks) are relieved they aren’t going to have to explain Why TF Superman and Batman have “WTF” on the cover.

Comments

  1. Rob J. says:

    Besides, stamping WTF on the covers is redundant. We’ve been wondering what TF DC thinks it’s doing since this era of ill-conceived, ineptly executed, craptacularly awful, instafail reboots started 19 months ago.

  2. “Dan DiDio said that the “WTF” branding would not be used “because we don’t need it.””

    That’s true enough, since it merely reflects on the internal brain hemorrhaging still plaguing DC’s upper ‘brain trust’.

  3. Jesse says:

    Cough ***Bull$hit***

  4. Al™ says:

    Well, good to see that someone with common sense made the call to kill this silly idea. Imagine, launching that WTF campaign a month before Free Comic Book Day.
    Just leave the initials off. There’s nothing wrong with the rest of the concept.

  5. Comics tradition (and general audiences) would be served by calling it, “What th–?” month.

  6. Sphinx Magoo says:

    I was kinda wondering how this would have played out in Barnes and Noble and my local supermarket…

  7. horatio weisfeld says:

    but I’m sure store owners in more conservative areas and store owners with healthy amounts of children (more specifically children whose parents are with them when they look at the racks) are relieved they aren’t going to have to explain Why TF Superman and Batman have “WTF” on the cover.
    >>
    @Todd Allen:
    In an era where I live down the street from a chicken joint called PLUCK YOU … I wouldn’t think too many would actually loose sleep over explaining WTF.

  8. Torsten Adair says:

    So how soon before someone makes a t-shirt with that logo and “DC?”below it? Or distributes signs for people to hold in panels as a silent protest? Or maybe fans can cough it in DC panels whenever their BS detectors go off.

    Headline: DC BS’s WTF SNAFU

  9. Todd Allen says:

    Death Wings at PLUCK YOU. Totally down with that. But that’s also not going to be a neighborhood where they have the cops snooping around to see if naughty stuff is being sold to kids, and that does happen.

  10. My initial reaction to “WTF” was “GTFU”, and my response to their backpedaling explanation that it stood for “What The Fifty-two” was “This is 52ing ridiculous”.

    Whatever they need to say to justify it, dropping that branding is a sensible move.

  11. I’m disappointed by DC’s gutless bowing to pressure. I’m boycotting them until I get my WTF.

  12. Nick Jones says:

    So it isn’t that DC realized stamping “WTF” on their books was a horrible idea, they actually believe it was a good idea but they’re going to sell enough books without it that they’ll deliberately eschew the extra attention it would bring.

    The seer depth of incompetence astounds me. At least they came to the right end result, even if it was for the wrong reason.

  13. horatio Weisfeld says:

    Death Wings at PLUCK YOU. Totally down with that. But that’s also not going to be a neighborhood where they have the cops snooping around to see if naughty stuff is being sold to kids, and that does happen.
    >>
    @Todd Allen
    My ma’s from Selma .. it’s true that I wouldn’t wanna open the first PLUCK YOU down there.

  14. Well, good to see that someone with common sense made the call to kill this silly idea. Imagine, launching that WTF campaign a month before Free Comic Book Day.

  15. “I’m disappointed by DC’s gutless bowing to pressure. I’m boycotting them until I get my WTF.”

    Most folks already get this reaction out of any current issue. DC simply doesn’t need to boast about it.

  16. erskine, I posted the comment you are ridiculing:
    “this is the best though:
    “launching that WTF campaign a month before Free Comic Book Day” “.

    I’ll explain my remark, then you can explain yours.
    To me, FCBD is the day I see photos of families showing up at local comic book stores to pick up family friendly sampler comics. There is cake, face painting and balloons for the kids. Oh, maybe they will buy the latest ‘real’ comic too. Why would a parent want their kid to read a comic with an offensive acronym on the cover?

    There’s nothing hypocritical about my remark. I’m not calling for more comics where peoples’ arms get ripped out. Where did you get that idea?

    Okay, here’s where you explain why you are calling me a hypocrite:

  17. Scratchie says:

    I’ll be boycotting all DCU titles until they produce superhero comics that don’t suck.

  18. SniktSnakt says:

    Wow, DC will do anything for attention these days, won’t they?!? Just stupid decisions after stupid decisions…

  19. Leadership, how does that work?

  20. Synsidar says:

    Perhaps Harras, Chase, and others were thinking of Jemas and the stunt months at Marvel, such as ‘Nuff Said.

    I wouldn’t have thought of doing WTF Month, but then I’m not in the business of promoting properties. If I were, I’d be in toys. Whenever people at Marvel and DC Editorial talk about their characters, they’re actually talking about their properties. That’s an important distinction, because properties are corporate assets that can be assigned valuations. Characters are just, well, characters. A property can go on forever, until the market for it disappears. A character is an abstraction.

    At DC, there are the Superman and Batman properties, and all the others. I don’t have any ideas for promoting the “other” properties that others haven’t tried; there might not be any, at this point, that would work.

    I doubt that you’d ever hear a writer take the “toys in the toy box” approach to a character of his, because he’d be damning his own creative abilities. If, for a story to work dramatically, a character has to die, then he dies. What creator is going to say that he can’t create another one that’s just as good? It’s equivalent to saying he can’t write another story that will be as good as the last one.

    SRS

  21. horato weisfeld says:

    Marvel and DC Editorial talk about their characters, they’re actually talking about their properties. That’s an important distinction, because properties are corporate assets that can be assigned valuations.
    >>
    @Synsidar:
    That raises the (depressing) argument that (overall) the modern comic books industry may have very little do with the sales of comic books – and that anyone entering the “comic book business,” and looking for any degree of financial security, should realistically look to be either a corporate pion or licensing agent (perhaps for their own carefully calculated creations) — but not a “comic book artist”.

  22. Keyser says:

    I’ve been saying What The Fuck since they started the New 52, so why bother to put it on the cover at this late date…

    DC in freefall…

  23. So glad that DC has ended this trend of vulgar exploitation!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. MBunge says:

    “What creator is going to say that he can’t create another one that’s just as good? It’s equivalent to saying he can’t write another story that will be as good as the last one.”

    I don’t think Andromeda was as good as Star Trek.
    I don’t think either Firefly or Doll House were as good as Buffy.
    I don’t think anyone believes Ravage 2099 was as good as anything Stan did for Marvel in the 60s.
    I suspect David Chase will never do anything as good as The Sopranos.
    Norman Lear produced some remarkable television shows in the 1970s and couldn’t come close to that standard when he tried again in the 1990s.

    People don’t just create a Batman or an All in the Family every day. In the last 20 years, how many books has Stephen King written that you’d put on the same level as his classic works?

    The realities of creating for a living don’t conform that neatly with the ideology of some fans.

    Mike

  25. Synsidar says:

    There are a couple of issues, at least.

    Is the creator consciously trying to repeat a past success, or is he trying to do something new?
    Does his audience want something new, or do they want a minor twist on a familiar story?

    If a writer were to write Superman as having a romance with a new character, genetically compatible and invulnerable, say, and make the two a team that solved universe-threatening problems while raising a family, would there be fans who were enthusiastic about that take on Superman, or would they think that having him romance someone other than Lois Lane was sacrilege?

    If the story was perfectly sound, mechanically, but fans rejected it because it didn’t conform to their desired interpretation of Superman, then that would be a nice example of fans worshiping a character, making him a fantasy object, instead of enjoying him within the context of stories.

    If most of DC’s readership base treat characters as fantasy objects, then that creates practically insurmountable problems for DC, both in trying to create new, successful characters and in trying to reach readers outside the base without using traditional advertising and marketing strategies. So you get both DC and Marvel promoting character deaths as dramatic newsworthy events that might entertain new readers, while the base readers treat the deaths as bad, if not insulting, jokes.

    There’s nothing special about Peter Parker. A good writer should be able to do at least as good a job with 35-year-old Parker, married and going through a crisis with Spider-Man in the background, as he could with 22-year-old Parker being Spider-Man fighting crime. The major differences are the intentions of the writer and the audience for the story.

    SRS

  26. Keyser says:

    @MBunge

    Stephen King’s 11/23/63 I thought was the best thing he ever did personally. Even though it was long, he painted a great picture of the time and era.

    Also, you can’t compare All in the Family to Lear’s later work. You’d NEVER get a show like All in the Family on the air now without some lame PC group shouting about it and the network caving in. Lear put race, bigotry, etc in people’s faces with superb actors and it worked. The subjects they treated and a character like Archie Bunker would get watered down in the drivel of today’s TV networks. Maybe FX would be bold, but most are afraid. That’s why people love the clips on YouTube of AITF as people laugh out loud at those old clips as to the garbage done today.

    Also David Chase’s latest film he did sucked ass, so Soprano’s will most likely come back as a film at some point.

  27. I wish Marvel was publishing DC Comics …

  28. Jesse says:

    I am taking this whole thing as a win, I learned about Death Wings at Pluck You.

  29. horatio weisfeld says:

    There are a couple of issues, at least.
    >>
    @Synsidar:
    No doubt.. & as Patton (racist, bigot or whatever he was) said (in Coppola’s words) : “..always wanted lead desperate men in a hopeless struggle”

    Fortune favors the bold.. and so it goes.

  30. horatio weisfeld says:

    Kate Winslet is a terrific actress, and I’m really happy she has shown me her tits in her movies…Steven Seagal was a terrific martial artist, and I’m really grateful he hasn’t shown me his tits in his movies.

  31. v wiley says:

    Boy, with sales in a freefall, stupid decisions like hiring a goof like Card to write Superman, and imprinting WTF logos on a month’s worth of covers, you’d have to wonder why DC doesn’t hire an outsider to oversee their decision making process and give them some objective criticism of it. But then, they’d probably hire someone outside of comics that also doesn’t have a clue about what makes good quality books or have long term plans for the industry.

  32. george says:

    Did DC actually plan to put WTF on their covers, or was this just a publicity stunt to gin up interest in their line of tired, decaying characters?

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