DiDio on The Next Big Crossover, Plus Digital And Creator Rights

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By Todd Allen

didio and lee 200x133 DiDio on The Next Big Crossover, Plus Digital And Creator RightsIt’s time for ICV2’s annual sit down with the DC publisher, or in this case, co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee.   As is usually the case, DiDio is more the quotable provocateur.  And boy, did he drop a bunkerbuster of a bomb in this one…

When asked about continuing the sales momentum, Dan says the following:

I’d love to be able to celebrate the anniversary of “The New 52″ with something that feels so special and something that unifies the line thematically (maybe not story-wise).  We’re leading to probably our first crossover event in the latter half of next year, but you’re going to see a better continuity developing through the line.

That’s interesting.  DiDio seems to have a different definition of crossover event than many people.  For instance, would you call Night of the Owls a crossover event?  One storyline crossing into all the Bat-books?  Or the upcoming Joker arc that appears to be doing the same thing?  How about the event they’re leading up to in the Green Lantern books?

Sounds like he’s talking about a line-wide event, not just in a family of books.  You figured one was coming eventually.  And if it’s in the second half of next year, that sounds like they’ll have restrained themselves for 2 years before going back to the well for a Big One.  The big Events do tend to work better if you aren’t doing them all the time.  Is 2 years enough rest?  And the quality of the Event counts as well.  Sounds like we’ll be finding out soon enough.  (This also makes it sound like the much-hyped, but not-yet-revealed “Trinity War” will not be a line-wide event.  A Justice League version of Night of the Owls, perhaps?)

All around that little tidbit was hype for the September #0 issues and with the stated intention that the zero issues should be a good place for readers to revisit comics they’d sampled before or try them for the first time.

Jim Lee takes the point for digital questions and points out that anti-piracy efforts are handled by Warner’s corporate, which could theoretically put pirating comics in the middle of the video and music enforcement.  He also talks about fancying up the digital files/presentation in ways similar to what’s going on with Thrillbent, the Tall Chair/Disney Brave comics app and Madefire.

It requires you touch the screen to move the story forward.  Maybe it wouldn’t have sound or sound effects because that can take you out that kind of experience.  Hearing that can distract you from the world you’re creating as you’re reading and seeing the pictures.  Those are going to roll out in the next couple of years.

It sounds like there’s some internal development going on.  It isn’t clear whether or not this involves Comixology.  Speaking of Comixology, 40% of the sales on the Smallville digital comic were to people just opening a new account.  Might be print readers dipping their toe in digital for the first time.  Might be fans of the show.  Either way, that’s a pretty healthy recruitment number.

DiDio on Creator’s Rights:

I don’t feel we need react to criticism about our relationships, because we have a very strong leg to stand on in how we’ve always dealt with them.  One thing that DC has always been on the forefront in is trying to develop strong creator rights within the body of our work and within the characters we create.  We give equity in characters, we do creator owned series, we do a whole lot of things for creators that if they’re looking to publish their original thoughts they feel they have a proper forum and then can be fairly compensated for it.

The creator experience at DC does have two sides.   You have the Superman lawsuit and the the ongoing saga of Watchmen on the one hand.  On the other you have all the work Paul Levitz did to get creators some payments when their creations do move to a different medium.  I’m not entirely sure what the state of creator-owned is at DC with Wildstorm getting folded in and Vertigo’s deal structure changing a bit.  I’ve been waiting for Astro City to return to gauge part of that.

Jim Lee, being an Image founder, is extremely qualified to speak on the give and take between creators and publishers:

The great thing about being a comics professional today is you have that option–it’s no longer that you can only work for one company or the other unless you choose to.  Decades ago there was a stigma crossing company lines and going out and doing something on your own was not even something that was a valid option financially.

A very valid point and we’re starting to see a lot more people working with multiple publishers.

The whole 3-part interview starts here and is worth a read.

Comments

  1. Thomas Wayne says:

    “….but you’re going to see a better continuity developing through the line.”

    Which by definition alone tells us that the continuity of the NEW 52 has either been poor or less than acceptable from the begininng of this fiasco.

    I tell you what, I’ve just about had my fill of DC and DiDio and this heap of bullshit they call the NEW 52.

    I’m a DC guy, always have been. Before the NEW 52 I was reading roughly 15 to 20 DC titles per month and had been for quite some time (a minimum of six to seven years). Now…I am officially down to 2 and both of those may be gone really soon (and by gone I mean me dropping them, not their cancelation).

    I have enjoyed almost ZERO of this reboot or whatever the Hell you want to call it and I really feels like OLD SCHOOL FANS like myself have basically been shit on for the sake of a sales bump and potential new readers who are apparently, according to the numbers, aren’t showing up to read this garbage.

    Can’t we get some name talent on some books called Classic Superman or Classic JLA? Telling stories that don’t involve a brooding younger Superman in a white T shirt but do involve Wally West and Oracle?

    Why can’t you have both, Mr. DiDio? Your New 52 and something for those who didn’t want your stupid reboot. Would it kill someone to do that – tell an out of your soon-to-be-better-continuity story involving Superman or Batman along the lines of The Long Halloween? What a great story that wasn’t part of any particular continuity….hmmmm…it worked then, why not now?

    Good luck with your ‘better continuity’ Mr. DiDio, I hope those non existant new readers follow along nicely.

    I guess old guys like me are gonna just have to re-read the stuff we love from the past (Morrison’s JLA, Starman, etc) to enjoy ourselves because we sure can’t get any enjoyment out of the NEW FIFTY SCREW…

  2. Glenn Simpson says:

    I’m rather enjoying the new 52.

  3. Thomas Wayne says:

    Glenn,
    Not being rude or smart ass…in all sincerity…may I ask how old you are and how long have you been reading comics?

    Thanks.

  4. Jesse says:

    Does Chris Nolan’s nihilistic un-fun take on superheroes crossing into reality count as a crossover?

  5. blacaucasian says:

    Thomas Wayne – Just to chime in from another person who is enjoying the line, I’m 37, been reading comics (primarily DC) since I was 6 years old. I started reading all 52 titles for the first few months, and am currently still reading and fully enjoying 30 titles.

    Before the relaunch I was down to about 10 titles.

    I don’t feel like I’ve been shit all over, and I am enjoying a lot of titles that I wasn’t previously for the first time in years. The titles I dropped I simply determined weren’t for me.

    I don’t think his line about continuity means they haven’t been developing it or done a poor job developing it along the way. I simply think he means they are going to continue to develop a stronger tie between the books. To be honest, there hasn’t really been a whole lot of crossover to this point between books, aside from the families of books unto themselves.

    And if you look to digital, they are attempting to tell tales out of continuity that are being done by some pretty cool teams (Legends of the Dark Knight – comes out weekly – $0.99 per issue). I’d imagine if these do well, they will attempt to do more of it.

  6. patrick ford says:

    Word Balloons:

    Didio: “It’s like printing money.”

    Lee: “Taking candy from a baby.”

  7. MattComix says:

    DC reboots their universe just to go back to the same tired routine of relentless convoluted clusterf**k events that was already getting tedious waaay before New 52. Even before Didio’s grim n’gore obsessed regime.

  8. ErikM says:

    Thomas Wayne–for what it’s worth, I’m 33 and Wally West is my favourite fictional character ever. I began reading his title with the first issue in 87 and didn’t stop until its conclusion.
    Anyway, for me, the current series by Manapul and Bucellato is the best the Flash has been since the original Mark Waid days. (Though I still ultimately prefer the characterization during Messner-Loebs’ run, but whatever.)
    If either Manapul leaves or if continuity with other titles becomes more of a thing, I’m gone from Flash, though.

  9. Joe Lawler says:

    “Can’t we get some name talent on some books called Classic Superman or Classic JLA? Telling stories that don’t involve a brooding younger Superman in a white T shirt but do involve Wally West and Oracle?”

    It’s interesting that you single out Wally and Oracle, because I would guess a lot of people wouldn’t consider them “Classic JLA.”

    They’re from my favorite period as well, but my guess is a book like that would only further splinter fans who think the satellite, Detroit, International or other is the “classic” JLA.

  10. Thomas Wayne says:

    blacaucasian and Erik M.

    Well, perhaps this isn’t as much of an age thing as I thought.

    I’m 40 and have been reading since I was 7 or 8. But my main “comic time” was between 1982 and 1987 (at least when I was a kid)…and that’s when the first Crisis was initiated so I AM EXTREMELY PARTIAL to the previous continuity (and yes, I use that term loosely as true continuity in the DC and MARVEL universes have hardly really ever been in true continuity).

    So yes, I feel shit on…lol.

    My biggest problem with all of this is the fact that they could easily have had it both ways (old continuity and the NEW 52) kept old readers happy and got the sales bump they wanted in the process.

    Why not have a new Action #1 as well as “Classic Action” # 922 or whatever number they are on.

    On a side note, new continuity or not, when Action reaches issue 1000 the numbering will change…if at least for just one issue.

    Anyway…I loved Wally West as the Flash. I loved Barbara Gordon as Oracle. Why can’t we have their stories in one world while the new 52 has their stories??

    I’ve never understood why it is companies don’t take advantage of the fact their characters are more than just one universal properties, particularly on paper.

    Batman the Animated Series is universally loved and watched by millions of cartoons and comic fans. It doesn’t follow any continuity but its own. Same with the Justice League cartoon. So why can’t you have this in comics?

    Check this out…

    Detective Comics features Batman Universe only stories – essentially Batman family as if no other heroes exist – like Batman the Animated Series and the Nolanverse.

    Batman – The NEW 52 continuity book.

    Batman : Shadow of the Bat- Batman stories set in the DC universe pre -new 52 (and preferably pre Identity Crisis) and post Crisis on Infinite Earths.

    Legends of the Dark Knight – Batman stories told from all eras and time periods that don’t mix or match any particular continuity.

    You can do exactly the same for Superman, JLA, etc.

    You could have all the new 52 line….Superman, Batman, JLA, Flash, Green Lantern and a few others with their own Universes and and pre 52 books and Superman, JLA books similar to the Legends of the Dark Knight book.

    Maybe I’m being overly protective of what I think DC should be…but I won’t lie…I really DISLIKE the new 52. Hate whats being done to Superman…not impressed at all with the JLA…Batman isn’t bad but I’m really getting tired of these ‘men from Batman’s past storylines” that DC has run with the last few years…one is ok (Jason Todd) two is pushing it (that whole Thomas Wayne Dr Hurt fiasco) three is a trend (Thomas Wayne Jr…really?) and they need to go in a different direction. What’s next…Batman’s Grandfather shows up and is secretly Ras Al Ghuls half brother??

    Anyway…the two of you make my AGE argument a little less accurate but I still contend that older guys like me would have been just as happy with the old stuff done well as opposed to new stuff done in the hopes of capturing a new audience.

  11. Thomas Wayne says:

    Joe,
    Sorry for not being clear…my intention was to promote a classic JLA as well as something with Oracle and something with Wally West. They didn’t have to be together. However, a JLA with West and Gordon sounds good to me, classic or otherwise.

  12. Hardy Gilbert says:

    Thomas Wayne,

    I’m 41, been collecting comics since I can remember (even as a tot, I refused to throw them away), am a lifelong DC fan, and I, too, enjoy many of the new 52 titles. True, I miss the rich tableau DC had, but, honestly? I had been increasingly disappointed with DC’s output ever since “52” (the series), so I find the new 52 somewhat refreshing. Yes, I would have preferred they retain the universe(s) I grew up with, but….hey, business will out, you dig? And the new 52 has been more successful than many past endeavors, so I reckon it’s here to stay.
    As for your ideas on the varied titles, those work for older fans like us, who are familiar with the vagaries of DC history (and comic books in general), but it could potentially confuse the hell out of new DC comic book fans, which is what the whole new 52 is all about.
    And, you know, as upset as many of us older fans may or may not be, there are some 60-something fans out there who are still pissed that there’s no longer a golden-age Green Arrow……

  13. Apollo9000 says:

    It seems DC has a pattern set up. In the spring, an out of continuity mini series ( Before Watchmen, Sandman). In the fall, something to act as a jumping on/ reminder point for their main 52 books ( last years’ relaunch, Zero issues). At various points, each line of books have a crossover storyline ( Rot World, Court of Owls, etc).

    As far as the quality of the books, there’s always gems to be found amongst the grim and the dirt. ( My current favorite DC titles – The Flash, Batman Inc., Wonder Woman, The Shade)

  14. Torsten Adair says:

    It seems that the first order of business with the New 52 was to get the books out on time and to get the story foundations set before involving complicated crossovers. And from complicating the schedule with more than 13 books a week.

    The Batman group was already cohesive, so the Owls storyline was not difficult to coordinate.

    I get the monthly comp box of comics from DC, and aside from the video game tie-ins, I read EVERYTHING. Green Arrow #10 was worthy of a “year’s best” collection (if DC still did them). Firestorm went international, using the nuclear arms race as a theme, creating a variety of Firestorms. Captain Atom went metaphysical. Most of the titles are enjoyable. There’s nothing I’ve stopped reading, but there are many titles I can’t recall what’s happening in them.

    The Vertigo titles are all interesting. Saucer Country and Deadwardians have interesting hooks.

    DC does need a general anthology magazine, where single stories and miniseries outside the New 52 can be published before being collected.

  15. My favorite DC books are Frankenstein, Animal Man, Demon Knights, and Dial H. It’s probably not a coincidence that these books don’t play a whole lot in the Big DC Sandbox (though Frankenstein had OMAC show up for one issue and Animal Man’s been building toward a Swamp Thing crossover from the beginning).

    I like the shared-universe stuff, and the occasional crossover, but the point where I have to start buying new books to figure out WTF is going on? I call that a jumping-off point. (I dumped JL: Dark when it dropped me unceremoniously into the middle of an I, Vampire crossover.)

    You know what book did a great job of recapturing the old, 1960’s Marvel idea of a shared universe? Thor: The Mighty Avenger. It was self-contained, it didn’t cross over into any other titles, but it showcased a broad variety of Marvel characters. (The Captain Britain issue, in particular, was a hoot.)

    Per the New 52: I think any effort to try and get new readers in is a step in the right direction, but the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Jettison continuity and relaunch with a #1? Always results in a temporary bump and then back to the old decline, with all the old continuity and numbering eventually creeping back anyway.

    You want more new readers? Well, here’s a thought: there are currently, what, 5 monthly Batman comics? And ZERO of them are appropriate for 8-year-olds.

  16. The best example of how a comic should be written to me is the Paul Tobin’s Avengers book from the mid-2000’s. No conitinuity was necessary to enjoy the series and the stories were done in one issue.

    I have held on to the first 10 volumes since I think they would be a great primer for anyoneone on what good comics should be like.

  17. Samir D says:

    I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t miss the old pre-52 continuity at times, but in a way, the fresh start has worked for a lot of books (though Superman is a bit messy at the moment). I’m enjoying more DC books now then I did in the past. By the way, I’m 42 and have been reading comics since I was 7. I think we all have to remember that after Crisis On Infinite Earths….the DC universe was rebooted, and there were younger versions of the characters (or characters with changes histories/powersets)running around. I am sure that must have been shocking for fans who were older at the time, but I loved it for the newness of not knowing what would happen next (or what really happened in the past). Now it’s happened again…….and to tell the truth, on the whole, I am enjoying it.

  18. Didio: “One thing that DC has always been on the forefront in is trying to develop strong creator rights within the body of our work and within the characters we create.”

    “Always”? Including that almost thirty year stretch where the names Siegel and Shuster didn’t appear in relationship to Superman and they didn’t get any money for creating the character?

    “characters we create”? What “we” is that? I’m not aware that Didio is part of any group that created any characters of value. The apparent antecedent of “we” in that sentence appears to be “DC”, and DC does not create characters.

  19. “Always” is a flat-out lie. Pure and simple. Not a differing opinion. A lie.

  20. Torsten Adair says:

    “Other Age” superheroes run the risk of following the pulp heroes into senility. Yes, there are fans who read the old pulp heroes, but there is little general interest in these nostalgic stories. (Just look at DC’s recent attempt with Doc Savage and Co.)

    How many fans have read (or even seen) the classic Zorro stories which influenced Bruce Wayne and Bob Kane? How many have read the precedent titles like “Gladiator”, “The Scarlet Pimpernel”, “Spring Heeled Jack”, or “Fantômas”? Or the grand-daddy of all events and retcons, the World Newton Universe?

    Personally, I’d rather see all of the DC titles go “freestyle”. No shared universe. No continuity. Done-in-one, or four-to-six issue miniseries. THAT will generate the best backlist in trades. (Aside from Vertigo, most of DC’s serial collections are out of print.)

  21. Bill Peisert says:

    I’m 57 and have been reading DC ever since I could read. So if you feel you’ve had to put up with a few changes over the years imagine what it’s like to be my age. These are just stories, get over it, change is good unless you’re so inflexible you have nothing to do but complain about how much better things were when you were a kid, and wasn’t everything better in the 50s.

    No one would be reading comics if they were putting out the types of stories that were done in the 50s and 60s. Likewise, much of the style of writing done in the 80s is almost unreadable and I’m talking the Teen Titans. I cringe when I reread those now.

    You have your favorite characters and memories, reread them, that’s what I do. I still love the old Batwoman stories, but I wouldn’t change a hair on Kate Kane’s lesbian head today.

  22. Chris Hero says:

    I’m glad someone’s calling these two out on their creator-ownership lie. Lee alone has always been a huge hypocrite about creator ownership going back to the earliest days of Wildstorm where he owned all the books everyone else created. Didio has always spoken lies about it. I don’t understand why they’re ever given a free pass on it, too.

  23. FotoCub says:

    I’m 37 and have been reading DC’s books since I was 7 years old. My experience here is almost precisely the same as Blacaucasian, ErikM, Hardy Gilbert and others. Before the New 52, I was down to about 10 titles and some of those I was only buying out of loyalty, not genuine interest. I tried all 52 and settled into about 30 of them, which is a pretty darn good ratio, honestly. But what was more striking for me is that I am genuinely passionate about the stories and characters again, almost like I was 12 or 13 all over again. The creators all seem more energized and that’s coming through on the page for me. I love a lot of stories that aren’t strictly in continuity anymore. Heck, I have shelves full of them and that won’t change. But I’ve read those stories already. I’m impressed that we’re getting something new.

  24. I love this DC readers anonymous club you sound like a bunch of beaten dogs or drugs addicts. “My name is Joe and I have been reading DC comics for 35 years. Didio pissed on my head and punched me but at least it’s still the Flash.” Christ the New 52 sucks, sorry Black Manta stabs a woman to death in like 7 panels is a good comic? Wonder Woman with guns? F’ me. Pointless and souless attempts to grab money on Before Watchman. Take John’s Green Lantern Technicolor Corps of Many Colors and blo. Nothing is worse than people who just take it.

  25. rahonaivs says:

    Question for all those who say they like the new 52. Is there anything that came specifically from the reboot that made you buy more, or is it just that suddenly DC has a better stable of writers on their books? Look at the top selling DC books (not including before watchman of course), besides Batman and Green Lantern(whose continuity has not changed at all and thus it is very difficult to argue that the reboot was at all responsible for his success). You have JLA, but is it the new “fresh” take (you know basically a reworking of the classic joining of heroes tale) or is it the fact that it has Johns and Lee on it, two of the biggest names in comics. Add to that it has a line up that is made up of the most popular characters in the DCU (with the exception of cyborg) for the first time in years (since Meltzer relaunch, which also sold like hot cakes) and how likely was it that it was not going to sell so high?

    Look at the big “new” books. Swamp thing was brought back at the end of brightest day and this series could just as easily been in the old DCU as the new (in fact I would be willing to bet it was planned for that once they brought him back, but switched to the new at the last minute when they decide to relaunch). Animal man is a character that is rarely used and any changes to his history are the type of thing that always happen at a series relaunch (plus the new writer is very good and brings with him alot of good press). Wonder woman, how many times has her past or her “mission” be changed in the past few years/decades/ It seems as if it happens with every creative team. Aquaman is basically succeeding because Johns is doing what he does best, taking a “silver age” character (see Hal Jordan or Barry Allen) and revamping them like he did in the old DCU. Is there anything about this version that could not be told in the old DCU?

    The only book that is succeeding that I can see that depends on the reboot is the Flash. Now in May (which had 5 weeks if I remember right), it sold around 63,000 (in June it sold about 55,000 but those are estimates on Comicchron, not the actual numbers). Which is very good, but then again the last pre-launch Flash series, which also had Barry Allen, sold about 55,000 the last month before the re-launch. So, on a month with an extra week of sales the most you can say you gained is 8000 units. Given that was issue 12 of a series (and only up 0.5% from the previous month so those numbers are not too inflated by flashpoint) and the new numbers are for issue 9, in 3 months, without the extra week, I doubt that the difference will be more than a couple thousand ( and likely on the negative side). So it is hard to argue that the relaunch has really done much to “improve” the core books.

    Now the books most tied to the relaunch, the ones whose characters have had the most changes, are things like Green Arrow, birds of Prey and Teen Titans. Two of them (GA and BOP) are back to where they were previously in terms of sales (there was a court of owls bump to BOP in May, but that is likely to disappear fast and June’s sales were back to previous levels) and two of them (GA and TT) are being savaged by critics. So how did they benefit from the relaunch?

    If you take out Before watchman, June’s DC comics (including Vertigo) took 34% of the sales market, 3.7% behind marvel. Batman and Green Lantern books (including Batwoman, but not Batgirl, BOP or Batwing), the two series that changed little to nothing because of the relaunch, account for 30% of all DC sales (excluding Before watchman).So, if almost a third of all sales are in titles with no changes at all, and the average of all books (not including Before Watchman) was only 29,500, I think it can be argued that it is not the relaunch that has changed things (Marvel is doing pretty well for itself, as is image, and neither of these owe anything to DC relaunch) but a combination of good talent on high profile books (e.g. JLA, Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Aquaman)with economic factors (the economy is in better shape than 1-2 years ago and comics, as discretionary spending, tend to track economic trends)and a major PR push that explains any significant increase in DC sales.

    Now if you happen to like the books better now, great. But again is that because of the creative teams on them and them being on time or is it due to the new continuity of the new 52? Ask yourself that, I bet the answer is more of the former than the latter.

    Oh and if you ask I am a 30 year old male, got back into comics a decade+ ago after some time off, read about 6-10 DC books a month until the relaunch and now haven’t bought a new DC book since Sept, and have no desire to buy another one again(though every month I read the solicits to try and see if something will interest me). Even if they went back, well I think the spell is broken. Though If they ever got the old Ollie Queen back, I might reconsider. And yes, I know how the post 1970’s version is very different than the golden age one, I have read the Kirby stories, but in the past 20-25 years Ollie Queen gained a history and a family that more than made up for these changes. Now all they have is a place holder and a brand name they are selling, without any of the heart that come with the past few decades of writers building on each other to make him more than a bat man clone. That, to me, is the core problem of the relaunch. DC is milking the iconic nature of the names, but for many those names became iconic because of, not despite, the history they accrued. You take away that history, all you are left with is a name, and I think that is what DC is realizing and this commitment to continuity (after complaining that it was hamstringing the writers) signals that they are either going to try and force things that took years to build naturally into the next few month/ year or will more and more slip in old DCU history to the point where in 5 years this will, like past Crisis events, be merely another event.

  26. Synsidar says:

    Is there anything that came specifically from the reboot that made you buy more, or is it just that suddenly DC has a better stable of writers on their books?

    The reboot got me to buy DC series regularly for the first time in decades. I’m getting BATGIRL, BATWOMAN, and WONDER WOMAN. WW is terrific, BATWOMAN is enjoyable, and BATGIRL, I’m buying mainly to see how Simone handles the character. WW is as good as it is mainly because Azzarello avoids the problems with the “WW as superheroine” character concept by not writing her as a superheroine. She’s a major player in an Olympian power struggle, with allies and enemies. The storyline is an example of the writer creating a situation in which the heroine is a natural fit and developments aren’t forced, rather than the writer trying to fit the heroine into a formula or writing a story in which the motivations and developments are artificial and forced.

    I’m not interested in buying other DC titles or in events. I have no emotional attachments to any DC character.

    SRS

  27. Hardy Gilbert says:

    rahonaivs,

    I think you are correct in your assumption. Personally, the re-boot is by no means the primary reason I’m enjoying the books. It has more to do with creators and/or concepts. Azzarello and Chiang have made Wonder Woman a stand-out title for me, and I love that I’m able to buy a monthly DC title called “Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.” While many of these titles are faltering (“I, Vampire” is a wonderful title that is not long for this world, I fear.), I’m still glad DC is taking a chance with them. As you point out, though, a re-boot was by no means necessary. Hell, “Justice League Dark” (fun book, worst fucking title ever) could have happened at any time; in fact, I’ve been waiting for it ever since that Blue Devil Summer Fun Annual first sowed the seeds, so to speak.

    However, that isn’t the argument here, at least for me. It’s not whether the re-boot was necessary, but whether or not “old school” fans are enjoying the new books. And for many of us the answer is, “Yes.”

    Oh, and excellent points, Jesse. It’s hard to disagree with a compelling argument.

  28. My pleasure Hardy, you were confusing my being an @sshole with a compelling argument.

  29. Hardy Gilbert says:

    As long as we’re in agreement.

  30. >> Lee alone has always been a huge hypocrite about creator ownership going back to the earliest days of Wildstorm where he owned all the books everyone else created.>>

    On the other hand, ASTRO CITY, LEAVE IT TO CHANCE, STRANGERS IN PARADISE, DANGER GIRL, CRIMSON, ARROWSMITH, BATTLE CHASERS, DAMNED, DESPERADOES, THE WIZARD’S TALE and more.

    While DC’s creator-owned deals have gone through various changes over the years (and that’s not code for “got worse,” because various bits changed in various ways), the creator ownership deals Jim offered at Homage and Cliffhanger were among the best in the business.

    kdb

  31. Jesse says:

    Hardy, I am practically the same age as you, same comic background. I walked away a while ago. I find the DC hardcore tiring there is absolutely nothing they can do to make you walk away that’s why the sales numbers shifts so little. A few harcore fans keep the lights on and a few transients walk in and out the door. It’s like you can’t not read Batman. No amount of mistreatment of the properties or creators can make you stop reading, it’s just a habit. Didio literally fucked the universe over several years, 52, Final Crisis etc. and you just let him reboot and give him a pass? JMS “grounded” the Superman franchise with the worst Superman story ever written and you bring him back on Watchman? Robinson turns in shit performance on JL and turns out the lights out and they give him Earth2?
    I feel like I live in an alternate reality. Do you honestly think that Black Manta murder shit has any place in a DC comic? I realize things need to progress and stories need to evolve but I am lost on this stuff.

  32. Hardy Gilbert says:

    Jesse,

    I have no problem with your position on the new 52 or DC Comics in general. Hey, man, those are your opinions, and they’re valid. I do take umbrage, however, with your assertion that those of us who enjoy the new books are blind apologists. Such blanket assumptions are not only fallacious, they’re flat-out insulting.

    I don’t give anyone in a comics a free pass. I love comics, and I buy what I enjoy. If I don’t like it, I quit getting it, but I don’t berate the publishers and fans for something that is ultimately a matter of taste. To whit: I love Green Arrow. Fucking love him. I have ever since I was 6 and got that awesome GA Mego doll (which is one of the highlights of the line). However, I don’t get the new GA comic, because it’s not the same Ollie Queen I enjoy, and by that I mean the fat-mouthed malcontent with the goatee and fucking Robin Hood cap. Hence, I don’t buy it. So, yes, I can stop reading a title when I want, as can many fans.

    As for that “Black Manta murder shit,” it ain’t like it’s anything new. Hell, he was responsible for the death of Aquaman’s son 30+ years ago and has been bragging about it ever since. Like it or not, it totally jives with his character.

    You’re free to hold whoever and whatever you want in disdain, but if you accuse me or others of consumer practices and/or reading habits we don’t have, don’t be surprised when we get contentious, dig?

  33. FotoCub says:

    I’m not sure I understand how anyone not reading the books currently can even have an opinion on their quality. If by one’s own admission, you’ve “walked away a while ago,” how would you have anything concrete to discuss?

  34. Jesse says:

    Hardy, that’s cool I don’t mind a little emotion hell passion for books is awesome. I completely agree with you on GA however I can’t see how continuing to support the Didio machine with your dollars is helping your cause. I have to say I am pissed at older fans, like myself, you just laid down and let them do a half-assed relaunch. Don’t tell me Flaspoint was Crisis on Infinite Earths and we have gone through this before. I read Flashpoint and Crisis it ain’t. At the end you feel there is more good than bad. I don’t, I don’t want be in dancing under the roof or whatever the fuck that stupid analogy was I want to see the house burn down.

    @fotoclub I don’t have an issue with the quality by enlarge, it’s the content. I live in a comic store, I know what goes on in the books.

  35. FotoCub says:

    @Jesse: Ah I see. Distinction between reading the books and buying them makes sense, if you work in a comic shop. I have encountered posters who never bought a single issue after The New 52 launched, but spend an inordinate amount of time online complaining about how terrible they are. I’m always interested in hearing what people think, but only if it’s based on actually reading the material. Thanks for clarifying! :-)

  36. Hardy Gilbert says:

    Jesse,

    Look, let me say this one more time: I LIKE the DC comics I buy. I really do. I’m not settling for ANYTHING. Some are better than the pre-relaunch versions, some aren’t, but they are ALL worth my time and money. Those that are not, I don’t buy. I did not “lay down” for the relaunch, because I had no problem with it in the first place. I have no “cause” other than reading good comics, so I don’t mind “supporting the Didio machine” because, right now, I’m having fun.

    I won’t tell you Flashpoint was Crisis, largely because I thought it was rather weak and symptomatic of the malaise prevalent in the majority of the pre-relaunch DCU titles. And, yes, Dan Didio is responsible for many decisions I don’t agree with. However, making new (and risky) decisions is his job; I’m pretty fucking positive the man wasn’t hired and promoted because the Powers-That-Be said, “Everything’s great! Don’t change anything!”

    So burn that house down. Go ahead and break all your toys. Just don’t tell me to break mine.

  37. I was planning to stop reading superhero stories because I’ve outgrown them over the last few years. The New 52 just brought that day a lot sooner.

    I now buy other genres and am having the best comic book reading experience since I was young. By far, the best decision I ever made regarding this hobby. :)

  38. Jesse says:

    Hardy you are well thought out in your opinions. I will just agree to disagree with you. I hope you get a decent GA back and hope someone figures out Superman over there. Be well.

  39. Hardy Gilbert says:

    And you as well, good sir.

  40. Nick – I don’t think it needs to be an all-or-nothing choice. If someone’s tired of big-universe superheroes because of all the events and crossovers and connections, they may be very happy reading other genres, but they might also be happy reading THE ROCKETEER or TRIO or INVINCIBLE or INSUFFERABLE or other superhero material that stays self-contained.

    Mainly, I’m all for reading all kinds of good stuff, whatever the genre.

  41. “Nick – I don’t think it needs to be an all-or-nothing choice. If someone’s tired of big-universe superheroes because of all the events and crossovers and connections, they may be very happy reading other genres, but they might also be happy reading THE ROCKETEER or TRIO or INVINCIBLE or INSUFFERABLE or other superhero material that stays self-contained.

    Mainly, I’m all for reading all kinds of good stuff, whatever the genre.”

    Believe me, Mr. Busiek, I’m all for “all kinds of good stuff” too. It’s just that after reading superhero titles for almost thirty years, I’m ready for other stuff.

    And you are right — I did get tired of all the retcons, reboots, relaunches, crossover events, and most of all the fact that nothing really changes anyway (dead people coming back, etc.).

    I may eventually read superhero stuff from other publishers (IRREDEEMABLE and INCORRUPTIBLE were great titles) but I’ll never go back to Marvel and DC. It’s just a sad truth.

  42. Chris Hero says:

    @Kurt Busiek

    “the creator ownership deals Jim offered at Homage and Cliffhanger were among the best in the business”

    I was talking about Wildstorm where Lee owned everything regardless of how little input he put into the books, but it doesn’t matter, you’re still wrong. Fantagraphics has always offered the best – wholly owned by the creator, the way it should be. And they’re not the only one. Homage and Cliffhanger were way late to the party after Lee had been acting like a hypocrite for years.

    Nice guy, but totally corrupt as a businessman.

  43. Hardy Gilbert says:

    Nick,

    In Mr. Busiek’s defense (not that he needs me, by any means), he did say “among the best,” not “the best.” Furthermore, seeing as he has long history of working on varied creator-owned projects, his opinion does carry some weight.

    Which is not to say that I disagree with you on Fantagraphics: they have published what I consider some of the best comics the medium has seen, not to mention my personal favorites. However, different publishers are probably more suited to certain creator-owned projects than Fantagraphics; I don’t think ol’ Mr. Groth would have been too interested in a title like “Arrowsmith”, much less “Astro City”. The man and his company do tend to be somewhat….”selective”…..

  44. Hardy Gilbert says:

    Oops, I meant Chris Hero, not Nick! Mea culpa, fellas, mea culpa!

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