The New DCU: Bob Wayne tells retailers about day-and-date

201105311741 The New DCU: Bob Wayne tells retailers about day and dateTraditionally, digital comics have been to comics retailers what kryptonite was to Superman — something to be feared and avoided. And DC’s Bob Wayne has been in the forefront of keeping retailers happy, to the point of shutting down many initiatives over the years that might have ruffled their feathers and caused them to order fewer DC Comics.

So it is on this day that it is Bob Wayne who has been called upon to write the letter to DC’s retail partners and inform them that the new digs are going to feature beautiful kryptonite flooring on the deck and patio: DC’s new world of comics will be released digitally at the same time as the print versions. Here’s what Wayne told them:

A LETTER ON THE DC UNIVERSE AND SEPTEMBER 2011

To our comics retail partners,

In the time I’ve worked at DC Comics, I’ve witnessed any number of industry defining moments. But today, I bring you what is perhaps the biggest news to date.

Many of you have heard rumors that DC Comics has been working on a big publishing initiative for later this year. This is indeed an historic time for us as, come this September, we are relaunching the entire DC Universe line of comic books with all new first issues. 52 of them to be exact.

In addition, the new #1s will introduce readers to a more modern, diverse DC Universe, with some character variations in appearance, origin and age. All stories will be grounded in each character’s legend – but will relate to real world situations, interactions, tragedy and triumph.

This epic event will kick off on Wednesday, August 31st with the debut of a brand new JUSTICE LEAGUE #1, which pairs Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, together for the first time. (Yes, this is the same week as FLASHPOINT #5.)

We think our current fans will be excited by this evolution, and that it will make jumping into the story extremely accessible to first-time readers – giving them a chance to discover DC’s characters and stories.

We are positioning ourselves to tell the most innovative stories with our characters to allow fans to see them from a new angle. We have taken great care in maintaining continuity where most important, but fans will see a new approach to our storytelling.

Some of the characters will have new origins, while others will undergo minor changes. Our characters are always being updated; however, this is the first time all of our characters will be presented in a new way all at once.

Dan DiDio, Bob Harras and Eddie Berganza have been working diligently to pull together some of the best creative teams in the industry. Over 50 new costumes will debut in September, many updated and designed by artist Jim Lee, ensuring that the updated images appeal to the current generation of readers.

The publication of JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 will also launch digital day-and-date for all ongoing superhero comic book titles – an industry first.

On Wednesday, June 1st, this initiative is expected to be announced in a nationwide feature article, and we’re hopeful the news will be picked up by media outlets around the world. Throughout the month we’ll reveal more details of our plans with articles in both the mainstream and comics press and on June 13th the Diamond catalog solicitations for all of the September titles will be released, followed by the June 29th street date of the print version of Previews.

DC Comics will support this initiative with an innovative mix of publicity, promotional efforts and retailer incentives designed to maximize your opportunity to increase your DC sales. We will discuss additional details of these incentives when we get closer to solicitation later in June.

We’ll be updating you more through email as September nears. But today, I hope your share our enthusiasm for this historic news!

Sincerely,
Bob Wayne
SVP, Sales
DC Entertainment

Comments

  1. Chris Rice says:

    Wow, this should be interesting.

  2. “The publication of JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 will also launch digital day-and-date for all ongoing superhero comic book titles – an industry first.”

    Good idea.

    Everything else sounds like a terrible, awful, horrible idea. Good luck, DC!

  3. Wow. I can’t WAIT until the 2013 Event where Sugar & Spike, Fox & Crow, and Super Turtle put everything back the way it was before Zero Hour.

    This is exciting.

  4. Torsten Adair says:

    What color is this digital Kryptonite?

    Sure, retailers are a bit nervous, but isn’t Diamond launching their digital comics service in July? DC isn’t part of that initiative, yet. Nor is Marvel.

    Here’s the problem: DC titles will be available digitally the same day as the paper copies. Comics shops order on a non-returnable basis. Will shops lower their orders, anticipating lower sales from a migration to digital comics shops? If shops don’t have copies, might that hasten the migration to digital, which will always have copies?

    I hope DC makes the first issues returnable, to encourage retailer support. They can always repackage the comics into collector sets.

    Hey… who’s selling the DC Comics digitally? Once this hits the newswires, will people know where to go to read the comic? Will they be savvy enough to download the software to read a comic?

    That’s the big news… Day-and-date is big, but to link a big media push to drive a large populace to try digital comics? Could we see another November 18th?

  5. I will be laughing… one day when electricity runs out, humans are snacking on soylent treats of every color and I have tons of comics to read while everyone else has dead screens that are only good for chopping drugs on. Yes, laughing…

  6. Fuzz McG says:

    I think retailers will still sell a lot of the physical #1 issues as I suspect a lot of people who pick those up are (somewhat misguided) collectors and people trying a new title.

    There’s always a substantial drop in numbers for a #2 so that will be a more accurate indicator of how this will effect retailers.

  7. If they can match “day and date” with “value for cost” then I’ll be impressed… And I’ll assume they’ve been taken over by Bizzaros.

  8. “I will be laughing… one day when electricity runs out, humans are snacking on soy-lent treats of every color and I have tons of comics to read while everyone else has dead screens that are only good for chopping drugs on. Yes, laughing…”

    That is a good one Sabin. You got me into a rare laugh.

  9. saipaman says:

    I’m planning on passing on all these re-launches. A couple of years later, if it turns out they matter, then I might consider buying the digital copies but only at a fantastic sale price.

  10. Buy the trade of the relaunches if they last that long. Buy them digitally if it matters. Meh to the whole thing.

  11. Synsidar says:

    I really don’t know what to make of Wayne’s comments re “real world situations,” “maintaining continuity where most important,” “a new approach to our storytelling,” and so on.

    Plopping the heroes with their powers into the “real world” and expecting them to make sense won’t work. I doubt that the stories are going to take place in real time, or that characters are going to begin aging.

    DC has consciously appealed to continuity mavens such as Tom Bondurant for decades. If the line-wide revamp alienates him and other long-time readers without attracting new ones, it won’t accomplish much. And the revamp itself isn’t really news, except for the extent. How many titles have been relaunched over the past several years?

    I certainly don’t wish DC ill, but without a huge (expensive) marketing campaign designed to get non-comics readers intrigued, I don’t see how this attempt to provide jumping-on points is a dramatic shift from all the previous attempts to provide jumping-on points.

    SRS

  12. If retailers have been doing their due diligence, they will know which of their customers will stick with paper and which will go the digital route.
    If the don’t know, then they obviously have not been interacting with their customers enough.
    It is up to them to properly promote hard copies to their customers to keep them coming back.

    I have a laptop and an iPad and I could go the digital route, but I like reading my comics in physical form. I will continue to purchase individual issues and trades.
    If the digital format gets to the point of saving me 2/3 of the current cost, then I will look at making the switch.

  13. xavier lancel says:

    Probably a cheap excuse to pass all their titles back to 3.99€.

  14. “Dan DiDio, Bob Harras and Eddie Berganza have been working diligently to pull together some of the best creative teams in the industry.”

    Looking at Flashpoint minis’ creative teams I’m shaking in horror in expectance of flood of artist-turned-writers and editors-turned-writers and other talentless hacks who will show everyone why comics is dying medium.

  15. Really? says:

    Bob’s a true champion of the direct market, but he’s also keenly aware of who’s buttering his bread. Anyone who thinks Bob actually penned that letter is a fool.

  16. I originally misread the headline as “Bruce Wayne Tells Retailers About Day-and-Date,” so I’m slightly disappointed.

  17. Luthor1940 says:

    I won’t be a part of the taking apart of a character that means so much to me on many personal levels. This is not Superman, no matter what Dan Didio, Geoff Johns, or Jim Lee want you to believe it is. Shame on you 3 for thinking you could smash a character that has been around longer then any of us have been born.

  18. Torsten Adair says:

    Hmmm… so if all the continuity comics fans leave, could DC change their comics back to done-in-ones just like the comics of the 1940s and 50s?

  19. Golly Gee, Torsten, didn’t comics sell in big numbers back then? We wouldn’t want that to happen. Kids might read them and they may actually have fun doing it.

  20. OtisTFirefly says:

    >>>n addition, the new #1s will introduce readers to a more modern, diverse DC Universe, with some character variations in appearance, origin and age. All stories will be grounded in each character’s legend – but will relate to real world situations, interactions, tragedy and triumph.>>>

    Translation: The DC big three are working under some sort of diversity based bonus program. Screw the last 75 years… we need a fresh hip-hoppin’ Jay-Z/Eminem-listening… Flash? BAtman? WHO are they going to goat0flip all to hell?

    God. Flip you DC Comics.

  21. OtisTFirefly says:

    Oh, yeah, and DC to Retailers:

    ‘THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! SCREW YOU, WE DON’T NEED YOU ANYMORE!!!! Thanks for playing!!”

  22. Calvin Reid says:

    Well I’ve heard everything about this decision to “reboot” the DCU thats out there. “DC must be desperate,” “DC must be stupid,” “Dan Didio, Jim Lee, Geooff Johns are all crazy” and even the occasional, “maybe its time and this could really mean new stories and the opportunity to create a new basis for going forward.” Who knows how it will come out, although we’re all talking about DC and its heroes so they must be feeling pretty good.

    While I’m not the superhero fan I used to be, I can’t help but feel some excitement at both the storytelling possibilities and the aggressive move to bring digital to the forefront. Good luck to DC on this impressive move and let the storytelling begin.

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