Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Confession is Good For the Soul
I hear shrieks of "blasphemy" and general wonderment. How could I, a comics fan and writers of such stuff, not have read any of the relaunch and how could I not be planning on doing so?
Easy. I don't care.
I've been around long enough to know when a publisher is pulling off a promotional stunt or is engaged in outright desperation. This reeks of both, and I really don't want much to do with it.
I know all the reasons behind it, and some of them are actually valid. Discarding decades of history not only of characters but of titles is not only insulting to audiences both old and new, it's also a death blow to people who liked that sense of establishment. I was one of those people. With a business plan that seemed a tad more thought out than Marvel's Silent Month, DC invalidated me as a reader. So I returned the favor. That's not to say I'll never read any of the relaunches, but it is saying that as of right now I couldn't care less about them.
What's even more surprising is what I've heard about them. Some are winners. Some are losers. That is to be expected. In the good new titles, however, people are telling me there are good stories, but not a single one has been described as something that could only be done under the guise of a relaunch. So not only does this move seem like a gimmick and desperate, but it also seems lazy. Lazy in the sense that the publishers and writers (most likely just the publishers) couldn't think of any other way of bringing in new readers and having a major shake-up other than this bit of carefree nonsense. And those readers recommending the titles? They all tell me they think the numbering and titles will revert back to normal sometime in the near future. (No kidding.) So, yes, DC, not even your fans believe it, though the mainstream news medias seem to have bought it as they usually do.
DC's move to seem less isolationist has sort of ended up seeming that very thing in a sense. Unfortunately, it has also worked, with DC dominating sales charts. I can't picture that will be the case for much longer (and it may have already started to wane; I have yet to see current numbers for the past month). It's a short-term fix to a long-time problem, which is: attracting new readers. This was a half-hearted good idea. You can attract all kinds of new readers, but if you lose the old ones, you're sunk.