Over at the Source blog, DC’s braintrust shared their hopes for the relaunch hitting tonight. Including
You might not know this, but I am not a very patient person. I couldn’t wait till Christmas morn to open gifts, never knew the need to savor a fine wine, and on most days, fast food isn’t fast enough. So, as you could imagine, the anticipation for the midnight kick-off of FLASHPOINT #5 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 is killing me. Even though its less than two days away.
When we decided to re-launch the entire line, I couldn’t wait to get started. There were books to be assigned, costumes to be re-designed, and continuity to be… reconsidered. I was on the phone daily with Jim Lee and Geoff Johns on the direction, look and tone of the new DC Universe, and an hour didn’t seem to go by without having Bob Harras and Eddie Berganza in my office, or me in theirs, to look over the latest sketches and scripts submitted. And when I wasn’t with them, I spent the time with Mark Chiarello talking covers and costumes, or getting the latest update from John Rood on the Publicity and Marketing juggernaut they had planned. And no day would ever be complete without me checking in with Bob Wayne for the latest sales numbers, which was particularly annoying to him since the comics weren’t even solicited yet.
So here we are, less than two days away. Costumes are locked, scripts are polished and all the first issues complete and ready to be shipped. My mom told me time and again that good things come to those who wait, and I feel like I’ve been waiting for this moment my entire life. This is going to be spectacular.
EVP of sales and marketing John Rood:
You can count on these 52.
And I can count on the dozens of folks here at DC Entertainment. It is an honor to work on the Sales, Marketing & Business Development team, which also includes the areas of Franchise Management, Interactive, and Publicity. Across the DC Comics, Vertigo, and MAD brands.
Many title pages on your new #1’s read, “DC Comics Proudly Presents.” That’s how we feel today about DC Comics – The New 52. Pride. I am so proud, along with our creators and my colleagues and our thousands of retail partners, to present these stories and characters to you.
What we have set out to do, from a Sales & Marketing standpoint, is to make it all bigger and make it all easier for you, no matter who you are.
A favorite definition of Marketing I came across years ago is “removing barriers to a sale.” So if a barrier was displaced readership, we have tried to remove it – with fresh storytelling and clear narratives so anyone can jump (back) aboard a given title. So if a barrier was access, we have tried to remove it – with increasing new sales opportunities (i.e. new customers via new platforms) without jeopardizing our crucial core. So if a barrier was retailer resources, we have tried to remove it – with the most aggressive incentive and co-op program ever. So if a barrier was consumer awareness, we have tried to remove it – with a big and innovative advertising/publicity campaign. So if a barrier was price, we have tried to remove it – with keeping all standard issues at $2.99. So if a barrier was system morale, we have tried to remove it – with a collaborative and optimistic approach to all that we do.
Many in the industry are under the wrong impression that we want to “win the month” at all costs with sales of DC Comics – The New 52. Sure, we’d love to get our books into more hands than ever before, profitably. But it’s most important that any industry growth comes in an additive manner, so that all publishers may succeed. To be clear – DC is not a market-share-chaser. If we were, we would not be creating a quality lasting direction across a controlled number of titles. We would instead be flooding the market with over 200 titles a month, changing your prices with abandon, killing off a character every quarter or so, and/or randomly announcing decimal-pointed event-ish thingies. We haven’t.
So raise a glass – a real physical glass that feels good to the touch and is a lasting part of your collection, or one of those corny little drinking apps you’re temporarily enjoying on your mobile device – to DC Comics – The New 52.
We are just getting started, but we are sure proud of our recent steps. And we sure do appreciate you being on this trip with us.
Thank you all very much. See you in the stores.
SVP of Sales Bob Wayne, so pragmatic he plugs his boss’s books — and then points it out:
Hi there. Bob Wayne here, DC’s SVP – Sales. In the time I’ve worked at DC Comics, and in the time I’ve been reading comics before that, I’ve witnessed a number of industry defining moments.
The debut of the Justice League of America in The Brave & The Bold. The launch of the “New Look’ Batman. The comic shop-only version of New Teen Titans. The Dark Knight Returns. Watchmen. Arkham Asylum. Batman: Hush. Green Lantern: Rebirth. (Yes, amazingly, I’m only mentioning DC-related defining moments… Of course, I’m in Sales. And I mentioned projects by two of my bosses… Because I’d like to stay in Sales…)
And of course there are my continuing discussions with DC Legal over the rights to the phrase “Wayne Manor”….
This week’s debut of The New 52 is the biggest, most sweeping change to date. Our characters have often been updated, because our characters are always evolving. But this is the first time all of our characters will be presented in an exciting new way all at the same time.
It all begins at 12:01am on Wednesday, August 31st with the JUSTICE LEAGUE #1. It’s a great read and a lot of fun. I‘m sure of it … I already have a copy here in my office. (Yes, there are some cool perks to this job…)
Just make sure you read FLASHPOINT #5 first. That issue has a great double-page spread that is a really cool bridge into The New 52. Conveniently, it’s also on sale at 12:01am on Wednesday, August 31st. (I did mention I’m the SVP-Sales, didn’t I?)
So get in line now…. And after you read them, let us know what you think.
And please take a look at OMAC #2 in October… Trust me on that one….
VP-Marketing, John Cunningham:
1. Time Is Merely A Concept.
Here in DCE Marketing, time is a fluid and dizzying concept—any given question can address books that came out a year ago, books that came out last week, books that will come out this week, or books that will come out in 2012.
That is what makes today so special. We may not know what day it is—OK, I may not know what day it is—but we are all fully aware of what August 31th means. It marks the day that we—and by that I mean ALL of us—creators, DC staff, retailers and fans—make history.
Which brings me to The Second Point To Make About Comic Book Publishing As It Relates To The New 52:
2. It Takes A Village (Of Crazy People)
If you are a Jim Lee fan or a Geoff Johns fan or a Justice League fan, that’s why you buy the book. And as John Rood said earlier today (see, I read THE SOURCE!), our job is to remove barriers, and if we are doing that job correctly, not only will you get the comic, but you won’t even know that we were there. So on this day only, on the cusp of launching a new series, I ask you to think about the (literally) hundreds of people who touched JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 in one way or another to get it into your hands.
It starts (and ends) with Jim and Geoff, but along the way there are inkers, colorists, letterers, editors, production folks, printing folks, internal DC departments, distribution staff, retailers, media people—literally hundreds of people— who touch that single comic book in some significant way when it launches. That is crazy, really.
And that’s what we all are doing with an ENTIRE LINE OF 52 BOOKS.
And you know what? It’s really the coolest thing I’ve been involved with in my career, and the most awe-inspiring. Every one of those folks has worked with a frenzy and a focus and a sense of coordination rarely seen in this business.
And now it’s (again) almost time. Can’t wait for you all to see these great books!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.