DC spotlights talent in new ad campaign

DC has been rolling out a new ad campaign featuring their creators…or Makers as they’re called. (As we pointed out, the official word at both Marvel and DC is “Talent.”) This is noteworthy, because Image already rolled out a very similar campaign, as Image publisher Eric Stephenson pointed out briefly and sharply.

The campaign has led to a lot of commentary, such as this from Graeme McMillan, who zeroes in on the term “Makers”:

It’s the opposite tack from Marvel, which promotes its creators as “Architects,” positioning them as being responsible for a “House of Ideas,” although that branding also removes the “creator” term — again, with good reason — and portrays what the creators do as a job, instead of something more romantic and idealistic.

Perhaps this is the best way for both Marvel and DC to take advantage of increasing awareness on the part of the audience about who is writing and drawing their favorite books, and the cult of personality that promotes, while also downplaying the issue of authorial ownership. Of course, it’s also possible that DC simply chose the term “makers” for its alliterative qualities when paired with the word “Meet,” and are pushing creators because there’s no big publishing news coming from them this year. I guess we’ll see in a couple of weeks when SDCC begins…

So far DC has rolled out Scott Snyder and Geoff Johns, but you can see the whole talent gallery here. With the long-time focus on characters, not creators, this is a nice switch from DC, and also a reality-facing moment: readers follow creators just as much as characters these days.

For the sake of comparison here’s a few of the Image ads:




If you were going to characterize each campaign, we’d say DC’s present the makers as likable folks posing authoritatively. The Image campaign features people creating away at their drafting boards. So analyze that.



  1. says

    I vote for “We’re not as mean as Chris Roberson says we are.”

    That would give me the warm fuzzies.

  2. says

    The Image promotional posters are near perfect. Really great. Sorry, but all I remember from the DC AD is maybe I should go to the Boise National Forest and camp for the weekend during SDCC. AND I have always hated the word “GEEK”.

  3. RegularSyzedMike says

    Maybe it was a typ-o and the SDCC has a large Greek following?

    But yeah, DC’s slippin.

  4. Benjamin L Boyd says

    “Come on down and meet your maker, come on down and make The Stand…”

    -The Alarm.

  5. Philip says

    The DC ads are a mess. There’s so much happening in them, it’s hard to know what they hope to achieve with them. The Image ads are so clean, almost elegant. They really capture the creators in a way that makes me want to know more about them and their work.

  6. says

    Man, Brandon Graham seems really cute! What happened to the old comic book tradition saying that male comic book creators are bald overweighted bears (with sometimes really brightfull and flowerly shirts)? :p

  7. Dennis V. says

    Sorry, but I don’t like those Image “quote” ads… they’re boring and remind me of some outdated lame public service ad. As for the DC ones, eh… nothing special.

  8. Trev says

    I think it’s awesome that creators are out front and center in these ad campaigns from the ‘big 3’. plus, it is getting me excited about San Diego.

  9. Yakki The Tickler says

    How are they gonna feature talent beyond Morrison and Snyder? Those are the only two talented guys they have at the moment.

  10. says

    I just hope one day sales pick up enough for comic book companies to be able to afford colour photos of their creators.

  11. James says

    @Yakki – Lemire is amazing. He should of been included instead – 2 up and comers. Not a guy whos best work seems to be behind him.

  12. Al™ says

    I like seeing the photoso of the creators. However I find the DC ads intimidating, with the creators taking their tough guy poses.

    And the Image ads are actually kind of sad, with their tinted closeups of young people at home in t-shirts, reduced to drawing comics in their laundry room or on the kitchen table.

    Takes me back to my high school cartooning days, but not in a good way.

    At least I know what these creators look like, and maybe it is considered ‘team building’ for the companies.

  13. says

    These ads remind me of that youtube video of how Microsoft would design their boxes :)
    The Image ads are pretty basic in it’s simplicity, while the DC ads try to cram as much information it it a possible.

  14. Apollo9000 says

    Nice that DC is giving their “Makers” a bit of a spotlight but who are these ads for? If any comic company can come up with an ad campaign that firmly aims for non readers, that’s when I’ll truly stand up and applaud. This to me only seems like preaching to the choir. ( And isn’t SDCC in less than a month with damn near all tickets sold out? Odd timing for these ads then.)

  15. says

    >> Nice that DC is giving their “Makers” a bit of a spotlight but who are these ads for?>>

    People going to (or wishing they could go to) San Diego.

    >> This to me only seems like preaching to the choir.>>

    These aren’t outreach ads. These are “come to see us at San Diego and see all our promotional stuff” ads.

    >> ( And isn’t SDCC in less than a month with damn near all tickets sold out? Odd timing for these ads then.)>>

    No, it’s the ideal time to run ads trying to get people to come to your booth at the show.

  16. James says

    Thanks Jason – But yeah, I’m aware that he was trying to be cool. So I though I’d in turn try to be a smart arse! haha… :)

    And what is with the pose of his 2 fingers?!? Lmao! Looks like hes about to perform a sexual act!

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