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.
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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.