The instant internet revulsion at DC’s new half-page ad placements united the people as few things can—perhaps only revulsion for Game of Thrones and love for #NationalBiscuitDay. We can now see that this throwback to an older, more popular time for comics, when sales in the six figures were average, may not jibe with today’s love for a smooth, unfettered artistic comics reading experience.
Fortunately, I’m told that thus far, the ghastly Twix ad is the only one booked for this “half page” placement. However that’s not to say that some enterprising salesperson at DC couldn’t sell it again—unless the internet revulsion sends up a big red flag that this is perhaps not that great an idea.
As many have pointed out on Twitter and beyond, in-page ads are nothing new in comics. Tom Spurgeon found a tiny thumbnail of a comics page from the 70s, and I seem to recall that TEXT ADS were common at the bottom of 70s Marvel comics. The nü West Coast DC with its battalions of branding experts may have decided that ad revenue is a good thing and maybe the product is strong enough to withstand a disruptive—and from the twitter photos, horrible looking—ad like this. I suspect that internet outrage will dissipate fairly quickly however.
If you don’t like this, vote with your wallet people!
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.