Devin Faraci, one of the main editors at the movie site C.H.U.D., has a mild-mannered editorial which brings together all the doomsday scenario ideas floating around — how comics going to $4 will destroy the market for Marvel and DC and lead to a whole new landscape for comics. and he’s fine with that:
And this is very, very bad. Superheroes are very, very bad. They’re like 50 year old hookers chainsmoking on the corner: used up, their best days behind them, appealing only to the most debased, most awful people. The fanbase for superhero comics in this day and age tends to be a devolved group clinging to degrading psychosexual power fantasies that take them away from their daily powerlessness. White males on the sidelines of society who are attached to juvenile escapades and repetitive, stunted storytelling. I’m beginning to look at adults who are deeply immersed in superheroes the way I would look at a grown man eating baby food for lunch. Except that I would say the baby food guy is at least getting some nourishment.
And then he begins to get negative.
The continued life of the superhero comic almost feels like a conspiracy. The direct market, in collaboration with the Big Two publishers, Marvel and DC, has pandered to the core constituency of superhero comics, essentially alienating everybody else. Almost feels like a conspiracy, but I think it’s simply the fact that the Big Two are among the worst run businesses in the country; instead of using the core, weekly consumers as a base upon which to rely while growing their business, they have turned to milking that base for every penny possible, which turns off those on the outskirts of the base – shrinking that base yearly. Each company’s attempts to reach out to new readers feels more half-assed than the last, and Vertigo seems to be the only attempt that has borne any fruit… a decade ago. Meanwhile, the Big Two has remained resistant to any changes in their decades old business model; Marvel is JUST NOW starting to sell comics on iTunes, despite it being dead obvious that the internet was the next frontier for comics years ago. And don’t get me started on the way DC dragged its feet on the trade paperback front forever.
Faraci’s viewpoint is interesting as a semi-knowledgeable consumer, but he also lashes out at any target nearby — not sure what he’s talking about with DC’s trade program, for instance, since it pretty much pioneered the market 10 years ago. We don’t necessarily endorse the rest of his views, either — the “Wednesday addicts” may not be as big as the audience that read comics when they were sold on newsstands, but it remains a profitable one. However, we suspect that many of the issues he brings up are ones that bring gray hairs to many execs at both Marvel and DC. Follow-up: Millarworld posters pooh pooh Faraci, and he responds.