Oh boy, good thing the week before Labor Day is always a quiet week in comic-book land! We managed to scrape together some news items.
§ Chris Murphy went to DC and read half the new books. Summary: Grant Morrison ACTION #1 good. Paul Cornell also good. The rest of the reviews are a little vague but…hey quick impressions in this piece.
§ ComiXology explainsWhat You Need to Know for JLA#1 and The New 52 in case you want to buy the digital versions. Summary: The week’s releases go live at 2 pm Eastern time.
§ The New York Times sums up the current moves with quotes from everyone from Bob Harras to Jim Shooter to MIT professor of new media stuff Henry Jenkins. The passage which has intrigued the most Kremlinologists is this: the origin ‘graph:
DC, which is owned by Time Warner, has long lagged behind its rival Marvel Comics, the Disney-owned publisher of Spider-Man and Captain America, in market share if not audience enthusiasm. Its latest company-wide overhaul has been almost a year in the making, devised in October at an editorial retreat where staff members were trying to create a love triangle for Superman, who wed Lois Lane in 1996. Once the team decided it did not have to be bound by this marital detail, “we started talking about a lot of crazy, what-if situations, and out of that openness came the idea of renumbering the entire line,” said Jim Lee, co-publisher of DC Comics and an illustrator of the new Justice League series.
This “When did they start this” argument isn’t quite as clear cut as say, looking at your birth certificate and your parents wedding anniversary and seeing if they equal nine months. While the haste and multiple choice creators that the New 52 was begun with is well documented at this point, it doesn’t necessarily mean that DC wasn’t stocking a relaunch go-bag a year ago.
The triangle thing is a little weirder. Some of that seems to have come through in the “Lois’s new boyfriend” storyline. But I find that whole storyline troubling for a reason I’ll have to get into in a different post. The main impression I get from the Times piece is “uncertainty.” Nobody knows what’s going to work but they have to try something. That sums it up as well as anything. But: see next post.
§ Newsarama asks creators to say goodbye to the old DC universe, with its parallel worlds and powerful chimps. But leave it to Keith Giffen to give the best sound bite.
You know what I’m not sorry to see go? Blown deadlines, late shipping, a snarl of continuity that was strangling creativity, people making excuses for why their book is roundly panned by pointing out “look what I was given from the last story!” (that whole excuse is gone, because it’s all brand new now)… mostly, the idea that set in somewhere at DC and Marvel that we were doing “fanzines” instead of publishing comics. I’m not going to miss that attitude. I’m kind of glad that we have a more professional, almost crack-the-whip attitude, although I hope everyone keeps it within reason. This make-your-deadline thing can turn ugly if you’re not careful, but I think DC is headed in the right direction. I’m not going to miss, I guess, the old business paradigm that had set in and I’m looking forward to seeing how the new one works out.
The middle of the end.
§ Last night’s midnight signings seem to have gone very well. “holy shit that was the busiest 11 minutes of the year” tweeted The Beguiling’s Chris Butcher. Midtown Comics’ TwitPic stream has all sorts of cosplayers, including the Supergirl who won the costume contest. Scott Snyder, Amy Reeder and Cliff Chiang all made the scene, and Jim Lee and Geoff Johns serving pizza is already a classic moment.
§ MSNBC also has some photos, and this one in particular really freaked us out. First because the guys in the background have a perfect “Wow we’re having our picture taken and we’re having a great time!” look. Budweiser needs to sign them up for an advertising campaign immediately. Second, the guy shaking Scott Snyder’s hand is an exact doppelganger of a guy I know who lives on the other side of the country now — but a doppelganger for how he looked two years ago. It’s almost as if a parallel world had opened up and an alternate version was here. But…that would be TOO MUCH LIKE A COMIC BOOK.
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.