Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The two saddest comics-related news stories I have ever read, ever

A group of comics fans is planning to protest the stupid new "reboot" of the DC universe, the publicity stunt and nothing more that DC comics has planned for this September. I have already written about how tired and pointless this "reboot" is -- it's the same crap all over again! -- but the response to this is to simply not buy the comics.

Actually, most people are not buying the comics. Have you looked at DC's sales figures? They're low!

Their protest is taking the form of a "Walk" at this year's San Diego Comic Con. I guess they're going to "walk" around the convention center and, um, do something, I don't know and I'm not inclined to try to figure it out. (I think I'm about as interested in the "walk" as I am in the "reboot" that has inspired it.) As of right now, their facebook page shows about 375 people planning to attend. Here is an interview with the organizer of the walk, which you can read if you want. Full disclosure: I did not read the whole thing, but I gather she is a big Harley Quinn fan.

I personally think that the walk idea is silly, for the reasons I stated in my original post, the one to which I already linked above. It's the same stuff, all over again. Seriously, take a look at the cover of the new, "re-booted" Justice League:

That is the same tired old crap that DC has been publishing forever.

That said, I am not one of those people who thinks that you can't have an opinion, and express it, about something that is ultimately "trivial," until every single other problem in the world is solved -- an attitude expressed by this smug little comic strip:

Why didn't the people who made this comic strip take the time and effort they devoted to it's creation to help stop the horrors in Darfur? Don't they care about important issues? Wouldn't they rather do something productive than make a comic strip about something so trivial???

You see where that attitude gets you? Nowhere. Which is where this whole "re-boot" is going to get DC Comics, if that Justice League cover is any indication of what's in store. So, the walk is pointless, and the backlash against the walk is pointless. It's a metaphor for life, I suppose.

What everyone needs to keep in mind is that the comic books themselves are nothing more than advertising pamphlets for merchandising properties. They are published not for your reading pleasure, but to exercise trademarks. To keep the properties in the public's mind for future use as movies, toys, and fast-food tie-ins. This is what your comics are really being published for:

That's only the first saddest comics-related news story! The second involves the DC comics promotional video released to promote their "re-boot" that isn't really a "re-boot" at all, just more of the same craptastic stories told over and over again.

Check this out:

That is a bunch of middle-aged men who have been doing the same tired crap for decades trying to convince you that this particular "re-boot," just the latest of many (as I've already written, see links above!), is going to be the re-boot that sticks! This "re-boot" is going to be the one where we actually do something different! This is the "re-boot" where the stories get exciting!

Even those guys don't believe it. Look at the glazed expressions on their faces. Listen to the cadence of their speech. They are just going through the motions. They are just reading the same script they've always read. These are the same people who brought you The Clone Saga! They brought you Infinite Crisis! They brought you Batman Inc! The brought you WildCATS! But, really, this time thing's'll be different, we promise!

Again, I direct your eye back to that "re-booted" Justice League cover above. Only the die-hardest of the die-hard fanboys is going to get excited about that.

Check it out! They all look basically the same as before, and they're all jumping and scowling! It's gonna be awesome!!!

And that is the whole problem with the "re-boot."

I do, however, want to credit DC Comics with one innovation: Day-and-date digital publication. This is something that the comics industry has needed for about, oh, ten years or so. The fact that it's coming now tells you just how conservative, provincial, and stasist the comics industry is. It's pathetic that it's taken this long, and it's probably too late to make any meaningful change in comics' long term prospects in general, DC's in particular.

Because, seriously, if you're still producing the same crap, and if you've still got all the same people producing that same crap, it doesn't matter what formats you use to present that material. Outside of a few hardcore fans, no one's going to want it. Again allow me to direct the reader to the Justice League cover above.

Are you as excited as the middle-aged men in that video?


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