Monday, August 6, 2018

DC in denial of reality, and Hard Case Crime dismisses readers

I know there's the GenCon bit everybody has seen and written about. I just didn't expect the con to deal itself a deathblow this fast, and that's all I'll write here for now.

DC co-publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee recently did an interview on ICV2 regarding DC's sales year to year and the industry. Bounding into comics provided a little commentary via numbers, but didn't go into analysis, instead asking for opinions in the comments section. Didio seems to think the biggest problem is over-saturation of the comics market, while Lee is pointing to declining traffic at Barnes and Noble and waning interest in The Walking Dead.

Both are in at least some way, dead wrong in how they're looking at things, though they have made a move to get into WalMart, and that will likely help. But neither espouses concern for the health of comic book stores, their primary outlet. They refuse to name either their or Marvel's recent badly moving books as reason that the industry suffers, especially the Diamond overshipments. Instead, they are pointing their fingers at the high quality of new publishers popping up. They do mention the high price point of issues, but fail to mention any remedy for that, nor is any mention of the mostly fail that digital comics are(DRM kills the ability to really share or collect, because you don't OWN the book you bought, not to mention the inability of reader programs to really work with experimental panel layouts, among other issues).

Now, yes, over-saturation will indeed make individual company and title numbers fall. But that doesn't change what the industry numbers should look like, which are down 4% from last year. That doesn't explain over 60 stores in the USA closing this year so far. Unless you explicitly mean, "Marvel overshipped to stores enough that they went broke." A shrinking industry is something they should be massively concerned about, but they don't express that anywhere. But that has NOTHING to do with small press comics.

You want better sales, DC? Quit the diversity classes and get great writers and artists onboard, and pay them well. Tell AMAZING stories, and quit gaslighting the characters into something they never were. New guys? fine. Quit messing with Superman, WW, Bats, etc. Put out some newsprint titles at $2 or less, like Alterna does. Get it together, and make some money selling comics.

Now, onto Hard Case Crime. This is going to be tough for me. 

Hard Case Crime, on their Twitter account(my information again from BiC), has explicitly stated they don't want money from Trump supporters. For those not in the know, HCC is one of the larger crime pulp revival presses, with well over 100 titles by now, including Lawrence Block, Mickey Spillane, Max Allan Collins, and Michael Chrichton(as John Lange) in their catalog among others.The covers are magnificent portraits that tell you something is going down.

Insulting writers is a bad look in general. Insulting your customer base is a worse one. I like their books a lot, and have been excited about the comics partnership they developed with Titan. Now, I have to either cut them off, or be a blasted paypig to people that hate me openly. "Don't give money to people that hate you." -Brian Niemeier

Goodbye, Hard Case Crime. 

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.