Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ranting and Rambling: Comics Aren't For Kids Anymore... or at All?

I read the news today.  Oh, boy....
So, DC Comics has made internet news headlines again, much to their own chagrin.
You can find the the full events here, but the gist of it is that Dan DiDio (co-publisher of DC Comics) told Paul Frigging Pope that he couldn't do a comic he wanted because DC only "publish[es] comics for 45-year-olds." Funnily enough, I remember when Mr. DiDio said that part of the reason for rebooting the DC Universe with the New 52 was to attract younger readers. Hey, while we're at it, do you know what else I remember? This.

Remember this? Apparently, DC forgot about it.
Comics are about four bucks an issue now. So if you add all the conflicting retcons and wishy-washy answers on the status of certain characters in the New 52, you can pretty much tell that DC Comics might not have that whole "consistency" thing down yet. But I digress.

While it pains me to say it, there's a part of me that gets what Mr. DiDio's saying. If DC Comics aims for an older audience, that means that older readers will become hooked by quality material made just for them, while the younger readers won't be a problem because hey, it's Superman and Batman and they're awesome; they'll buy the comic anyway. They'll buy the comic no matter what. And people caught in the middle?  Well, if they started reading as a youngun, they won't stop any time soon. Cynical? No doubt. At least a grain of truth? Probably.

This may lead some to ask, "Why not make a line of comics for kids like they made one for adults when they spun-off Vertigo Comics?" They did, it's called Johnny DC. They got rid of most of it because it just wasn't making money. Let's be honest with ourselves: All Dan DiDio did was come right out and admit something that most of us probably already suspected in the first place. Right now, it seems like a big deal. People will say they'll never buy DC again, they might boycott, or protest, or complain.... But the worst part, in the end?

DC's just doing what works. You can't blame DC for using a working business model. However, that was probably the worst thing you could have said, DiDio. You probably crossed the line when you said, "If you want to do comics for kids, you can do 'Scooby-Doo.'" So the business model is sound.


...let's discuss that attitude, Mr. DiDio.
You publish comics for 45-year-olds, apparently. Well, good job alienating the majority of your fans. You are quite literally saying that most of the consumers of your product are not worth your time and effort. Guess what? If you lose younger readers now because of that, they're not going to magically start reading again as soon as they turn 45.


DiDio, I know you'll probably never read this. But I have two very young cousins. Their favorite hero in the whole wide world is Batman. They have toys, posters, Lego Batman 2, and more. It got to the point where they literally had me draw Batman for them every Sunday. Could you really look them in the eye...

...and tell them that not only is Batman not for them...

...but that Batman and the rest of DC Comics is not worth their time or money?

I get where DiDio's coming from, but it might be a good idea for him to watch where he's going with it.

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