Saturday, July 30, 2011

Follow Up to the Post Comic Con Post

So DC Comics has said they've heard the complaints about not hiring enough women and there will be a next batch of relaunch books that will correct some of these issues. I think that's a first good step and I'm glad they're listening but we'll see how it plays out. Some of the responses I've read on various sites reporting this news aren't very encouraging. One theme that comes up is "Well, the girls got what they wanted so they better buy the books now." I'm struggling not to ramble on about how wrong this statement is on many levels and how it reflects a part of the comics community that is very ugly. I hope for those creators working on these books that they succeed, but if they don't it's not a sign women can't produce quality books that can sell. I think the women creating webcomics, self-publishing, and working with other publishers have proven they can.

But now to ramble about other stuff. I wanted to point out Caanan's comment to that post and respond/comment on a few things he says.

- I think I would have liked a hard reboot as well. And for me, it's not necessarily about changing the characters like Superman but just cleaning up the mess that is Superman's history. No need to make him a bad-ass vigilante (and I don't believe his book should be "dark") or anything like that, just more accessible. But yeah, their current audience would be really upset by that.

- As for crossovers and the events, they seem to be the biggest seller of the big two and I've been told by a few people that they do bring in some new readers (I know a few people who came back to comics during Civil War). But sales have been declining and people don't seem to be as interested in them since then (I haven't heard much of Fear Itself or Flashpoint really bringing in new readers). But again I agree with Caanan, if I want to read the Hulk I want to pick up the Hulk series. I was reading the Incredible Hulks: Chaos War TPB last night and it was a little frustrating at times. An issue would end and you'd get "If you want to know what happens next pick up..." Now yes, if I was doing the single issues thing then yes, I could have picked up that issue (or two) but I don't really care enough about Herc and the others that were involved in that storyline. I don't really have anything against telling stories that involve more than one character, but I think maybe those stories should be self contained in their own titles. If they come up with a cool Hulk/Hercules story, create a title "Hulk and Hercules: Chaos War" and tell it there. This may also brings up continuity and such but at this point, I'm ready to give up on continuity to a certain level.

- And yes, the house style is a bad idea in my opinion. I think getting Jim Lee to redesign most of the characters and forcing artists to fit into his vision was wrong. I hate to bring up Marvel but if you look at their books you don't get that house style. You get a variety of artists who are allowed to adapt their style to books they want to do. You may get the "photo realistic" guys out there (whether I like it or not), you'll get the more surreal or abstract artists, you'll get the dark and gritty artists, the cartoony guys, the traditional artists, etc, etc. and they get to do what they love, create visually interesting art more on their own terms (with possible exceptions or tweaking).

And that last point may be one thing that hurts the female creators coming in. Allowing them to come in and tell interesting Batman or Superman stories in their own way could be great. Forcing them to take on a C-level character in a DC/Jim Lee style may be doomed to fail.

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