Friday, September 23, 2011

DC Comics And "The New 52"

It's a fact that I haven't had much to say so far about DC Comics' bold relaunch of their entire line that began this month. Back in June, once the lineup was revealed, I wrote my predictions for how much interest I expected to have in each of the 52 various series. I'll be re-examining that list once the first month is complete and I've caught up my reading of it.

But right now, I wanted to step back and gaze in wonder at what DC has already pulled off. For those who don't follow the comic industry, this will likely be news: all 39 of the first issues released so far have completely sold out, and are getting second, third and in at least one case, fourth printings! Now, sellouts are not unheard of in comic circles, but they're definitely the exception. So having an entire line of comics sell out is mind-blowing! Making this situation even more unbelievable is the fact that most store owners ordered high on these # 1s, as DC offered a special incentive program where unsold copies could be returned for a substantial refund (comics, ever since sometime in the 80s, have been non-returnable and thus stores almost always have to order somewhat conservatively if they don't want to have lots of recent, unsold comics filling up their back issue bins). So the orders were unnaturally high, and still all of the copies were gone, often within the first day of sale! My local comic store owner, for example, told me that all 13 of the first week DCs sold out on the Wednesday, and possibly (I can't remember precisely) all 13 from the second week did, as well. In response to my question, "When was the last time this sort of thing happened?" he said, "Well... never!"

So, while I have some reservations about the quality of the comics themselves - which I'll get into in that later post on the topic - I can't help but be impressed by what DC has accomplished so far with this move. It's got to be making Disney-nee-Marvel Comics at least a little nervous, despite their attempts to pooh-pooh it and all their claims that they'd never follow suit.

For those few intrepid souls actually interested in this, Brian Hibbs, a San Francisco comic store owner, sums up this remarkable success story rather well in his Tilting at Windmills column, along with a few cautionary thoughts about it.

1 comment:

Vicki said...

Wow...good for seemed like a Marvel type stunt so I'm glad it working out well for them. Go superman and batman and wonderwomen and....