Saturday, September 7, 2013

My issues with DC Comics, the New 52, Truth, Justice, and The American Way

I e-mailed this to DC Comics today

Dear Editorial and Publishing Staff of DC comics:

I am a lifelong reader of comics. My family and I have been collecting since Starro was defeated with lime. We have done our best to foster and create the same love of the comic art form in further generations of our family, so it pains me to say that I have had to stop purchasing comics.

There are a number of reasons why I have stopped collecting. The economy is a factor, but I have continued collecting through tougher times. The major reason for cessation of comic collecting is the latest universe changing reboot, is the thing you have called “the New 52”.

I realize it is a daunting task to take three universes (Milestone, Wildstorm, and Vertigo) and integrate them into the new DCU. In the past you have done your reboots with style and finesse. It was done by writers and artists and people who cared about comics. It appears that the current reboot is being handled by sales consultants and spread sheet specialists.

There were exceptions early on. I enjoyed Animal Man, Aquaman, JLA, and Wonder Woman. I even thought that Justice League Dark could be interesting, but even in these cases I felt that I was plunked down in a world that didn’t understand its own continuity, and was trying too hard to cross over with other titles and shove concepts in my face as if I should be all knowing and have the cash to purchase all 52 titles.

I am angry about editors rewriting stories and hamstringing their writers. Comic books were founded on writing and imagination. It is only recently that you can use those comic book concepts to sell movies and cartoons and generate profit that the corporate imagination killers want them to sell and make money or be in the news.

Comics used to be run by people who believed in comics. People who loved comics and once that’s gone, it becomes an empty soulless thing designed to dupe people into spending cash.

I’m waiting for someone to ask me if I think I can do better. The answer is “yes”. Everybody is looking for ways to make the comic book business more profitable. It is not by making them slicker and devoid of character. The comic book is a medium not a genre. It is designed to tell a story. My plan for making money is, hire good writers with good ideas (maybe even some new guys, remember people who love comics make the best comics) and hire artists that can do justice to these iconic characters. Most importantly, don’t forget the legacy of the characters, at the same time; you need to send them in new creative directions.

David M. Hargarten

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