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June 13, 2007

Comments

Mithel

By God but that man is unappealing.

James Meeley

I don't know. I kinda felt for Idelson a bit in this. He is right that there does seem little way to make the fans happy. No matter what they do, someone is going to bitch.

Personally, I've always felt that have "inventory stories" around is a good idea. It really helps cover your butt. Yeah, some people are put off by theose, but, well, F@#% 'em! Now, I'm not saying the story should be hackwork, but a good quality inventory story can really make the wait between the mian stories issues much less a pain. Just look at Detective Comics since Dini came on, as proof of this.

Of course, I think you should email me a link to #7 on the list. I mean, that IS what he asked for, right? Perhaps seeing a mere fan able to spell it out so clearly for him might help Idelson and other editors at DC. I know it certainly couldn't hurt.

As it stands, I think I'll send my choice of the three options. Anyone got Idelson's email address?

Mark Engblom

"I don't know. I kinda felt for Idelson a bit in this. He is right that there does seem little way to make the fans happy. No matter what they do, someone is going to bitch."

See, that's why DC governing their decisions based on whether or not one group or another is going to whine about it is pretty silly. Of course they're going to offend someone....just like any business that interacts with the public.

The way to make fans and retailers happy is to deliver the promised product on time. It's really not rocket science. Placing themselves in situations that put them more at risk of blowing deadlines is unprofessional and rests squarely on their shoulders.

I think the "We Can't Please Anyone" excuse is a straw man argument, which subtley shifts the responsibility for DC's failures onto a fussy and incoherent fan base.

Maybe it was the photo of Idelson that raised my ire, but it just seems so representative of my generation's shlubby, shruggy "office casual" way of doing things. I'm not suggesting they all start wearing dress shirts and ties like the Julius Schwartz-era DC staffers, but man....what an unprofessional looking slob.

Tom the Bomb

The fact that Idelson's piece was allowed to see print makes me think there's a problem of editorial culture within the DC offices. They've embarrassed themselves several times, they've read and heard the backlash, and they've been commiserating with one another at the office. "We try and try, but whattya gonna do?" I think they're reinforcing their attitude amongst themselves rather than genuinely committing to fixing the problem.

Mark's laid out solutions here and at the linked post. These are things that DC should already know.

In addition, I would respond that I don't mind an inventory story or two. But if used, they should come in between longer arcs, not between issues of an ongoing arc, as has been the case with the Johns/Donner Superman story. The longer the wait between chapters in a single arc, the more pressure that's put on the story. It encourages the question, "Was it worth the wait?" and it becomes increasingly hard to live up to that.

I'm all for #4. I know they argue until they're green in the face that mega-events make them money, but from a quality storytelling perspective, I would like to take more time between them. So many of them are setting up new status quos that could be explored more.

Mark Engblom

"They've embarrassed themselves several times, they've read and heard the backlash, and they've been commiserating with one another at the office. "We try and try, but whattya gonna do?"

I think you're dead-on here, Tom. There's definitely a "seige mentality" at work here, with no real indication they plan to take serious steps to fix the problem. Rather than trying to please the Three Factions of Fandom, I would suggest that the editorial staff do what's best for DC Comics, which means getting their product out when promised, as well as understanding the weight of those promises. Is a solicitation date a "promise"? I believe it is (as do countless successful businesses)....a pity so many involved in creating comics don't see it that way.

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