Letters of Mass Construction

DC Comics Goes BOOM!

Unless you were abducted by aliens (hope they didn’t probe too hard) or fallen completely off the grid, you heard the news. It sent shockwaves across the comic universe. DC Comics is starting over. Every superhero book will get a relaunch at number 1. All of their superhero books will become more current and younger (in an attempt to bring new readers in). They will also be releasing all comics digitally on the same day they come out in the comic book store.

The reactions were all over the place and most were running towards the negative. If I am DC I don’t worry about all the negative talk because in my experience it is usually the people with an axe to grind who scream the loudest and most often at something new. One comment section I read was filled with the comment, “I am done with DC.”

I had the exact opposite reaction. Mine was, “I am done with Marvel.” At least I will come back to Marvel as soon as they jump completely on the Digital train. I have been waiting since I bought my iPad for Marvel or DC to start releasing their comics digitally at the same time they put them into stores. This is a big deal for me. I love comics but they have been left almost entirely off my blog. No reviews, very few mentions in my “Geeking Out” blog. I don’t get my comics until a month after they have come out. I have no comic store around me and I have to have them shipped in.

The shipping is inconvient and expensive. I get a discount on the books but it is swallowed up by the shipping costs. The truth is I could probably have them shipped cheaper because I am months behind on reading my Marvel and DC books (I usually catch up in the summer). Since I don’t get to experience the thrill of reading them the day they come out (like most of my friends) they tend to sit there while I catch up on all my other projects. Comic books are not an easy thing to haul around. Unless, of course, they are on my iPad. I have read every issue on my iPad.

With my iPad I am allowed to read at school on my breaks, in the car, on airplanes, I can take my comics everywhere and I love it. I have a limited comic budget (this might be a lie). With DC going digital they (and other digital publishers who publish current books) will get all of my money from here on in. This will also solve my other problem of having no more room in my house. As a kid I loved collecting comics. As an adult I love reading them. I am constantly selling off large parts of my collection to make room. I hate this. I have sold comics I would love to reread some day, now I will be able to.

This brings me back to the whole starting at number 1 issue. Apparently, there are quite a few people out there that think DC is doing a disservice to collectors. I don’t buy it. If you have 500 issues of Batman, starting it over at number 1 doesn’t change anything. Who cares what number is in the corner. I care about story and art. If you bring me a good book I will read it. If it sucks I won’t. I have stopped buying Batman, Spider-Man, JLA, and any number of books many times in my life. I do so because they put a new creative team on it I don’t like. At some point the team changes to someone I like and I come back.

My brother doesn’t read comics. Not because he doesn’t like them, he has enjoyed quite a few stories I have passed his way. He doesn’t read them because he prefers graphic novel and I don’t buy many of those. When I told him about the renumbering his response was a simple, “so what?” He reads comics if they are good and I rave about them. Then there is my wife who loves reading comics but doesn’t really like the comic book format. Trust me when I tell you she will be all over digital comics. She loves her iPad. Getting to read Birds of Prey or Wonder Woman the day it comes out will turn her into a bigger fan.

And really isn’t that the point of all of this. Comic book sales are struggling still. Marvel and DC thrive because of merchandising and movies. They have an opportunity here to bring in a lot of readers with the advent of digital. I, for one, am all for that. The more people reading them, the better. I want comics to thrive. I want comic book companies taking chances. Doing interesting stories. I want to be entertained. I actually still prefer reading comics to any other type of reading I do. Anything which grows the industry is a good thing. I don’t care what number is on the cover. I care if J.T. Krull, or Warren Ellis, or Mike Carey, or any number of other writers is writing good books. It was a big boom but as the dust settles I am sure we will like the new landscape. We will be entertained. Now if someone could just get Marvel to push the button.

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