- Posted by Johanna on November 24, 2007 at 1:26 pm
- Category: LinkBlogging
Valerie (link no longer available) linked to this Newsarama interview with Dan DiDio (link no longer available) with the announcement “Countdown to officially include little editorial boxes to explain what the bloody hell is going on.” I’m sure that’s considered a concession by those driving the DCU these days, but I was more astounded by the opening of the piece.
if last week’s issue was a snuff film dressed up as a superhero comic, this week’s was one of those scenes in 24 where Jack tortures the terrorist du jour in some fairly gruesome ways.
They’re comparing DC’s highest profile project, during an interview with the company’s Executive Editor, to a SNUFF FILM?!?! And this is from a site known for being in bed with the big superhero publishers? How badly is Countdown tanking that that kind of opening is considered good publicity, or even acceptable?
The kind of stories that are considered okay to publish with DC superheroes these days have sunk to such a level that I’m sure it’s an accurate description of the content, sadly. I was just amazed that that was the opening. Stop and think for a moment. They’re comparing DC’s blockbuster superhero story to watching people get killed for a turn-on? And no one stopped and said “let’s rethink this”? Either in terms of the coverage or the story itself?
As for the “news” — DiDio wants readers to know that, halfway through the year-long weekly series, they’ve now figured out what they want to do.
The good part is that right now, from #26-on, we’re moving everything at the proper speed. We have mapped out now basically where every beat occurs, and I feel that the tempo has been picked up, and the energy has been put back into the series itself.
Changes include the previously mentioned editorial captions to direct readers to additional comics — because you know, that’s the sole purpose of this series, and it shows, reading as “corporate” instead of “creative” — there’s another change, which boils down to “we’re not going to worry about spoiling other comics”. DiDio says:
Let every story have its own pace. If someone feels, correctly or incorrectly, that their “experience” has been revealed in Countdown or revealed in say, Sinestro Corps War, that’s reflected in another series…I’m willing to make that sacrifice because at the end of the day, I’m confident that Countdown is better because Superman Prime appears at the moment he does, or more importantly, the Superman Prime storyline plays out in the way it does in Sinestro Corps War, and we don’t alter one story or the other.
So the much-vaunted greater editorial coordination isn’t working, then? Here’s another telling quote:
That’s particularly noticeable with the Trickster and Pied Piper — it was supposed to be a much deeper examination of homophobia, to be perfectly honest, but it turned into much more of a buddy flick. We went from being The Defiant Ones to Midnight Run.
What a surprise, that DC shied away from exploring homophobia, when they keep giving big titles to one of the best-known ones in comics. But that’s not the biggest problem. Creators with a point of view who want to tell a good story have been driven away from DC by the current emphasis on editorial-dictated material. The people that are left are mostly interchangeable cogs that can be plugged into whichever week needs content, since it’s all written to editorial order. That’s not how you get good stories with well-known characters, which is what will bring true success. If all the books serve the universe instead of vice versa, then it all smushes to mediocrity.
How is Countdown selling in your area? I’m hearing anecdotal reports of sales dropping as fans are tired of $3 a week for a crappy comic where nothing happens and every storyline is only set up before it’s sent off to some other miniseries. No one has faith that there will be a worthwhile payoff, or much of any payoff at all. Maybe fans have finally gotten smart about being taken for granted? Or maybe I’m just breaking my arm patting myself on the back about being right. It’s still a top seller, after all — in an increasingly small fishpond.