- Posted by Johanna on January 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm
- Category: Comic News
As part of the price drop to $2.99 DC is promoting heavily this year, they announced that their books’ content would go from 22 to 20 pages. Now we know what’s going into those pages — the company announced today that they are bringing back letter columns.
Now, some have already criticized this move as a way to fill space cheaply by having fans write their content, but if done right, I welcome the text. It gives a chance to find out more about the book and be part of a conversational community. The internet is nice, but when you’re reading a back issue years later, you’re not going to easily find comments about an earlier issue there, and I like a place where a good writer or editor puts work in context or reminds us of key history moments related to the story or characters.
There is so much you can do with a letters page! Marvel’s been publishing some good examples lately, with letters “answered” by characters in the comics, and I have fond memories of classic DC lettercol events like voting for The Legion of Super-Heroes president (already brought back online). Of course, a letter page is only as good as the person assembling and responding. I hope that they remember the most important rule of writing letter columns: you get what you run. If you want thoughtful, well-written letters with something significant to say, that’s what you need to select for publication.
DC has set up for letters to be sent either in print or online, with some rules: They reserve the right to edit you (which may mean, at an extreme, as with one of my few moments in print, they take out all the criticisms and just leave the praise) and publish your content “in any medium.” And you only get 500 words, so no epics, please.
According to this Washington Post article, DC’s last lettercol was in 2002 — my goodness, really, that long ago?