Fans Do a Better Job Recommending DC’s Comics Than the Company Does

DC Entertainment Essential Graphic Novels and Chronology 2013

Several people have pointed out the problems with DC’s recent reading guide, the DC Entertainment Essential Graphic Novels and Chronology 2013. Most obviously, the women of the DCU get all of two pages. That’s all of them together, Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Batgirl, all get as much space as Green Arrow does. (But then, HE’s got a TV show! Which is what seems to matter.)

Personally, I wonder about a “reading guide” that feels the need to subtitle itself a “chronology”. Things shouldn’t be that complicated — but then, when you have a recent reboot and you’re still trying to sell the older books, without coming right out and saying “these don’t count any more (except when they do)”, I guess you’ve got a difficult tightrope to walk. I gave up trying to read the guide, because I found it both confusing and badly written, and I wasn’t all that interested in finding out what the company, DC Entertainment let’s remember, wants me to read when I have shelves and shelves of what I already know is the good stuff.

For instance — J. Caleb Mozzocco has put together his own list of recommended Wonder Woman reading, which is a much better selection. First, though, he gets in a few jabs of his own, such as this one:

DC Comics is the wrong entity to be championing that backlist, given the amount of time and energy they’ve expended telling the world that’s the old, lame stuff: The good stuff is all these shitty comics that look like bowdlerized videogame designs drawn by artists from 1993, the ones where the writers change every arc or so and everything’s so ill-considered we’re retconning stuff by the time we collect it in trade.

The Wonder Woman books Caleb recommends are all historical or out-of-continuity special-event volumes, but they’re easier to read than the current series and other recent attempts to make the character popular. His post is worth reading just for the image of the Wonder Woman library bookmark he starts with. Wish I had one, it’s lovely.

(Disclaimer: My husband KC edited the Adventures in the DC Universe comic, a collected volume of which Caleb recommends.)


5 Responses to “Fans Do a Better Job Recommending DC’s Comics Than the Company Does”

  1. Jer Says:

    That Cosetino Wonder Woman picture book Caleb recommends is awesome, by the way. My son loves it – I think he likes the Wonder Woman one more than the Batman one (though perhaps a bit less than the Superman one).

    I remain stunned that DC has a freaking superhero princess and they cannot figure out how to market a superhero princess to girls.

  2. Bill Beechler Says:

    http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=1349

    The Wonder Woman one isn’t available anymore…but you can still buy the Batgirl one.

  3. Johanna Says:

    Bummer, but thanks for the link!

  4. Collected Editions Says:

    I hope “badly written” refers to, say, my noting the erroneous summary of Watchmen in the book, and not my post. :)

    Indeed, even as the audience most likely to first check out a catalog like this is ardent DC fans, it clearly wasn’t meant for them. This is a forward-looking catalog to the extreme — I can’t necessarily blame DC for advertising the New 52 collections and a couple other “key” (read: in print) books, since they’ve got to make money and that’s what they’re trying to sell. There was an off-chance this catalog might wax nostalgic, but it’s not the case.

  5. Johanna Says:

    Oh, yes, “badly written” is the catalog, not your post. Your post was a nicely comprehensive rundown.

    I don’t blame DC for trying to sell their current product, but I think it’s typically short-sighted thinking, when older stories might be better suited to the audience and more successfully create returning readers. Then again, this booklet might have some other purpose altogether — for all we know, it’s meant to be given to higher-ups to better help them choose the next TV project. :)

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