The End Of Writing For The Trade And The Return Of Stephanie Brown – DC Retail Roadshow Takes Manhattan

General Manager Mike Gendreau of Modern Myths of Northampton, Massachusetts, attended the New York DC Retailer Roadshow meeting last Friday. On the store’s Facebook page he reported on the events, with John Rood, Bob Wayne, Vince Letterio, Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. During which we learned;

DC had taken a look at the comics industry as a whole and felt that the industry needed a shot in the arm.  They felt that the stories had gotten stale and too talky.  Dan recounted a book he read recently from ‘another publisher’ that had 15 pages of 9 panels of exposition [Link mine - Rich]. He felt comics used to be able to do stories that movies couldn’t. Lately, comic book movies have been doing comics better than comics have.  Dan felt that DC needed to work harder across the board to improve the product.

On the structure of storylines;

Another change DC is making is that they won’t be ‘writing for the trade’ anymore.  Writers have been told to write the story they want to write and not worry about the trade collecting.  If they can tell a well-paced story in 4 issues, they’ve been told not to pad it to make it 6 issues.  Editorial can worry about how it’s going to be collected.  Going forward, books will be trade-collected depending on how the story fits.  If a book has a 4-issue arc followed by a 3 issue arc, the trade will collect both.  If it’s 2 4-issue arcs or 3 2-issue stories, those will get collected.  As a side note, DC is looking into a new trade dress to represent the New 52 and a better spine design to call out information for fans.

On the new DC reality;

In story, up until this point, there have been no ‘super-heroes’, just super powered individuals who have sometimes been viewed with suspicion.  By banding together, the Justice League wants to show the world that they are deserving the moniker of super-hero.

On Green Arrow;

Talking about his costume tweak, Jim Lee said that more people are familiar with the Smallville version of Green Arrow, so they decided to incorporate some of the elements from that costume.

On what I need to get my hands on;

 

There is a document in the DC offices that fleshes out exactly what has and hasn’t happened in the New 52 Universe.

On Supergirl

Supergirl, as she has been written, sometimes comes across as mature and responsible as a 40 year-old adult.  She shouldn’t.  She’s a teen who is still finding herself and her character should reflect that.

On Teen Titans;

All four Robins star or co-star in a book.  (I know, what about Stephanie Brown?  It was hinted that we would see her in Batman Incorporated. Dan Didio said she worked better as Spoiler.)  This book is Tim Drake’s showcase. There will be some synergy between this and Superboy.

Other retail staff who attended the show however state that Brown was never mentioned, not even as Spoiler. On the Justice League Dark, they are;

John Constantine, Deadman, Enchantress, Madame Xandau, Zatanna and Shade, the Changing Man…

And on Suicide Squad

Combining elements from previous iterations of the Squad and the Secret Six with Harley Quinn’s fashion sense from the Arkham games.

Today’s DC retailer roadshow event takes place in Rosemont, Chicago.

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