Batwoman, Beauty And Advertising

There was a time when we used to worry there was just too much advertising in comics. Marvel were a key villain in this, with more ads for variuous companies in a comic book than pages of story. Only about ten years ago, this was seen clearly as A Bad Thing.

Then all the advertising went away. This was also seen as A Bad Thing.

Today’s Marvel comics have ads on the back cover as usual, for the Brooklyn Nets (who recently entered into a promnotional agreement with the publisher), on the inside cover a Dr Pepper ad (a rarity) while some have an ad for Slug Zombies toys. Everything else is a house ad, scattered through the issue.

DC Comics have a back cover ad for TV show King Of The Nerds, for a station owned by Warners. Everything else is a house ad, scattered through the issue.

Apart from Batwoman.

Since the relaunch, Batwoman has specialised in storytelling through double page spreads, a style writer/artist JH Williams III developed on Promethea with Alan Moore, and had souught to replicate with other artists on the title as well. This kind of comic is hard to work with various pagination issues, with ads being the more prominent issue.

And I noticed this week that all the ads had been moved to the back, allowing far more  double page spreads than before. Not even Before Watchmen: Minutemen gets that treatment. If there were paid ads, I guess that may have been more of an issue. But house ads? They can move… and they do. Well, DC do want to keep JH sweet in time for his run on Sandman Zero.

It also begs the question, as this format is not well serviced by digital or by traditional collections, if Batwoman will also get the sideways Absolute treatment now being afforded to Promethea? It would be nice….

This week’s Batwoman, guest starring Wonder Woman as it has the past few issues, also does something I really just twigged. It joins up the two seemingly different worlds of the Justice League comic and the Wonder Woman comic, representing both conceptually and through different drawing styles. Did all this come from one artist?

And doesn’t it make a lot more sense of both of these?


Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics, London.


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