This was similar to instructions given to comic book creators before the New 52 reboot back in 2011. Will there be another reboot in May or June?
No. Instead, creators are being asked to submit pitches that are ‘daring’ and to employ ‘ blue sky thinking’. Impressed by the commercial success of Harley Quinn and Batgirl, and critical sucess of Gotham Academy, the beancounters have been persuaded that a little more individual thinking might reap benefits. Indeed, those books may have been part of an early attempt to mix things up and see what happened. And creators, used to having to present certain kinds of stories to the bosses under certain criteria, expecting to see the edges knocked off, are being asked to let loose in a similar manner.
This is, of course the way it always should be. But an attempt to replicate success by siply copying successes has let to an attrition of interest in the books, and a de facto house style across much of the New 52. Harley Quinn changed that, by unexpectedly staying in the top ten, month in month out, and outselling the Xbooks. The new Batgirl, pushed through by Bateditor Mark Doyle, has done the same. This is an attempt to do something different by, well, encouraging people to do something different. Some will crash and burn. Some will soar. But at least people will try.
This is probably the best news I’ve heard coming out of DC for some time. Folk are giddy. Expect new books and newly reinvented books in 2015. And, hopefully, not just everyone in yellow Doc Martens boots…
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