Two high profile stories ran on Bleeding Cool yesterday, that laid out certain woes at DC Comics. On one side, a large reduction in revenue against expenditure, to the tune of over $2 million. And on the other, that editorial and creators have been told to pull back on what has been described as “Batgirling”, increased experimentation in the look and feel of DC Comics titles labelled DC You, in the wake of success with Batgirl and Harley Quinn.
Aspects of these stories have also been confirmed by ex-DC editor Heidi MacDonald, who added her own take, regarding co-publisher Dan Didio, saying “the tone of the DC You books was definitely not his decision. However I’ve heard from multiple sources that with the “Nü Look DC” failing to excite retailers and readers, DiDio’s way is making a comeback. It’s still early on all this—although some of the ideas I’ve heard being floated around are shocking—so it’s too soon to tell if this means a return to a tightly interwoven overarching continuity or just a return to DC’s house style.”
Well, since running the piece, I’ve heard a few things. Firstly, that the overall mood has improved over the course of several weeks, since the financial news hit.
But the results for some of the newly launched titles is grim. That the twelve issue guarantees made regarding the DC You launch titles has been rescinded. They can, and some will be, cancelled any time. And they will be more trigger shy to approve new projects.
That DC recovery plan will see the publisher double down efforts on selling trade paperbacks, pursuing custom publishing projects for other clients, upping ad sales and, of course, Dark Knight III.
Page rates are also likely to take a knock. DC Comics are famed for paying higher page rates than other publishers and often offer to beat rivals to get creators on board. Expect those to be negotiated downwards.
And then there’s the price of the comic books to bear in mind.
After all, they have over two million to find…