Monday, September 9, 2013

An Open Letter to DC Comics

Dear Mr. Didio, Mr. Harras, and Ms. Nelson,

I have been reading comic books since I was a small child. I'm not going to tell you I've been reading DC Comics since it started since that would be a lie. I have been reading them for close to thirty years.

That means that I grew up in the nineties which were not the best time for comics in general. I was there there when the comic-book industry replaced storytelling with progressively worse marketing stunts. I lived through Onslaught and the Clone Saga. And one thing, I remember about that time was that DC Comics managed to mostly avoid falling into that trap. DC may have done it's share of stunts but they were mostly backed by strong storytelling. (Mostly. No one's going to defend the pre-Grant Morrison Justice League.)

And, despite that, during all that time, I never did what I am about to do today: walk away from a comic book company entirely. I just can't find it in me to support DC Comics anymore. Don't get me wrong, you still put out some good comics. But the sheer amount of wrong-headed and quite frankly bad decisions has outweighed any enjoyment I get from your product.

Quite frankly, it seems that the only way that we can get any real change in the direction of stories is if enough people stop buying the books. I'm just one guy and I know there's nothing I can to on my own but every little bit helps. I can only hope that more people join me.

And, I'm going to be honest here, I don't care about Batwoman in the least.  I wasn't reading the comic and, even if I wasn't quitting DC, I wouldn't be buying it in the future. But it's just the latest in a long line of editorial interfering with the people who write the books. A lot of your book lack a consistent direction because the writer keeps changing (see Stormwatch which I actually was collecting).

I mean, I'm not sure if you have something against Bat-family characters being married or you have something against any superheroes being married. If it's the latter, that's kind of sad that your idea off an entertaining hero is someone whose personal life is dysfunctional and falling apart. I mean, God forbid we allow any light at all in the DC Universe. Heroes must be grim sociopaths with psychological issues. Alan More taught us that [NOTE FOR PEOPLE WITH READING COMPREHENSION ISSUES: This is sarcasm]. (Even if your statements were meant to apply to Bat-family characters only, it wouldn't be the end of the world if one Bat-family character did something different then sacrifice a shot at happiness so they could go beat up street criminals).

I know you say that the stories need to be "exciting" and "entertaining." But for most of your comics, you're not even delivering those stories. The entire Teen Titans line, for instance, read like Nineties Image comics.  You really don't seem to know what to do with the characters you brought over form Wildstorm. And clarifying the Phantom Stranger's past misses the entire point of writing the Phantom Stranger. I don't doubt that you think these stories are exciting and entertaining but I would argue that your viewpoint is so alien to objective reality that it is one that I find utterly incomprehensible and impossible to understand. Indeed, I have no interest in trying to understand.

I know the stories are selling well. Sales do not equal quality. As evidence, I would point to the Star Wars prequels and Twilight. Is this really what you want your creative legacy to be?

At this point, I think I would actually prefer it if you hated the fans and were only in it for the money. That, I could, at least, understand. But either way, it doesn't matter. I'm out for now.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Useless Bits of Genius- Kung Fu from Beyond the Grave

I'm not sure if this is better without commentary--

Or with commentary.

I kind of understand this scene. Dracula is immune to the scroll is there because the filmmakers wanted to show that Dracula is a foreign monster and thus immune to Chinese magic. Dracula is summoned by American money because the filmmaker's have no idea where Dracula is supposed to be from.