The blog for The Solitaire Rose Experience. Yes, the blog revolution is utterly and completely over. However, I haven't figured that out yet, so I'll be listing articles, ideas, links, and other internet debris. Now, you can join in! And be mocked mercilessly!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Is DC in trouble?

This blogger thinks so.

I think it's come up a few times how DC has literally squandered the higher sales and interest they had with One Year Later, and Countdown is dropping in the sales charts faster than most series do. DC editorial can't seem to get its act together, and in a recent DC Nation, Didio asked fans what they should do about chronically late books, which cost companies, distributors and retailers REAL money over time. Editorial also seems not to know what anyone is doing, with Greg Rucka saying in an interview that the use of The Question in Countdown is diametrically opposed to his plans for the character IN AN APPROVED MINISERIES.

Add to that how DC can't seem to keep anything working right for very long. They have more mini-series coming out than at any time I can think of, and the number of Countdown spin-offs is just insane, no one, not even I, John Mayo, or JLA Fan can afford to get them all. Their regular series are stumbling hard, with all of the series spinning out of Infinite Crisis dropping to numbers that mean they might not be around much longer. The only publicity they seem to be getting is bad, and are gaining a reputation as a company that thrives on mistreating female characters.

This is the first time since about 1992 - 3 that I don't care about the whole of the DC Universe. Why get attached to "New Earth" or the 52 universes with ANOTHER Crisis coming up? Why invest in a creative team when they either won't deliver a book in a timely enough fashion that you remember what plot they were working on? Why buy all of these endless mini-series when they'll be invalidated in some other appearance?

I just want to point out all of the missed opportunities from the last few years:

-Supergirl debuted as the hottest character in ages, and now an appearance by the character hurts sales.
-Batwoman got major mainstream attention, and has shown up in a single panel in the 4 months since 52 ended.
-Superman/Batman lost almost 50% of it's sales in the last two years.
-Trade paperback sales are down for DC. WAY down, and it might be because they have no consistent pricing policy, with a book reprinting 5 issues selling for everywhere from $12.99 to $24.99.
-Wildstorm relaunch. Probably the most embarrassing failure since the New Universe.
-The All Star line. Could have been a license to print money, instead has two books, one that wins awards and one that won't generate the hardcover and trade paperback income that justifies the creative team for almost 2 years.
-Vertigo being unable to have a successful launch in the last 4 years.
-Mini-series that have no real reason to exist and have no hook for readers. For example: In "Power of the Atom", they are doing the search for Ray Palmer...but we already KNOW they won't find him because there will be a mini-series that covers the same ground by a different creative team.
-Expecting new readers to know the history of DC through three universe realignments. Pick up an issue of Countdown and point out a single instance when they actually explain any of the obscure characters like Holly Robinson and why we should care about them.

I know that it becomes heated when it is brought up, but DC is REALLY screwing themselves, the retailers and the readers, and the sales drops we are seeing across the board for DC are just beginning, IMHO.

Retailers aren't going to make big upfront orders, knowing that books will be late (and therefor returnable) and they will be able to get re-orders if anyone cares, as DC has a strong overprint policy...which will cost them if the reorders don't materialize as readers get tired of Countdowns endless tie-ins and disjointed story.

The blog says that DC should get a new EIC, which is what comics fans say every time they get upset.

I think that Paul Levitz, who is the President of the company, needs to step in and have DC's editors do what they should be doing: Getting the trains to run on time, and making sure comics that are written and drawn to the best of everyone's ability are going out the door. He should be working with marketing to get these books in front of an audience, since sales are showing that even DC fans aren't buying them. The editorial teams needs to step up and realize that they are in competition to a Marvel that is top of their game and is going from strength to strength both in terms of sales and in terms of long-term planning.

And this isn't a "I hate DC or Dan Didio" rant. I LIKE the DC universe. I like some of the books coming out (when they come out) like All Star Superman, Batman, Detective, Shadowpact, Power of the Atom and Birds of Prey. I just want to like MORE of the DC Universe. I was thrilled when Infinite Crisis ended and One Year Later started. I warmed up to 52 after they got through their growing pains. But I see myself cutting DC books faster than I ever have, and it almost seems like the current boom is passing them by as they fade off into endless navel gazing and redoing Crisis over and over until they get it right.

Of course, as Dennis Miller used to say when he was funny, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Feel like life doesn't matter?

Since there's a 20% chance none of our reality is real anyway:

There's a large mathematical chance we're all on someone's copy of Sims 4

Monday, August 13, 2007

Comic artist Mike Wieringo of Impulse, Fantastic Four and Flash fame was found dead of a heart attack. He was 44.

He was a fantastic artist, had a wonderful attitude about art and comics and will be missed.

If you don't know his art, you can see his sketches at his website

Thursday, August 09, 2007

It's a man's, man's, man's world

You Are 91% Feminist

You are a total feminist. This doesn't mean you're a man hater (in fact, you may be a man).
You just think that men and women should be treated equally. It's a simple idea but somehow complicated for the world to put into action.

I was struck by this one because I heard a stat last night that only 29% of women consider themselves feminists, and over 50% of Americans think that feminism has a strongly negative connotation.

However, I think that the number of people who believe that women shouldn't be allowed to work once they are married is extremely small. Or the number of people who think women should be paid less for a job than a man, because the man has to support his family and the women is working for shopping money is just as small.

My first group home job started in 1988, and when I was interviewed, I was asked (by my future female boss) if I would have problems working for and taking direction from a woman. I was a bit baffled by the question then, and I doubt anyone would EVER ask that same question now, but back then, it was pretty standard.

We've progress a lot since the 1950's, but I think that along with that progress, we need to remember how things used to be, so that we don't forget and slip backwards. There are quite a few people who have worked VERY hard to vilify feminism, and turn public opinion against it, and those people have a definite agenda. When you forget what you've won, it's easy to take it away from you, and while we have a woman running for President who has a shot of winning, there's also a VERY strong contingent who want their political women to be drugged up former librarians who devote their time to reading storybooks and talking about baking cookies with Woman's Day magazine...and they are the same people looking to start chipping away at reproductive rights, workplace rights and so on.