Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

October 13, 2005

Infinite Crisis Lands in DM Shops

imageAmerican mainstream comics publishing news is difficult to parse at times because a) there's so much of it and b) the Direct Market of comic shops works on a non-returnable basis which shifts at least part of the public relations emphasis to the point at which shops order rather than consumers buy.

However, it should be noted directly that yesterday was the day that Infinite Crisis #1 hit comic book shops. This is the first in the lynchpin mini-series through which DC hopes to recalibrate its monthly line, as well as ride a series of market booster shots for this and related series, as well as put pressure on Marvel to look as equally engaged and "event oriented."

I have my doubts, many of which I've expressed here, about the long-range effectiveness of DC Comics' general strategy. I think the mini-series have put too much strain on a market that could have benefited more from a strategy of steady growth, I think many of these comics are needlessly ugly and cynical, and I harbor reservations whether or not this kind of thematic work and variety of publishing strategies can somehow yield a beneficial status quo that isn't shaky and chaotic, to the market's overall detriment.

Still, this is one of the bigger and more considered assaults a company has made on the market, and should be noted here. That's what yesterday's silly New York Times puff piece was about, which I failed to make clear. Geoff Johns, a lynchpin writer in this general effort, has re-upped with DC Comics ("exclusives" are arrangements that with potential exceptions lock a creator in at either Marvel or DC; incentives include prime assignments, page count bonuses, up-front bonuses, and access to healthcare) as noted here, and here is a sampling of blog and message board discussions which seem to indicate that they're reasonably successful at hitting their intended audience with the meat of what's being offered.

Newsarama Reader's Poll

Newsarama DC Forum Dominated by IC Topics Discussion
Spatula Forum
Photon Torpedoes
Spandex Justice
Luthor's Story of a World Gone Retarded
Sleep Is For Suckers
The Ending to Issue #1, Spoiled in Spanish
Comics Ate My Brain
posted 9:26 am PST | Permalink

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