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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

DC Comics Management Proves Shawn Right- DC Comics is going in the WRONG DIRECTION

Recently someone at DC Comics told Paul Pope  that DC Comics only publishes comics for 45-year-olds.


Here’s the deal. When products reach a median age of 40 companies start making plans to discontinue them. Why? Because the audience for said products is SHRINKING.

Shrinking audiences mean shrinking profits. Just like DC is experiencing right now.With management like this, it’s no wonder why DC is turning into the new Hostess Foods.

First they said they were targeting 18-to-24-year-olds with their New 52. Now it’s 45-year-olds. Does Does anyone have a focus at DC Comics? Does anyone have a business plan at DC? Does anyone know how to run a BUSINESS at DC?

No wonder writers, artists, and licensors like Mattel are just frustrated about working with DC Characters. They have to deal with inmates running an asylum.

Clearly Dan Didio and his merry group of morons (Jim Lee, Bob Harras and Goeff Johns) have no idea on how to run a comic book company. They’re making comics for themselves with characters they like, not running DC like a business. They think their way of publishing comics is the ONLY way, not understanding that publishing in general has changed since 2008. Unfortunately, they’re stuck in the late 1980’s-early 1990’s in terms of story models and publishing DC .  A model that’s OBSOLETE in a post 2008 publishing marketplace.

There’s a reason why companies don’t target 45-year-olds: They are old and set in their ways as consumers. They refuse to try anything new and scoff at change.

And again, they’re a shrinking audience. The number of 45-year-olds will get smaller over the next 20 years. Why?  Death, old age and a shrinking income will wipe out a majority of these consumers. And who will be there to replace them?

No one. Because no one at DC is trying to reach those customers while they're young. 

In addition to thinking that DC Comics are only published for 45-year-olds Clueless Dan Didio thinks all-ages comics means Scooby Doo. And that “kiddie” comics (Books accessible to all readers) don’t have a place in his DC UNIVERSE.

Good Gravy.

Written for tweens and teens! 
All-ages reading!
So I guess books like My Isis series wouldn’t be considered all ages to him? Nor would a book like The Thetas. Or my All About Nikki screenplay eBooks. Those books feature complex plots, mult-dimensional characters and things like irony, foreshadowing, symbolism and other literary elements.

All of them are targeted at younger readers. But older readers enjoy them too. And they all move fairly briskly with audiences all over the world, especially women.

Markets of new readers the DC Comics could be reaching if they published titles like I do. But they’d rather shove violent grim N’ gritty 100-issue sagas down readers’ throats featuring immoral characters doing whatever they feel like in the hopes of pleasing a shrinking audience 45-year-old White men.

Didio needs to understand that all ages doesn’t mean dumbed down. It just means tailoring content so that it’s accessible to readers. Every story is its own entry point with its own beginning, middle and end. While some events are referenced, they aren’t directly connected to the previous story. It’s a story model that’s stood the test of time. It’s the foundation of good comic book storytelling.

But no one wants to go in that direction. No they think their “new and improved” approach will save the day for DC. Targeting 25,000-100,000 readers when twenty million children are waiting to get into comics. Moms and Dads who grew up with comics are desperate to get their kids reading them and share their love of superheroes with them.. Unfortunately, they can’t because the content is so graphic, so violent, and so sexually explicit.  

I’ve found in my ten years publishing books and eBooks audiences want All-ages stories. Libraries want them. Bookstores want them. It’s a growing market with customers chomping at the bit for product Money in the Bank for DC.

Sadly, DC still publishes titles for older readers. Readers other companies have charged to the game. DC is not only the new Hostess Foods, But the new Oldsmobile, and Pontiac. Old brands that are on the scrap heap because the management refused to change its failed approach to business.

There’s nothing wrong with DC's catalog of Superheroes. There’s only something wrong with Dan Didio, Jim Lee and Bob Harras’ approach to publishing comic books.  If Shawn was in charge of DC for 90 Days you’d see a difference in the approach to business and the products produced. Give me a year and the median age of a comic book reader would be down to 12-14 instead of 45. I’d make it my primary business to produce products targeted at those twenty million younger readers and their families, not old men who live in the basement with their mothers.  


  1. Did you read the comment section?

    Looks like a few vets tried to get kid friendly titles in DC for years and kept getting turned down including John Roszum-who tried to do a decent Static book and got back stabbed.

  2. Yeah, I read the comment section. And it's sad that Didio and his editors are so cold to kid-friendly titles. Kids are what made comic books into an industry; I discovered my first comic books at four years old. I'd love to give kids that chance to discover what's great about these characters again.

    I've been going in a kid-friendly direction since 2010 when a customer asked me for books for tween and teen readers. I've had nothing but success writing YA eBooks like The Thetas; I don't understand why DC is NOT going in this direction.

    If I was running DC, the first thing I'd do is give John Rozum the opportunity to write that Static title. Along with those numerous vets. In that comments section were a lot of great ideas for comics. Money in the bank for the right publisher. 20 million kids in the U.S. alone and DC is still trying to sell comics to old people...