This is Andy Khouri he’s the former editor of Comics Alliance (the Kotaku of comics sites) and he’s now working as an editor at DC Comics because again the comics industry is in the shitter right now and they are trying to pander to SJW’s and feminists not realizing that SJW’s and feminists don’t really give two shits about comics and just want to complain about stuff because that’s all they know how to do.
You know what’s funny about this whole thing? Comics Alliance used to be very anti DC back in 2011 when the first issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws came out they trashed that first issue and it’s writer Scott Lobdell (even going so far as to publish a hit piece on him calling him a misogynist and sexist because of the way he depicted Starfire) so I don’t understand why anyone from DC would look at this fucking site and decide to hire someone from there to work as an editor.
Call me crazy but if I was someone who worked at DC and I saw someone trashing the stuff we were publishing I would ignore those people and try to not make contact with them because they’re a massive liability to the business. I wouldn’t bend over and hire someone who worked there to please the “progressives” because those people aren’t the main target demographic.
This is why I want to make it into the comic business to give people like myself who actually care about good writing and storytelling an alternative to this bullshit. We as comic fans deserve better than having our hobby be run by idiots who constantly defend con artists like Anita Sarkeesian and her ilk.
I kinda wish ComicGate was a thing because shit like this needs to fucking stop. But that’s the problem with the world that we live in companies are too scared of being called sexist, racist and homophobic that they have bow down and kiss “progressive” ass just to stay relevant in the media.
Well, you know, first of all, excellent job succinctly illustrating why you’re never going to work at DC.
Let’s look a bit further at Red Hood and the Outlaws #1. Not the issue itself - good lord, why would we subject anyone to rereading that piece of turgid shit. But rather, at the New 52 branding that DC is winding down this month. You know - the whole “let’s blow up the entire line and start from scratch with loads of advertising to see if we can revive our slowly dying sales numbers” initiative that DC undertook.
Because here’s the thing about the comic business you’re so eager to join in: it’s dying. Its sales are an insignificant fraction of what they were when comics were a major cultural force, and its audience is a slowly aging pool of white men. It’s a losing proposition. Kids don’t buy comics. Teenagers don’t buy comics. Virtually nobody buys comics but people who have been buying comics for decades.
And that’s what the New 52 was an attempt to correct. It was an attempt to shed most of the theorized reasons why comics weren’t drawing new readers and create something that would bring in new readers who loved superhero movies and would try superhero comics.
It didn’t. It momentarily re-energized the slowly dying base, then quickly declined to the same set of sad sack long-time readers. DC ran loads of marketing surveys around the New 52, and this was the overwhelming response.
Mind you, that didn’t stop them. For four years they nobly tried to make it work. And they didn’t care that they were accused of being sexist, racist, and homophobic. No, no - they mocked the fans who complained about it. Literally. They went to cons and made fun of the fans who asked about female representation. They doubled down on their idea of bringing in a new audience of twenty-something men with comics like Red Hood and the Outlaws, and then they tripled down on it. They tried and tried again.
And for their trouble? In July of 2011, before any of the New 52 material launched, DC pulled $6.74 million for their line. In January of 2015, they pulled $6.6 million. Oh, but get this - the comics industry as a whole grew in that time. July 2011 had $20.29 million for the top 300 comics. January 2015 had $26.87 million. DC has managed to shrink their share of a growing pie.
Meanwhile, over at Marvel, where a non-white editor in chief who came up via the Vertigo line back in the days when it was pulling in scads of new readers has been overseeing a publishing slate with a focus on diversity?
In July of 2011, $10.05 million. In December 2014? $10.65 million. (I went back a month for Marvel because their January 2015 numbers were ridiculously good due to Star Wars #1 - like, $15 million good.) And those numbers are ignoring digital, where it’s an established fact that books like Ms. Marvel do insanely good business. (Did you know, btw, that when you factor in digital Ms. Marvel outsells Uncanny X-Men? It’s true!)
So, shocker of shockers, after three and a half years of their Big Relaunch continuing the slow bleeding it was designed to avoid while Marvel scoops up a bigger piece of a growing pie and companies like Image ($0.77 million to $1.92 million over the same period) are similarly gobbling up market share by actually growing the dying industry, DC has changed direction. And made the smart move of hiring people who correctly identified what they were doing wrong three-and-a-half years ago instead of taking a self-defeating stance of blacklisting any critic who does their job and calls out what they see as lousy work.
So, you know. Good luck getting into an industry where what you want and what you value has proven itself repeatedly to be the path to the industry’s collapse, and what you hate is the only thing that’s looked like a future for the industry in over a decade. I’m sure you’re gonna do great. Especially now that you’ve written an angry screed about one of the editors at DC. Hope they’re nicer about that than you want them to be!
Beautifully done, philsandifer. Beautifully done. ^_^
And all my best to Andy Khouri!