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Idiot's Guide Weekly: The Quest for The New Comic Book Reader, Part Two

Written by Christian on Thursday, September 08 2011 and posted in Columns

IGW presents part two of a three part satire about what the comic book industry is doing to bring in new readers.

(Editor's Note: This is part two of a three-part, half-cocked satire about the comic book industry's attempt to draw more readers into comics.  All characters presented in the satire are fictional.  Part one can be found here.) 

The Quest for the Mythical New Comic Book Reader Part Two: The Reboot

Having been thoroughly creeped out by Joey Q's methods and worried that he might find me interesting enough to add to his kill list, I quickly left the coffee shop and hopped on a jet to fly to Warner Bros. national headquarters to meet up with Tiple D, DC's Chief Executive in Charge of New Comic Book Readers Acquisition. When I arrived at WB's headquarters, I was ushered to the basement and then into a disheveled office at the end of a dark hallway.

I was struck with how complicated his office seemed to be. The office was filled with chalkboards and whiteboards, many of which contained random phrases such as "The Death Did Happen, the Characters Did Not!" or "In the DCnU, Mickey Mouse was never born." Comic books were strewn across the floor and around the chalkboards with no discernable pattern or organization.   In one corner a small bonfire had been lit using several stacks of comic books, causing a haze of smoke to fill the room.

As I took a step into the room to get a closer look, a bald man in a lab coat came rushing at me. "DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING!" he screamed. "EVERYTHING IS ALMOST PERFECT!" This man was Triple D. 

After assuring him that I wouldn't disturb anything in the room, Triple D composed himself and greeted me. He appeared to be slightly jittery and distracted. When I asked him what was wrong, he explained that his company had recently begun ratcheting up the pressure for positive sales figures and an end to the eroding market. According to Triple D, if WB didn't see positive results soon they'd cut his funding and put him out of a job.

As we talked, Triple D would occasionally pick up a random comic and toss it into another pile or jot down another nonsensical phrase on one of his chalkboards. When I asked him why the office was in such disarray, he shot me a puzzled look. "Don't you see? This is how we bring in new readers."

"By trashing your office and setting stuff on fire?" I asked.

"The old ways weren't working. There needed to be a change. This, this is the change that's needed." I asked him to explain further. "The fire made up of old comics draws them in. That way they know that we're getting rid of the old world and replacing it with a new one. Once they're inside, we've put our new comics on top of the piles of the old ones so that new comic book readers can find them easier and are able to understand them without worrying about what came before."

He suddenly stopped in front of a pile of comics and pulled out a random issue of The Flash. "Damnit, Wally West! People don't care about you! Why do you keep pestering me?" He crumpled up the comic and hurled into the fire in the corner of the room. "Sorry, the new universe is still a work in progress. We're still trying to figure everything out."

"So how would a messy, obviously incomplete world attract new comic book readers?" 

"Because people like new things! People don't want old boring things like books or records or network television. They want the Twitters referenced and cell phones and strip clubs! No one cares about history, all people care about is the now!" He suddenly pulled out a piece of chalk and scribbled "We're all Cyborgs now!" onto a nearby chalkboard.

"Do you honestly think this will work?" I asked.

"I certainly hope so," Triple D responded. "Otherwise WB may pull my funding and just get rid of their comic division all together." He sighed. "Desperate times call for desperate measures. " Before I had a chance to continue, Triple D pointed to the door. "Look! The reboot is working! A new comic book reader approaches!"

Sure enough, a new comic book reader cautiously came into the room and started sniffing around. His eyes were nervous and his steps unsteady, but eventually he made his way to a pile and picked up a comic. He smiled as he read it and gently put it down when he finished, and picked up another comic off the mound.

Triple D's eyes flashed in anger. "NO! NO! NO!" he yelled. "THOSE OLD COMICS DON'T MATTER ANYMORE! PUT IT DOWN, PUT IT DOWN!" The new comic book reader looked up in fright and scurried out of the door.   Triple D sighed and picked up the comic the new comic book reader had been perusing. "Oh, Stephanie Brown, you harlot. What will I do with you?"

"Why don't you just get rid of all the old comics since they don't matter anymore?" I asked.

Triple D looked confused. "If I get rid of all the comics, new comic book readers wouldn't be interested in reading the new ones. Only getting rid of some of them makes far more sense." Crumpling up the comic in his hand, he said "Do you mind helping me go through these piles and straighten out some of these comics. I don't want things to be more confusing than they already are."

Tomorrow:  The Way of Bob

Written or Contributed by: BlueStreak

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About the Author - Christian

Christian is the exasperated Abbott to the Outhouse's Costello. When he's not yelling at the Newsroom for upsetting readers or complaining to his wife about why the Internet is stupid, he sits in his dingy business office trying to find new ways to make the site earn money. Christian is also the only person in history stupid enough to moderate two comic book forums at once.


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