If you haven't heard of it, The Outhouse maintains a benevolent public service website called HasDCDoneSomethingStupidToday.com and its purpose should be fairly easy to figure out. It's a lot of work to keep track of how many times DC screws up, often in easily avoidable ways and usually in spectacular fashion. One morning, over a hot cup of black coffee in The Outhouse Newsroom, a plan was hatched to definitively track these blunders in the style of a workplace accident sign. A few hours and some hastily written HTML and PHP later, HasDCDoneSomethingStupidToday.com was born, and legions of fans wondering how long its been since DC last committed an epic PR fail or drove beloved creators from the company have been able to find out with one click ever since.
Here are seven of the biggest stories of 2013 (in no particular order):
Villain's Month/3D Cover Clusterf*ck
I'm not even sure where to start with this one. DC, in an effort to bring back what made the 90's "great" for the comic industry - milking the existing fan-base for every cent they can with gimmicks - DC unveiled "Villain's Month" with 3D covers for all of their issues that month. It caused all sorts of headaches for retailers and fans, the covers don't stand up to heat and curl in the sun, creator credits were left off (even the non-3D versions), orders couldn't be met, etc., etc. But in the end, fans proved why companies do stupid crap like this - because "we" spend our money on it. Making it worth it for them to repeat this sort of stunt, even if they keep half-assing the organization of it.
Harley Quinn Art Contest
Who comes up with a script filled with gratuitous nudity and suicide for a contest and thinks that's a great idea? Apparently no one except the execs at DC. Then they picked a winner that had been doing work for them all along. Great job digging up that new talent out of nowhere.
DC screws subscribers
DC decided to put out an over-sized issue (at higher cost of course) at Christmas this year for Detective Comics, but decided that subscribers should only get regularly priced issues, so they sent out a letter telling them 'too bad' instead. It inspired us to take on a little Dr. Seuss in honor of DC's Christmas spirit.
Comics aren't for kids!
Batman did pretty well, so I sat down with the head of DC Comics. I really wanted to do 'Kamandi [The Last Boy on Earth]', this Jack Kirby character. I had this great pitch… and he said 'You think this is gonna be for kids? Stop, stop. We don't publish comics for kids. We publish comics for 45-year olds. If you want to do comics for kids, you can do 'Scooby-Doo.' And I thought, 'I guess we just broke up.'
A Twilight-like Superman/Wonder Woman Book
DC announced, as if it would stir reader interest, that their new Superman/Wonder Woman series would pull from Twilight. They followed up the odd editorial choices by greenlighting a variant cover of some pretty rough art.
Batwoman Creator Walk-off
W. Haden Blackman and J.H. Williams III posted a fairwell message on Blackman's blog, announcing their departure from DC's Batwoman. The departure is attributed to editorial interference from DC.
We write snarky articles, we write satire - that's what we do. We want to offer something different than what the dozens of other comic book websites offer and it works. Not everyone loves it, we don't expect them to, but many do. DC apparently was one of the "non-fans" of our satirical approach (odd from the company that brings us Mad Magazine) and after stonewalling reporters at various conventions throughout the months before C2E2, our staffer Zechs got to discover just what the deal was.
...one of our staff writers was told to go through DC’s marketing rep to talk to some of their creators. DC’s marketing rep scheduled a meeting, brought our staffer into an office and then told him that our interview requests would be denied because he didn’t appreciate the satirical articles criticizing DC’s recent editorial decisions.
He also offered to rescind this ban if our staffer agreed that our site would stop publishing articles critical of DC, despite our staffer explaining that we make fun of every aspect of the industry and that our satire wasn't unique to DC. This message was repeated to a second staffer when she walked into the room after she jokingly asked “Uh oh, are we in trouble?” The look the marketing rep gave her made it clear that we were...
HasDCDoneSomethingStupidToday.com is a pretty popular website for some reason. Sure, we seem to irritate plenty of people with our snarky take on news, but someone must agree with us on some of the crazy decisions DC makes.
Believe it or not, we actually put a lot of thought into what stories reset the counter and what stories don't. Just as many people seem to think we are too soft on DC as those that think we are too hard on them. One thing is for sure, behind the snark you'll often get news other sites won't report.
If you want to check the site out and keep up with us, you can subscribe to it on RSS or visit whatever social site you prefer to follow us. Hopefully, one day we can retire the site, but until then, we want to thank DC for all the great material this year. We also want to thank all of those that have supported our endeavor: the creators, DC employees (yes), journalists, and most of all readers. Your words of encouragement, whether public or private, mean a lot. You make all the work worth it. As for those that hate us, we still love you, just not as much.
The Outhouse is sponsored by Cinema Crazed: Celebrating Film Culture & Pop Culture.
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About the Author - Jeremy Shane
Jeremy was born in a small mountain village of a strange foreign land called Weystvurginea. Banishment for liberal views saw him spend years wondering the east coast until he decided to bike to California. When he saw how long a trip it was, he drove instead. Now he's living it up in a low humidity climate, sometimes working on his photography and when not, he writes for us covering books (by way of his blog: Reading Realms), gaming, tv, movies, comics, conventions in the SoCal area, and creates a weekly webcomic: A Journey Through Skyrim. If you look for him offline, start in the L.A. area; online start at: www.jeremyshane.info for his profile and all the social networks he's on... or just follow him on twitter, he seems to be on there a lot: @jeremyshane.
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