What do you call a business model that puts stock in mature, award-winning storytelling, looks to build a catalog that's comprised of consistent selling books that appeals to a broad swath of customers outside of the comic book store, and even have some marketability as a movie franchise? Well if you're DC's co-publisher Dan Didio, you call it myopic.
In a profile of outgoing Vertigo head Karen Berger in the New York Times, Didio addresses the shifting landscape of comics and addresses fears by G. Willow Wilson that the Vertigo imprint is no longer a home for edgy and groundbreaking storytelling.
There’s not a challenge to be more profitable out of the gate. But there is a challenge to be more accepted out of the gate.
Fantastic to see DC at the forefront of groundbreaking storytelling and industry-changing comics.
But hey, it's all about the sales, right? Didio again.
[It's] myopic [to believe] that servicing a very small slice of our audience is the way to go ahead.
After all, books like Watchmen, Sandman, Y: The Last Man and V for Vendetta definitely service only a small slice of the audience. Wait, aren't all those Vertigo titles listed on DC's "25 Most Essential Graphic Novels List" released just last month? Yes, yes they are.
Luckily DC has a solid alternative strategy in place.
That’s not what we’re in the business for. We have to shoot for the stars with whatever we’re doing. Because what we’re trying to do is reach the biggest audience and be as successful as possible.
Ironically, the NYT article follows that quote up with the following quote from Grant Morrison.
Comic sales have fallen off substantially.
I think that says it all. Anyways, I figured I'd finish with what must be DC's new theme song.
DC: Shooting for the Stars (and missing) since 2011.
Give the NYT profile of Berger a read. It's...an interesting piece, but maybe we'll talk about that in another article.