Rich Johnston over at Bleeding Cool is having a DC boot party today. First, he published a brutally frank interview with Paul Jenkins about the poor treatment of creators at DC and Marvel (but mostly DC), and now he's gathered some equally honest tweets from Batwoman writer and artist J.H. Williams III Esquire.
Is it plagiarism if we embed the same tweets Johnston did? The article is basically nothing but embedded tweets. Oh well, Uncle Rich seems to like us, so hopefully he won't mind.
Williams started his tweet-a-thon by answering a fan question about Villains Month:
No Batwoman book? But isn't DC quadruple shipping every book they publish in a blatant attempt to use gimmickry to boost sales and steal market share from Marvel, sucking their dwindling readership dry of cash in order to perpetuate the illusion to corporate shareholders that the entire division isn't a clusterfuck of editorial mismanagement? Why no Batwoman?
Of course it was. Gee, if only there was a position in the publishing business that is supposed to be aware of long term creative plans so that things don't get worked on for two years only to be "scuttled" at the last minute... oh wait, that's the goddamn job of an "editor."
But hey, we're just being negative, right? Because we're "butthurt." Surely, DC's haphazard editorial style is great for the morale of their creators...
@seancctiu They have the right to decide that, they own the characters, but can't agree with it. Certainly makes one feel "whats the point?"— J.H. Williams III (@JHWilliamsIII) June 5, 2013
@seancctiu Yes, disappointing. Spending a large amount of time planning something grand, only for someone else to scuttle it is tiring.— J.H. Williams III (@JHWilliamsIII) June 5, 2013
Oh, that's right, it's terrible for morale. Well, at least when DC screws up, they can own up to it and make changes for the better...
@seancctiu I will leave that for others to decide ;^)— J.H. Williams III (@JHWilliamsIII) June 5, 2013
But Williams hasn't walked off a book yet. Does DC have compromising pictures of him in a motel room with a donkey?
@seancctiu It's on and off.— J.H. Williams III (@JHWilliamsIII) June 5, 2013
@seancctiu For the most part things are fine, but then hit a giant pothole every now and then.— J.H. Williams III (@JHWilliamsIII) June 5, 2013
"Giant potholes." That's a nice way to describe it. Keep in mind folks, this is coming from a guy who's still working at DC and plans to continue doing so. In other words, this is the kind of stuff people on GOOD TERMS with DC have to say about the management there. Williams even went on to downplay the Bleeding Cool article, which, as previously mentioned, consisted almost entirely of nothing but the tweets.
The saddest part about all of this is that, by all the standards DC and Warner Bros. care about Villains Month is going to be a MASSIVE success. There will be a huge boost in sales, since they are quadruple shipping their most popular titles and the books have a dollar premium, justified by the ridiculous 3D hologram covers. DC will rake in the cash, they'll own the unit and dollar share in September, executives will be happy, stockholders will be satisfied, and Dan Didio, Jim Lee, Geoff Johns, Bob Harras, and all of their editorial flunkies will be lauded as heroes.
Make no mistake - that is what's going to happen here. Because fanboys WILL buy all of these books, no matter how much we complain on the internet about them. We just can't help ourselves. It's co-dependency.
And then, Marvel (who has been double-shipping their most popular books to inflate their profits for months) will try to one-up them with an even more ridiculous, hare-brained gimmick, and then DC will have to top that, and so on, and so on, until the industry implodes under the crushing weight of a million quadruple-shipped, pop-out, 3D, gatefold, foil-wrapped, polybagged variant covers.
But hey, at least this strategy isn't myopic.