While many fans rely on the service provided by HasDCDoneSomethingStupidToday.com for the latest info on whether or not DC Comics has committed an embarrassing public blunder, The Outhouse has had trouble this week figuring out what to put on the counter because DC has been screwing up at a frequency of about 2.25 stupid acts per day since Wednesday. We're beginning to think DC may be purposely alienating creators, offending people with good taste, and putting their feet in their mouths in a deliberate attempt to overload the counter and shut us down. However, The Outhouse will not be stopped in its quest to provide a timeline for DC's stupidity more coherent than the continuity in DC's comics!
With that in mind, we've decided that, rather than update the counter today for one of the two most recent publicity disasters, we'd simply provide a timeline for the week so you can decide for yourself.
J.H. Williams and W Haden Blackman Exit Batwoman Over Editorial Interference
This has been the biggest story of the week, with two prominent creators leaving a critically acclaimed book due to constant editorial interference from DC. The story was stupid enough to begin with, but DC has repeatedly doubled down on the stupidity in their response.
The Outhouse was one of the first sites (if not the first) to report on this story, in which Blackman and Williams released a joint statement on their blogs publicly quitting the book, citing editorial interference. Amongst the various examples provided, they listed the refusal by DC to allow protagonist Kate Kane to marry Maggie Sawyer. More on that later.
Bonus: We joked that Dan Didio was unable to respond because he was preparing for his Fantasy Football draft in a satire article. It turns out this was not too far from the truth...
09/06/2013 - Dan Didio Responds to Williams/Blackman Controversy
After finding out about the departure of Williams and Blackman, DC Co-Publisher Dan Didio took to Twitter to defend DC's editorial decisions. Of course, Didio avoided the actual issue of constant editorial interference and instead focused on the gay marriage aspect (this had gone viral, but most sites by this time had updated their articles to point out that DC had outlawed all marriages, not just gay ones) and blaming the creators and fans for the problems.
On Saturday, DC did their best to replace the departing Williams and Blackman with a fan-favorite creator, Mark Andreyko. Under the circumstances, apart from convincing Williams and Blackman to stay, this was probably the best move they could have made. Unfortunately, the excellent choice of replacement was marred by the fact that DC announced Andreyko's start with Batwoman #25... after Williams had promised fans that he and Blackman had something big planned for their final issue, Batwoman #26, and pleaded with them to stick around and support the character. "You can't quit! You're fired!"
Remember when we said that DC was very pleased to be able to focus on the bogus claim that they were anti-gay-marriage rather than addressing the actual issue of constant editorial interference? Well, they've really latched onto that. Besides releasing statements to every blog and media outlet saying that they weren't homophobes, DC has gone out of their way to prove that they hate all marriages and will never allow any of their characters to get married. To illustrate this, they claimed that Aquaman and Mera, characters who are known as king and queen of Atlantis, respectively, are not married to each other. Well, that settles that then.
Confused over which of those last two to update the counter with, we wrote this article instead.
DC Asks Artists to Compete for a Job by Drawing Harley Quinn Naked and Committing Suicide
Concurrently with the Batwoman stupidity, DC announced a talent search, presumably so they could hire some new creators to later drive off their books. The search involved a script written by Jimmy Palmiotti in which Harley Quinn is naked and killing herself.
The original blog post didn't include the script, so it wasn't until after this article that the internet learned that the contest involved this panel:
Harley sitting naked in a bathtub with toasters, blow dryers, blenders, appliances all dangling above the bathtub and she has a cord that will release them all. We are watching the moment before the inevitable death. Her expression is one of “oh well, guess that’s it for me” and she has resigned herself to the moment that is going to happen.
Pretty crazy, right? Well, it wasn't quite that simple...
You see, Jimmy Palmiotti took to the internet to explain that the script was actually satirical, and Harley Quinn was breaking the fourth wall and commenting on the way DC's writers treat female characters. By failing to provide this context in the first place, DC created a problem for themselves where there might not have been any at all, or at least where there would have been a much smaller one. Is DC addicted to looking stupid?
3Dnado Continues as Villains Month Covers Hit Stores
The debacle surrounding DC's 3D Villains Month Covers has been an ongoing source of stupidity at DC, with the company opening itself up to public embarrassment multiple times over the course of several months because of their insistence on using ridiculous 1990s marketing gimmicks to sell comics rather than quality stories told by beloved creators. Do you think DC might have learned a lesson from this at some point? Nope!
DC created turmoil when they were unable to fulfill the orders retailers placed on the original set of 3D covers, forcing shops to scramble to satisfy angry customers. They also had to cancel and resolicit a set of second printings of the 3D covers, and it was previously revealed that the covers were so expensive that DC was losing money on them. So you would think, after all of that, they'd stop announcing new 3D covers, right? Wrong.
As a bonus, the article above contains links to all the past 3Dnado stories.
09/04/2013 - DC Fails to Credit Creators on Villains Month Covers
Just because DC is in the middle of pissing off fans and retailers doesn't mean they don't have time to insult creators as well. It turns out that the 3D covers featured no creator credits. This could be attributed to the covers taking so long to print and DC having a history of shedding multiple creative teams on a monthly basis, therefore making it impossible to know what team would actually be on any given book by the time it hit stores. However, the 2D versions of the covers, printed later, didn't have credits either, so it looks like it really wasn't an oversight, but a deliberate focus on the gimmicky covers over the substance inside.
So there you have it. The week in stupid from DC Comics. Keep up with the latest in DC Stupidity by checking HasDCDoneSomethingStupidToday.com. To be safe, you might want to check on hourly basis.
You could also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and RSS, where you'll get to see the stories even before we update the counter, particularly on weeks like this, where there's so much stupidity we have to figure out which of it to even put up there.
Finally, a public service announcement of sorts. It has been reported that some DC staff have been receiving threats of violence in response to DC's problems. It's not the first time this has happened either. While it is always funny to laugh at DC for being inept, it is NEVER, EVER funny or remotely acceptable to threaten someone with physical violence because of comic books. Please, please stop this, and if you see someone doing it, call them out. It's not cool. It's not funny. It's not going to accomplish anything productive. If you want to inflict violence on people over comic books, go and seek professional help immediately.
And now for something completely different.