Last week, we looked at the numbers of comic books that DC Comics are shipping and note that they were publishing around half the number of titles in comic book stores than they were a year ago.
Even when DC Comics deliberately reduced their title count for the New 52 to, well, 52 monthly titles, they still had another 17 ther series from Vertigo, Cartoon Network, Hanna-Barbera and more going down. The numbers crept up, but when DC Rebirth shrunk the number of titles on the books, it did so by making a large number of them twice-monthly.
So what has happened now? Well, a number of things.
And then there’s Walmart and now Target, comics not sold in comic book stores that are sucking up time, energy and talent from DC’s creative and editorial pool. Every second spent on a Walmart comic, is one not being spent on a DC Comics title – often from exclusive DC talent such as Tom King and Brian Bendis.
Most of the twice-monthly comics from DC Rebirth are now monthly, with only Batman, Flash, Justice League and Wonder Woman holding out. That DC’s best-selling Superman and Action Comics are now no longer twice-monthly can’t have helped things.
The DC New Age Of Heroes line has seen almost all of its titles cancelled.
The Black Label line, aside from the Batman Damned limited series that caused all the media fuss, has not seen another new title solicited and Batman Damned itself has been delayed by art changes.
Batman The Outsiders got taken off the schedule before it could be published. The details are unclear.
Previews cover-featured The Other History Of The DC Universe also got taken off the schedule before it could be published. The details are unclear but this could be due to legal threats made by Michael Davis.
Milestone Comics, though not scheduled, should have been by now. Legal issues with Charlotte McDuffie may be among the hold-ups, as I understand that a number of titles have been completed already.
Doomsday Clock, which had run breaks and switched to a bi-monthly schedule is still running late.
All this is stretching out DC Comics’ schedules. And while some may welcome a reduced schedule for the comics in general, DC Comics remains a money-making engine for comic book stores, and that’s reducing. However, especially for scheduled-then-delayed comics, stores set aside money to pay for planned orders – when those plans don’t come to fruition, retailers don’t get to profit on them yet, despite allocating their budget, and it can cause serious cashflow issues.
Will the new publishing structures help fix any of this? Or propel it further in its current direction?
Whatever DC Comics has planned, folks can’t wait to hear…
About Rich Johnston
Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.
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