Plus ca reboot, plus c’est la meme chose.
|February 22, 2012||Posted by Jess under Comics|
We’re about six months into the DCnU, and I thought this would be a good time to look at my pull list and see if I’m buying more or less than I was back in August. And everyone is totally interested in my purchasing/reading habits, right? Right.Before the relaunch, I had four regular titles on my pull list: Batgirl, Birds of Prey, Booster Gold, and Supergirl. That was a surprisingly small number to me, because I felt like I read more than that, but it doesn’t take into account minis like Time Masters: Vanishing Point and Justice League: Generation Lost. And minis can count for a lot – I bought, read, and hated 24 issues of Generation Lost in a row, which is a lot of money to spend on a comic you despise! I’d also tried and dropped a couple of other ongoings, like Superboy (boooooring) and Power Girl (like 90% of the readership, I left when Amanda Conner did) which added to my pull list in the year or so leading up to the relaunch. On average, I’d say I bought about six DC comics a month from September 2010-September 2011.
(I was also buying Spider-Girl over at Marvel and basically everything Boom! put out with a duck on it, but those days are gone. DARKWING DUCK, YOU WERE TOO BEAUTIFUL FOR THIS WORLD.)
In September, I picked up seven #1s: Batwoman, Blue Beetle, The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men, Justice League International, Static Shock, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman. DC’s Nielsen survey from that first month is methodologically suspect in so many ways it’d take a separate post to unpack it1 but the one finding I do think is likely is echoed by the sales figures – there was a big spike in September. Because hey, when there’s a new series, why not check it out? And when there are 52 new series…But now, six months later, I never bothered to read past the first issue of Static Shock – it didn’t wow me, and before I could catch up on the next couple of issues, I started hearing rumors of terribleness, followed by a quick cancelation. Firestorm had a great hook and a writer (Gail Simone) whose work I’ve loved in the past, but I found the actual book to be kind of bleak and confusing, and Gail’s leaving anyway. And Blue Beetle is all kinds of awful, so awful I had to drop it despite my passionate love for Jaime Reyes, which it turns out doesn’t trump casual racism, violence against women, unnecessary gore, and unrecognizable heroes.
So I’m down to four ongoings again: the excellent Batwoman, the darkly fascinating Wonder Woman, the delightful Supergirl, and JLI, because it’s pretty and because I’ll read profoundly mediocre comics starring Booster Gold until the cows come home. Plus a couple of minis: I’m thoroughly enjoying Huntress and The Ray.
Sure, I’m planning on picking up World’s Finest when it starts, so it almost looks like I’m reading a bit more in the DCnU than I was in August. But JLI and Batwoman were solicited months in advance of the reboot; I would’ve picked them up regardless. So in practice, since I just traded one Supergirl book for another, the only legitimate reboot title I picked up and stuck with was Wonder Woman, who I’d been meaning to get into anyway.
It’s just a guess, but judging by how few new readers and kids seem to be registering on that survey (though again, I feel like DC probably went to exactly the wrong places to measure those groups), I suspect that overall sales, like my pull list, will settle back into the status quo pretty soon.
So what about you guys? Are you reading more than you were pre-reboot? Less? Pretty much the same? Did you give up on DC when they ditched their history, or were you excited to have an easy way to step on board?
In other words: has anything really changed?
- They’re throwing out the huge online response in favor of the so-small-as-to-be-statistically-irrelevant in-store response; they’re attempting to accurately measure how many kids read comics by seeing how many of them will fill out surveys offered by aggressive strangers or on a website that’s not Neopets; they only polled in-store on Wednesdays, then declared that the majority of fans were “avid readers,” when those are the only ones in the stores on Wednesdays… ↩