They’re like freaking Goofus and Gallant at this point.
|June 4, 2013||Posted by Jess under Adventures in Real Life, Comics, Ladytexts|
Last year, I was surprised to see that Marvel and DC had actually sent things to the freebie table at Wiscon. I mean, yeah, sending promotional materials to a conference attended by a thousand nerds, most of whom are not current comic book readers but could be given the right encouragement, is a smart move, especially since there’s no fee to display things. But aside from the occasional shameless USA Today headline, neither of the Big Two has seemed all that eager to reach out to audiences outside of the target demographic. Still, they sent promo items, and not completely off-base ones either.
So how’d they stack up this year? Well, let’s take a look:
Hey, You Guys, We Have So Much Stuff! And Some of It Is Lady Stuff! Marvel was apparently in “SEND ALL THE THINGS” mode, because I snagged no less than seven postcards from them. My theory that they just send whatever’s lying around the office is nicely proved true by the fact that some are dated February or March, but with an underserved market, more material is better than less.
Verdict: Nicely done, for “here’s some random crap languishing in the marketing stockroom.” Most importantly, there’s a postcard for Avengers: The Enemy Within. It features Captain Marvel up front and center (and a hard-to-see Black Widow and Spider-Woman in the back), and I definitely saw at least three women rocking Captain Marvel shirts at the con. Plus, it’s written by past Wiscon attendee Kelly Sue DeConnick. Female protag, female writer, franchise with a still hugely fannishly popular movie? Smart. And speaking of which, there’s also a postcard for the Avengers Assemble cartoon, which also includes Black Widow. The rest of the postcards don’t wow me – Nova #1, Minimum Carnage, The Hellfire Saga, X-Termination, and Age of Ultron, all of which float in a sea of grimaces and no context – but God, at least they put a freakin’ woman on one of their postcards.
What More Could They Have Done? Well. Not sending anything for the all-female X-Men #1, which hit shelves the Wednesday after Wiscon, seems like, oh, a gigantic oversight. I mean, while I’m dreaming they should’ve promo-ed the actual Captain Marvel series, Fearless Defenders, Red She-Hulk, but X-Men is the obvious flub here.
We Wanted to Get Rid of Some Postcards. DC, just…what are you…ugh. UGGGGGH. I am so freaking frustrated with you these days, DC. It’s like some kind of weird performance art in offending the most demographics, alienating the most creative talent, and, like, parodying yourself. Which is to say…we got a Death of the Family postcard featuring the Joker with a dumb pun, and a bookmark for the Before Watchmen trades.
Verdict: DC, are you even aware that you publish Batgirl? Batwoman? Supergirl? Birds of Prey? World’s Finest Freaking Wonder Woman? Or Katana, which as a new series featuring a C-list WoC, could use a little help when it comes to spreading awareness? I mean, are you trying to keep these titles a secret? What the hell is going on in those offices? Okay, sure, I guess some people aren’t totally over the Joker, but he’s not really a character who brings in a sea of ladydollars. (The way, say, a lesbian Batwoman or team of female superheroes or FREAKING WONDER WOMAN OH MY GOD would.) And the Before Watchmen trades? Are you kidding me? That’s basically saying “Would you like some books collecting books about a book we published in the 80s? We, um. We have nothing else.”
What More Could They Have Done? Honestly, they could hardly have done less.
DC, I have stood by you for ten years now. I don’t want to read Marvel, I want to read you. But for the love of Rao, you’ve got to give me a reason. And Marvel seems to want my money a whole lot more.
Oh, and hey, lest you think I’ve totally lost my sense of humor, there was also a postcard advertising the TV show Comic Book Men. At Wiscon.
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Thanks, Kevin Smith/AMC. I needed that.