Hello, everyone — no, I’m not shutting the blog down. Technically I’m not even really “on strike”.
It’s more of a boycott. Call it a boycott?
Actually it isn’t really a boycott either. After all I’m not looking to negotiate. I don’t have any demands. All I’ve got, are consequences. And maybe they’re not even big ones. We’ll see.
Call it a PR disaster. I gave up buying all Marvel and most DC comics because I stopped liking them. But I bought trades, I saw movies, I reviewed stuff, I spread word of mouth…you know? I’m all my friends’ local comics geek, I’m always being asked about comic-book movies. That’s not going to change.
But my answers are going to change. “That movie can rot in hell for all I care, Marvel and DC are such goddamn unethical companies and always have been, and I’m finally just plain sick to death of it.” That’s gonna be about how it goes. Not gonna go to the movie theatre, not gonna go to the video store, not gonna buy the comics, not gonna review any of the above. Marvel and DC have both had plenty of chances to become more progressive organizations. Marvel and DC have both had plenty of chances to do the right thing. Marvel and DC have had a good long run of me not altering my buying habits because of their more odious business practises. But as I think I may have mentioned before, you can’t rely on spin forever. Eventually the apathy you’ve thought to make friends with will be something you need people to cast aside.
And that “eventually” could certainly be now. Marvel’s making movies all the time, even making new movies from old movies, “relaunching” franchises. DC is about to relaunch their entire line, a dicey proposition even under the best of circumstances. And so these things could fail. At least: these things could underperform. You know? That might happen anyway. That’s always a risk. Will people sit still for another Spider-Man movie, or for an Avengers movie? For another crappy Superman movie? Is New New Teen Titans a lock to sell well? All this would be up in the air anyway.
But now…at least as far as I’m concerned…it’s not just up in the air, it’s out of the atmosphere. I will tell you a funny thing about unions, that I happen to know. Well, two funny things: one being that comics creators don’t have one, obviously. But the second thing is that unions are, by and large, pretty good for business. For one thing, the existence of CBAs preserves labour peace. For another, it prevents PR disasters like the one that has just snapped the lid shut for me on Big Two-related products. Hey, and where I find it convenient to cut out Time-Warner and Disney I won’t mind doing that either! Which maybe, you might say, is an unreasonable overreaction, but then if that’s what you think then you should also probably realize that unreasonable overreactions are exactly what PR disasters create, and that’s why corporations have to watch out for them. Why should DC suffer just because I’m mad at Marvel? Aren’t they competitors, anyway?
No. Not in this, they’re not. And let me remind you that since I am the mob I don’t have to care about stuff like that anyway. Hey, if there was a CBA in place this would totally have been avoided, right? Complicity could’ve been nicely bounded, and excuses could’ve been nicely floated. But Marvel and DC have always had a choice about that. Comics creators have never had a choice about that. So, who should be blamed, for PR disasters such as these?
Is there one of us who is cool about, say, the way Jerry Siegel’s wife was treated?
Boy I’ll tell ya, it would’ve been a treat to read some of those comics, see some of those movies. But there are plenty of creator-owned comics out there, so don’t worry about me, I’ll be JUST FINE without DC and Marvel. All that will really change is that I’ll save a bit of money, and have less to say.
But, having put it that way, let me also put it another way: what if we all, suddenly, had less to say?
No more questions for Didio, Quesada, Brevoort. For even a small amount of time. Say a month? For me it’ll be longer, but let’s say a month. A month without online reviews of Big Two Product. A month without interviews about them. A month without coverage. Would it make a difference? Think about it…
We don’t really know if it would, do we? How do we know what kind of influence these informal “lettercolumns” of ours have, anyway? If the Big Two know, they’ll certainly never say…and anyway how could they even get the numbers? How do retailers know how many people are coming into their shops because of some recommendation they got online? Well, one fairly easy way to find out (because all the other ways are difficult!) would be to stop providing that coverage. Just give the tree a kick, is what I’m suggesting, and see if the branches move. It’s not like the Big Two are paying us to talk about them, after all!
That’s more like the other way around. We pay, and then we talk. Sometimes, then, others pay. And then…?
It all stops here for me now, until and unless some day comes when I feel like Marvel and DC are worth going back to. Right now, though…
I wouldn’t waste my breath on them. And I won’t.
This is my five hundredth post on this blog, and I don’t think I could be much happier with it.