Comic Store In Your Future – The King Is Dead But The Emperor has No Clothes

Rod Lamberti of Rodman Comics writes weekly for Bleeding Cool. Find previous columns here.
As many of you know DC Publisher, Dan DiDio, is no longer with DC Comics. It was a quite out of the blue announcement. I, along with a group of store owners had dinner with Dan years ago in Kansas City. I left impressed by how big of a comic fan he was. He was also a comic collector. He loved even lesser-known characters such as the Metal Men and Kamandi. Dan had been scheduled to be at Planet ComicCon in Kansas City this month. I had hoped on making it and trying to say hello and see if he remembered me. I was surprised by the announcement and by how many people online seemed to be so happy by the announcement. Many people seem to assume that somehow DC Comics is suddenly going to become "better" by Dan no longer being with DC.
When Marvel let their Editor in Chief, Axel Alonso, go in 2017 there was a similar online reaction. C.B. Cebulski replaced Axel and I even wrote about it. I had hoped to see positive change brought about. It is now 2020 and as far as I can tell nothing has changed for Marvel. I even wonder what the point of letting Axel go was. For us, in-store Marvel sales have not improved. Popular, well-known characters with hit movies such as the Guardians of the Galaxy still get their comic cancelled. The recent Marvel limited series Yondu did not even sell one copy at our store. Marvel's use of variant covers sure has not changed. There has been no improved focus on getting people to actually read their titles. Has anyone noticed any changes at Marvel with Cebulski as Editor in Chief?
According to DC's now only publisher and Chief Creative Officer, Jim Lee, DC is not going to replace Dan DiDio. If no new blood is coming into DC, I do not see DC actually changing. I hope I am wrong. I would love to see positive change as a store owner and comic fan along with an increase in sales.
As a comic fan, I would love to see a JSA title finally return with hopefully Geoff Johns writing it. He stated years ago he misses writing the characters. The Legion returning would be great (not the current Legion light series). It would be good to see a return of well-written characters that people enjoy reading and feel no regret about purchasing their favorite character's title out of loyalty or of remembering the good old days when they enjoyed reading their character's comics. DC has not been bringing their A-game recently. Superman's secret identity reveal is currently underwhelming. It was done a few years ago and undone. Aquaman, Batgirl, Nightwing, Titans and so many more should be selling so much better than they actually are. Right now, DC has the new character Punchline going for it.
In my humble opinion the big two publishers' bar is set amazingly low for comic sales expectations. This results in many titles being pumped out to make up for the lack of high individual title sales.
Dan DiDio is no longer with DC. Change happens. Will DC see positive change? Time will tell.
Comic Store In Your Future – The King Is Dead But The Emperor has No Clothes

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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