Marc Alan Fishman: DC Entertainment – Trouble Every Day
Did you hear? Did you hear? The sky is falling! That’s right! There’s no time to pack a bag. Just grab your cell phone and head towards my car. Now get in! Call your loved ones. Tell them to do the same. Where are we going? How the hell should I know? They just told me to grab you and leave, leave, leave!
Wait, hold on. I just got a text. Shut up, I know I shouldn’t text and drive. But I can’t help it, we’re in the middle of a crisis! I’m not sure which crisis. The sky is white, so it’s not Crisis on Infinite Earths. The sky isn’t red, so it’s not Final Crisis. The sky isn’t upside down, so it’s not Flashpoint.
Oh. Oh! OK, this makes sense. Yup. DC is going belly up. No, I’m not kidding. My credible source here says so. No I won’t stop the car. Hear me out.
My pal, who likes to remain a little anonymous – we’ll call him R. Johnston, wait no, that’s too easy. Rich J. texted me just now that there’s a storm a’ brewin’ in New York. No, it’s not Hurricane Sandy. Rich is great with these things, trust me. He’s like spy mixed with fly on the wall. For reals.
So, he got wind of a super secret set of individual meetings at DC HQ which he’s speculating (which totally makes this real, you know) means big things for our boy blue. Here’s the hot tip:
With Vertigo Honcho Karen Berger going on the lamb, there’s mutterings this is the beginning of a mass exodus to Burbank. Yup, with the last bastion of the Paul Levitz era seeking refuge in other parts of fiction (if at all), DC’s ties to it’s former home seem more sentimental than anything else. What with everything going digital these days, wouldn’t it behoove the couldn’t-be-for-profit publishing side to just nestle itself closer to the teat of Movies, TV, and Other Media by Papa Warner?
And since the rumor mill is chugging along, we also have word that maybe these meetings (which again we have no actual proof happened, or any notion of who was in them) could also entail the stepping down of one Diane Nelson as head of the company. Maybe these meetings hold the secret to the new head cheese … Speculation is abound!
And Richie also told me (via text – don’t worry, I can read really long texts while driving) that these meetings could mean a big upheaval of publishing policy! I don’t even know what that means, but I’m scared poopless. I mean, first Karen leaves … then Diane steps down … and then the whole company goes only digital, moves to California. What’s next? Superman stops wearing his red underwear. Oh. My. New Gods! OK, I’m pulling over. Get out, pal. Just run for the hills! It’s all coming down. We might as well get some fast food, and wait for the universe to reset.
Sigh. All joking aside, unlike some bloggers, let me make this even more clear: I write my articles several days ahead of time. As the writing of this column, this story over on Bleeding Cool was a rank-and-file piece of absurdity. While Johnson makes all-too-clear he has no clue what’s going on, rather than get some sources and crank out a piece, he buried this little Chicken Little story in an attempt to what… get us commenting? Ranting and railing? I’m not entirely sure.
Be that as it may, unless anything concrete is published on this subject, here’s my two cents: most of what Rich conjures from the ether sounds pretty plausible. The New 52 sales seem to have leveled off, and the books, while low in number, are all very much akin to their brethren before the fall of Rome; predictable, great in parts, boring in most others, with plenty of worthless crossovers to go around. The fact is DC’s ties to New York are only superfluous at this point. Creative teams are assembled via the Internet. Books are compiled digitally and whisked off to Canada, or China or Apokolips to be printed and distributed.
We can also safely assume with Harry Potter done and over with, WB is putting heads on the chopping block if Justice League doesn’t pull off Avengers-like hype and profits. Diane Nelson may not want to be around when they inevitably miss the mark there (and I’m no less hopeful, just realistic). And to round it out … what “big publishing initiative” could they announce, aside from a hike in price for physical books? I’m yearning to be surprised.
At the end of the day, the sky ain’t gonna fall. Superman will be around for plenty of years to come. And there will always be too man-Bat books on the shelf. And we’ll always be here, to lap up the rumors like starving dogs, and fight one another over these oddly plucked bones of potential news. But, consider my inner Gold here to leave you on this thought:
Been checkin’ out the news
Until my eyeballs fail to see
I mean to say that every day
Is just another rotten mess
And when it’s gonna change, my friend
Is anybody’s guess
(From “Trouble Every Day” by Frank Zappa¸©1966 whatever publishing company Frank had in 1966, All Rights Reserved.)
SUNDAY: John Ostrander