Monday, September 1, 2014

Getting No Respect: DC Digital First Comics

I am a huge fan of the DC Digital First comics.  The lineup includes a great variety of titles that range from kid friendly fare to more mature titles and so much in between.  I don't know how many times I've heard fans yell that DC Comics are no longer fun, but there is
Batman '66 that is nothing but campy fun.  As a Father of five young boys, it's great to see them join in on Daddy's hobby with Teen Titans Go!  Seriously, there are nothing but great titles out there that seem to be slipping through the cracks and it makes me so mad. The problem starts with DC themselves and it reminds me of the saying, "Nobody will love you if you don't love yourself".  Why don't you show your digital titles some love, DC?  They are just as good (sometimes better) then your "regular" titles, but yet you only seem to pay attention to them when they get around to be printed.  Here is a list of problems as I see it and some possibly solutions. Consider this an intervention.

Scheduling- When the hell do the books come out?  I'll admit, it is getting better, but it's still problematic.  The schedule is in the books themselves and on the Digital First Website, but both tend to lag behind the actual schedule.  If you are a curious fan, it gets a bit confusing. Plus, why put any digital titles out on Wednesday?  Batman '66 and Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman are great comics, but get lost in the shuffle of all the regular releases. (edit: Without notice, it looks like Sensation Comics has moved to Thursday which is good, but proves my point as well)  Furthermore, books seem to come and go without any notice.  Recently, Justice League Beyond 2.0 was canceled and the only way I found out was by sending a note to writer, Christos Gage.  I still haven't seen any real announcement, but I have seen people online asking what happened to such a great book.  To show that this is a continuing problem, I only have to look at the last two days. With little warning, the Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse book was shifted from Monday to Sunday to make way for Arrow Season 2.5. Arrow Season 2.5?  I knew it was announced and planned on reading and reviewing it, but even I was surprised when I saw it was released today.  Gives fans a little more heads up. Which leads to my next point...

Advertising- Or lack thereof.  Like I said, the only real information you get on these book are in the books themselves.  That is just an invitation to fail.  Take a book like Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse.  It's a tie-in for the MMO game, yet when I go to game's official site I see no mention of the comic.  Nothing. What a wasted opportunity to get new fans.  Then there is the new Arrow 2.5 (mentioned above) and the upcoming Flash book.  You want the TV numbers to translate to the comics?  Try telling fans of the shows about them!  It's even a struggle to find any information on them on DC's own site.  You have to find the little tab for the Digital titles underneath the fancy scroll of all that week's print books.

Pricing- I know this is a sensitive topic that goes beyond just comics.  What to charge for a digital copy of a comic without upsetting the brick and morter comic shops has been a debate with good points from both sides. However, this doesn't have to include the Digital First titles.  I find the problem is mainly with DC insisting on releasing the Digital Firsts in a bundled print version every couple of weeks.  Because of that, they have to charge a relative amount for a digital issue, which is usually $0.99.  I'm not complaining, because most titles are worth $0.99, but then they go and charge $1.99 for select titles like Batman '66 and Batman: Jiro Kuwata's Batmanga.  WTF?!?  Why would anyone pay that much when they can wait for the printed version for half the price?  Give the Digital First supporters a bit of a break.  I bet you will find that many (like myself) get both the digital and printed versions anyway.

So DC, what I'm saying is have some pride in your Digital First books.  They are awesome and you don't seem to know it.  Tell us fans when they are coming out, advertise to get new fans in and don't get ridiculous in your pricing.  I know it's a bottom dollar thing, but I would love if you just ended the bundled print versions and let these titles stand on their own.  To anyone who hasn't read a digital book, I know it's a struggle sometimes, but give them a try.  I'm positive you will find at least one that you will fall in love with.

No Respect!

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