DC, Warner Brothers, and the Messaging War

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DC Comics is losing the war.

Every day, rumors circulate around the Internet from sources like Latino Review, CosmicBookNews, and ComicBook.com, causing varying levels of outrage and disappointment. Stories about Justice League plot points, casting, and more permeate the blogosphere, regardless of their veracity.

The root of the problem is DC’s complete failure to engage in the online messaging war. DC editors do not return emails. Warner Brothers may as well be behind an iron curtain for all the information that they provide to the press and bloggers. As a result, fans who want to keep abreast of the latest developments have nothing to rely on aside from dubiously-sourced “insider” leaks, most of which turn out to be completely false.

Given the company’s extremely poor public image in the wake of the last year’s shenanigans, someone needs to step up.

Once upon a time, studios and publishers could wait until conventions or other mass media events to release information about their upcoming projects. With the rise of real-time social media, that dynamic has changed drastically. Fans now expect—nay, demand—to be kept up to speed on casting searches, script development, shooting schedules, creator changes, and everything associated with the creative process. Given the rising cost of movie tickets and monthly comics, this thirst for information is indicative of a fan community that wants to ensure that their hard-earned dollars are invested wisely in products that they will enjoy.

It is increasingly obvious that a change needs to be made. Whether or not DC and Warners will recognize the necessity remains to be seen as does the final shape of their social media policy.

We’d like to hear from our fans on this: what do you think that publishers in general, or DC in particular, can or should do in order to prevent the conversation from being polluted with misinformation?

Josh Epstein

Josh Epstein is the Publisher for the Capeless Crusader website. He’s a lifelong comic nerd, and “Superman” is the first word he ever read aloud. He is also an actor, singer, and resident of a real-world Smallville.

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  • Full heartedly agree with this. I am a massive DC fan, always have been and always will be. Where DC fails for me is in connecting with their fans. I’ve met a few DC writers and one of them turned out to be the most awful [deleted] I’ve talked to in the comic industry. Being that this writer’s current book is one of the top comics on shelves I still collect it regardless of his [deleted] personality. However, every other creator I’ve met or chatted to via social media has been amazing. I’ve talked with creators from Avatar, Image and Marvel and they really love their fans and enjoy chatter and buzz. DC seems to just say “fuck it, save your words for your books” and you’re lucky to get an RT or a thanks from one of their creative staff if you send them 40 tweets praising their work. The exception to this would be Greg Capullo who is one of the most gracious and nicest dudes you could meet, and similarly Rob Liefeld, though we all know he definitely isn’t writing a DC book anytime soon if ever again.

    Continuing in that vein, DC’s handling of creator fueds is laughable. I believe Rob Liefeld was completely justified in his attack of the poorly managed editorial at DC this past summer and the screenshot of his conversation with Snyder only proved that men with conviction and vision are often cast out at DC and forced to thrive elsewhere, namely in the creator owned market or across town at Marvel. Hilariously, after agreeing with Liefeld via Twitter, Mr Batman himself (Scott Snyder) finally sent me a snarky DM saying “oh gee, thanks man” and then a more apologetic toned DM where he asked me not to provoke Rob Liefeld anymore. If you haven’t guessed already, the [deleted] writer I refer to in the above paragraph is Mr. Snyder. Yes, I still collect Batman, I have a vested interest in the character and in Greg Capullo’s artwork, but I relish the day when Snyder fucks off to write more self masturbatory stories about vampires and is done with Batman.

  • I haven’t encountered much trouble getting in touch with the talent at DC. Like Marvel, Image or any other publisher, there are plenty of writers and artists at DC willing to reach out to their readership and treat them with the respect deserved of a fan base who provides for their livelihood. Like Josh was saying above, it’s really the guys in charge that are causing the problem. I can personally attest to DC editors/ upper echelon never returning my e-mails. It’s very frustrating when all we want to do is set the record straight on matters that pertain to both them and us.

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  • oxbow

    I wish the editors would reply outside of the letters column for sure. It’s like pulling teeth to talk with anyone there.! Also, I REALLY wish they would accept submissions…They are passing up a lot of good talent by shutting down all access to editors. DC and especially Vertigo used to be THE place for creative writers and artists to make stories no-one had ever seen before! I miss that kind excitement a lot…