Despite some soft spots in the initial sales and rumors of the move's demise, DC Comics is standing behind the creative shift of its "DC You" initiative. That's the message delivered by Co-Publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee in a new profile in Los Angeles' "Daily News."
In June, the publisher relaunched much of its main line titles with new status quos and often creative teams. The shake-up saw everything from the revelation of Clark Kent's secret identity to the rise of Jim Gordon as Batman to more comedy and horror-style books for characters from "Bizarro" to "Constantine."
While the move to follow the lead of breakout hits like "Batgirl" drew big press notices and in many cases strong reviews, the initial sales data from June suggested that several titles had dropped below the level of previous iterations of the books that adhered to DC's previous house style. That info led to a wave of reports of an impending shift back towards the company's previous strategy of big events and more standard storytelling styles. Bleeding Cool noted a supposed $2 million shortfall in profits during the company's move to Burbank and internal talk of editors being told to "stop Batgirling" the line. Meanwhile, The Beat filed its own report corroborating the talk and noting some potential shakeups to the main DC line.
But as DiDio and Lee say it today, the tweaks to the DC You initiative will be minor adjustments. "If you're trying to build a fan base, a new audience, you've got to nurture it. You've got to take your time. You've got to take your losses," DiDio told the paper. "Sooner or later, it's going to take hold and hopefully be a leader in the business. Right now, our goal is to try and feed out as much product that's as different as possible to try and attract the widest audience possible." He added that DC will start "adjusting a little bit, and start to focus" their methods in the months ahead.
"We had some hits, we have some things that are under-performing," said Lee. "What we [did] in June is definitely step one towards this sort of transformation of the [comics] line. And I think that story is still being written."
"One of the things about comics is that it's really low-cost (research and development). You can put them out there and see whether they succeed or fail and then the goal is to follow the trends that are successful and build out from there," DiDio told the "Daily News."
Both Co-Publishers said that DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson had tasked them to take risks with the line. "Our goal is to constantly reinvent and constantly introduce new ideas and new concepts," DiDio said. "If not, we're just chasing our own tail. We've always got to be pushing the envelope."
Stay tuned for more on the future of DC on CBR.