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  1. #1636
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Shaw View Post
    So...Wally wanted Harley to knee him?

    I once heard that Wally dodged a bullet an instant before impact.
    The speed force is a fickle mistress, I guess?
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  2. #1637
    Fantastic Member Dr. Ellingham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Didio doesn't have to have the same opinions I do. I honestly don't care what characters he likes or doesn't. As long as personal bias doesn't get in the way of good business
    Bias implies a fairness standard that's being ignored. That's not applicable to art, really. His job is to strategize a line of comics that does new stuff with longtime properties - not simply maintain a static status quo.

    And creative decisions are by nature based on personalities, preferences, inclinations - and balancing those against commercial needs in a dynamic environment.

    Dick Grayson is a perfect example of just that. Didio needed a big character to die in Infinite Crisis, and picked Nightwing - but acquiesed to changing it based on creative feedback. He then made him Batman based on the right pitch and writer. Then Nightwing again.

    He went from saying never Barry Allen to saying bringing him back "was the plan all along". Salesmanship speak for making things up as we go.

    DC (Didio) recognizes the New Teen Titans is a hugely important thing to a segment of fans. But today they are peripheral characters, for the most part. That's the core of this issue - longtime fans saying "my favorite characters should matter more". And DC is saying sometimes, they will - when it serves our strategy.

  3. #1638
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    I guess don't really see the strategy in playing so coy with the Titans while their counterparts over at Marvel, the X-men, are having their most landmark run in years. Same with tanking Nightwing to near cancellation levels in the comics, while he's only getting bigger and bigger in outside media. I get that the execs look at the characters in terms of economics rather than sentimentality like the fans do, but even from a business perspective their handling of Dick's generation is incomprehensible to me.

  4. #1639
    Incredible Member docmidnite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Don't get me wrong man, I truly don't care which characters Didio likes or doesn't. Seriously, as you say, we all have our preferences.

    My issue with this comes from my studying business, not from my fandom. For me, this isn't about my personal favorite/s not being treated like the star/s I want to see them treated as, it's about a guy in a high level corporate position who might be ignoring sound business in favor of his own fandom.

    So Didio doesn't like a character, cool. But if that IP is profitable, if that IP has investment potential, and if that IP has value, you capitalize on it. Years of study (and tons of college debt) have driven into my head that you do what is best for the business, long and short term, whether you like the product or not, and if you're not realizing the profit potential of your product then you're doing it wrong.

    In the case of Dick and Wally, yes I'm a fan of both characters. But more to the point, so is everyone else. Nightwing is (was) one of the company's most consistent sellers, with perhaps the highest sales floor at DC. He was a strong mid-tier seller who typically outsold everyone except the League and did so with lower quality (and thus cheaper) talent. And there's tons of other examples of the IP being successful, reliable, and easily capable of more. I can see not rocking that boat and being satisfied with the IP's performance, but I can't see a justification for what's been done the last few years. And I don't think I need to sing Wally's praises from a business standpoint do I?

    If Didio really has allowed his personal opinion to sway business choices in a way that has cost DC revenue (and look at Dick's sales, they're losing real profit here, not just potential profit), then yeah, I absolutely take big f**king issue with that. I've spent years of my life and a ton of money learning how to *not* do that, and for a guy in Didio's position to do it? Yeah, that pisses me off (assuming that he is indeed guilty of letting personal bias sway his decisions and I won't say he 100% is because I don't have all the variables).

    It's not that *my* fandom is coloring my perception, it's that I fear Didio's is. The fact that it involves characters I like is secondary to the affront I take at what appears to be incredibly bad business. If that's the kind of businessman Didio is, then DC should give me his position, because I at least know that it's not about what I personally want to see.

    Just to illustrate my point. Let's say Didio didn't like Batman. Would it be good business to cut down Batman's books to one title a month, put Rob Liefield on that book for years, and keep him there even as sales sink to historic lows and customers do nothing but complain? Of course not, that would be bad business right? Bad for sales, bad for brand trust, bad for everything. That would be costing the company a lot of money. This is a heightened example of what I worry he's done with other characters. And while they're certainly not as profitable as Batman, bad business is still bad business and shouldn't be condoned. And let's not confuse all that with a idea or a creator that just didn't work out. Comics are art, and that's subjective, and stuff that looks good in theory doesn't always sell. Like Waid returning to Wally; sounded good, but ended up bad. That's cool, you just adjust and do something different. You don't keep Rob Liefield on Batman two years after it's proven to be a bad idea. But that's what is happening with IP's that we know Didio doesn't like. Does this still sound like good business to you?

    Didio doesn't get to do whatever he wants with these IP's. That's not how business works. It is his job to do what will sell, and make as much money as possible from the IP's he has. If he's not doing that because of personal opinion, then he's not a businessman, he's just a fan trying to make the DCU into what *he* wants it to be. And *that* is what bothers me.
    I donít think itís as bad as you make it seem. Before Dick got shot his character was doing fine in 2 separate books. Wally on the other hand was a victim of the reboot as the Flash was one of the titles that started over from scratch (unlike the Bat and GL books which didnít) I also think Wallyís in a better place now than he was as a co star in Titans and the occasional appearance in the Flash title.

    He didnít kill anyone on purpose in HiC. He had a momentary mental collapse (which is more than understandable given everything he has lost) and lost control of his powers at the wrong time.

    Now heís starring in his own miniseries and the writer of that miniseries says there are big plans for Wally this year.

    Neither of them are in places where theyíre screwed forever and it just seems like people are looking at ways to make it seem that way, IMO.

  5. #1640
    Astonishing Member jetengine's Avatar
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    Dont defend HIC. Its a fucking train wreck that even had trained psychologists saying "What the fuck is this".

  6. #1641
    Incredible Member docmidnite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetengine View Post
    Dont defend HIC. Its a fucking train wreck that even had trained psychologists saying "What the fuck is this".
    I didn't defend HiC. I defended Wally in HiC

  7. #1642
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Ellingham View Post
    And creative decisions are by nature based on personalities, preferences, inclinations - and balancing those against commercial needs in a dynamic environment.
    Indeed. So where is the commercial consideration here? How is the bottom line being served, how is DC benefiting from the current state of some of these characters?

    The character of Dick Grayson has not benefited. The company is not benefiting; sales on Nightwing are maybe as low as they have ever been in the title's history (I'd have to check, but I'm pretty sure the ranking has never been so low). And two years into the current direction nothing has been done to correct this. So.....who, exactly, is this helping? How is this good for business?

    I'm not even hating on Didio's desire to kill Dick off in 2006. I would've hated that as a fan, but from a business perspective it was fair game. I'm glad it didn't happen but such things are viable choices and Dick dying was a viable option that could have generated higher sales in a number of ways. That's a proven strategy. I understand the business to that. What's happening now, and has been happening the last few years? Doesn't clear any business practice I'm aware of.

    I really hate having to bash on Didio like this. Believe it or not, I'm not a Didio hater. I give him more credit than a lot of people around here and I think he's done a lot of stuff that was on the level and good for the company, and even the entire industry. I've defended a lot of stuff he's done, so it's actually a little weird to be accusing him of something like this.

    But when it comes to this? I'd really rather not think that someone with his experience and education would abuse his position the way I'm talking about, but in all the time this conversation has been going on (not just in this thread but for the last few years) I have not once seen anyone provide an actual justification. All I get is vague assumptions and noise like "art is subjective." Yes. Everyone here knows art is subjective and one person's hated run is another person's favorite. But I'm talking hard business here, and nobody has yet said "Well, under business practice/theory X this is profitable and viable for the bottom line." We don't have all the data DC does, nor do we know the unique quirks of their particular company and industry, but I have actual numbers and practices I can point to that support my argument. Can anyone counter with the same?

    Someone, please, give me business practice/theory X so I can stop assuming the worst about the guy!
    Last edited by Ascended; 01-17-2020 at 12:10 PM.
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  8. #1643
    Fantastic Member Dr. Ellingham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Indeed. So where is the commercial consideration here? How is the bottom line being served, how is DC benefiting from the current state of some of these characters?
    Sales. Controversy sells. Now - I don't like what DC has done with Wally West over the last 15 years. But it's similar to Hal Jordan in the 1990s. They tore him down to generate hype. And it worked. In that case Didio was the one who eventually came along and said, "now it's time to build it back up."

    But he would have gladly done both ends of that - because the cycle drives sales. Like he's doing now, with Wally. It's got nothing to do with preferences. If Barry's the Flash, what do you do with the leftover characters outside the circle? They don't have a book, so it's a free-for-all. Got a pitch that makes Tim Drake a powerful villain that can cross over to all the Batbooks and later be adapted to an animated movie? DC's listening. Because Tim's not material to Robin. Peripheral character.

    Most of the New Teen Titans are peripheral characters at this point showing up in other people's books. As I said, they're just not critically important.

  9. #1644
    Incredible Member docmidnite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Indeed. So where is the commercial consideration here? How is the bottom line being served, how is DC benefiting from the current state of some of these characters?

    The character of Dick Grayson has not benefited. The company is not benefiting; sales on Nightwing are maybe as low as they have ever been in the title's history (I'd have to check, but I'm pretty sure the ranking has never been so low). And two years into the current direction nothing has been done to correct this. So.....who, exactly, is this helping? How is this good for business?

    I'm not even hating on Didio's desire to kill Dick off in 2006. I would've hated that as a fan, but from a business perspective it was fair game. I'm glad it didn't happen but such things are viable choices and Dick dying was a viable option that could have generated higher sales in a number of ways. That's a proven strategy. I understand the business to that. What's happening now, and has been happening the last few years? Doesn't clear any business practice I'm aware of.

    I really hate having to bash on Didio like this. Believe it or not, I'm not a Didio hater. I give him more credit than a lot of people around here and I think he's done a lot of stuff that was on the level and good for the company, and even the entire industry. I've defended a lot of stuff he's done, so it's actually a little weird to be accusing him of something like this.

    But when it comes to this? I'd really rather not think that someone with his experience and education would abuse his position the way I'm talking about, but in all the time this conversation has been going on (not just in this thread but for the last few years) I have not once seen anyone provide an actual justification. All I get is vague assumptions and noise like "art is subjective." Yes. Everyone here knows art is subjective and one person's hated run is another person's favorite. But I'm talking hard business here, and nobody has yet said "Well, under business practice/theory X this is profitable and viable for the bottom line." We don't have all the data DC does, nor do we know the unique quirks of their particular company and industry, but I have actual numbers and practices I can point to that support my argument. Can anyone counter with the same?

    Someone, please, give me business practice/theory X so I can stop assuming the worst about the guy!
    Dude, the entire comic book industry as a whole are dying sales wise and you’re worried about Nightwing? The average age of a comic book reader is 35. My own kids can’t be arsed enough to even read one of my comics because there are many more entertaining things out there for them. Geez, my oldest son spends more time playing the games on his phone now than he does his X-Box.

    DC is just behind Marvel and that’s only because Marvel publishes the Star Wars books.

    At this rate there might not even be an industry in 15 years and that’s being generous.

  10. #1645
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    As flawed as many of the changes DC has made over the years, I applaud them for trying. Remaining stagnant is a creative death sentence.

    OTOH, as comforting and familiar as the stories are that changes everything back, I can't help but think that DC is giving into to fans who don't like character progression.
    His current approval rating is 34%, meaning 34% of Americans are still morons.

  11. #1646
    Boisterously Confused
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    Nothing I've seen in the 25 years since Jonah launched these forums as the Kingdom Come message board throws a torch into our community's gasoline like the word "Didio."

  12. #1647
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Ellingham View Post
    Sales. Controversy sells.
    Except what I'm talking about doesn't sell. Okay, looking at Dick, since he's ended up the main example we're using. I would buy that DC decided to drop Nightwing and push a different property to see if that other IP could equal or surpass the sales and revenue Nightwing generates. But Nightwing is still being published, so nothing is taking the book's place. I could buy that DC wanted to try something new hoping to stumble into the next cult hit like Grayson. But after two (??) years that is clearly not happening, yet the company hasn't changed course or done anything to get those lost sales back. I could believe that this was part of a larger narrative connected to the Bat mythos (and that is how Ric started), but after two (??) years it hasn't tied into any larger story or crossover and most of the people who were around two (??) years ago are now gone anyway.

    Yeah, the controversy cycle is keeping the bills paid and I've already said I don't begrudge anyone for that. I'm not even bothered by the Wally situation that much from a business standpoint. That's a raw deal for the character and as a fan I don't care for it, but I can track how it happened from the business end. But I'm not talking about the controversy cycle or Wally being in a bad story like HiC, or even circumstances getting in the way of plans for him (like what happened with the reboot, which took plans for his next book off the table). As I've said, bad stories happen. What is happening here goes beyond a story not being as popular as the publisher hoped.

    So what other reason/s are there that justify some of these choices Didio has made? I'm still looking for business practice/theory X.

    Quote Originally Posted by docmidnite View Post
    Dude, the entire comic book industry as a whole are dying sales wise and you’re worried about Nightwing?
    You're moving the goal posts man. I'm not talking about the industry, I'm talking about a high ranking manager at one company who, as far as I've been able to tell, isn't making the smart (and obvious) calls with certain IP's, and is instead pushing a different agenda that appears to be costing the company revenue. It's not that I'm worried about Nightwing so much as I am the idea that someone in this position can get away with enacting such a bias. If indeed that is what is happening.

    Let's say I'm right. Let's say that DC is allowing a personal opinion to get in the way of their profit, costing them money and losing readers. If the industry is in as bad a state as you just said, doesn't that make my concerns even more pertinent? If comics are dying (and no it's not healthy but I've been hearing "the end is just around the corner" since 1992) then isn't it even more important that the publishers make smart choices that bring in as much revenue as possible?
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  13. #1648
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    Lot of people pirate comics too.

  14. #1649
    Incredible Member docmidnite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Except what I'm talking about doesn't sell. Okay, looking at Dick, since he's ended up the main example we're using. I would buy that DC decided to drop Nightwing and push a different property to see if that other IP could equal or surpass the sales and revenue Nightwing generates. But Nightwing is still being published, so nothing is taking the book's place. I could buy that DC wanted to try something new hoping to stumble into the next cult hit like Grayson. But after two (??) years that is clearly not happening, yet the company hasn't changed course or done anything to get those lost sales back. I could believe that this was part of a larger narrative connected to the Bat mythos (and that is how Ric started), but after two (??) years it hasn't tied into any larger story or crossover and most of the people who were around two (??) years ago are now gone anyway.

    Yeah, the controversy cycle is keeping the bills paid and I've already said I don't begrudge anyone for that. I'm not even bothered by the Wally situation that much from a business standpoint. That's a raw deal for the character and as a fan I don't care for it, but I can track how it happened from the business end. But I'm not talking about the controversy cycle or Wally being in a bad story like HiC, or even circumstances getting in the way of plans for him (like what happened with the reboot, which took plans for his next book off the table). As I've said, bad stories happen. What is happening here goes beyond a story not being as popular as the publisher hoped.

    So what other reason/s are there that justify some of these choices Didio has made? I'm still looking for business practice/theory X.



    You're moving the goal posts man. I'm not talking about the industry, I'm talking about a high ranking manager at one company who, as far as I've been able to tell, isn't making the smart (and obvious) calls with certain IP's, and is instead pushing a different agenda that appears to be costing the company revenue. It's not that I'm worried about Nightwing so much as I am the idea that someone in this position can get away with enacting such a bias. If indeed that is what is happening.

    Let's say I'm right. Let's say that DC is allowing a personal opinion to get in the way of their profit, costing them money and losing readers. If the industry is in as bad a state as you just said, doesn't that make my concerns even more pertinent? If comics are dying (and no it's not healthy but I've been hearing "the end is just around the corner" since 1992) then isn't it even more important that the publishers make smart choices that bring in as much revenue as possible?
    That’s because the speculator era ended in 1992 and sales have been going down ever since. When it comes to Nightwing, I can’t help you. While I don’t hate Dick, I’ve always found the name Nightwing incredibly lame and something I’m truly not interested in personally.

  15. #1650
    Mighty Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmidnite View Post
    Thank you. That’s all I wanted. That said, Didio is under no obligation to either like those characters or cater to the fans of those characters

    In all of those interviews you just showed he implied that he felt that way because in his mind that was best for business. That’s his job. TO DO WHAT HE FEELS IS BEST FOR BUSINESS.

    Not to cater to you or me.

    Like I said before, all that a comic book company is supposed to do is simply offer a selection of titles they hope may entertain people. THAT’S IT.

    We don’t have to like or agree with their choices and likewise they are under no obligation to agree with us and like what we like.
    That would be fine if he learned from it. The acclaim from putting Dick back into Nightwing and bringing Wally back was his customers saying "yes, more of this" and he listened before going back to his usual practices. He genuinely keeps trying the same thing over and thinking he's going to get different results. It isn't just that he thinks he's making the best business decision. He's not really capable of learning from when they go wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by docmidnite View Post
    That’s because the speculator era ended in 1992 and sales have been going down ever since. When it comes to Nightwing, I can’t help you. While I don’t hate Dick, I’ve always found the name Nightwing incredibly lame and something I’m truly not interested in personally.
    All of this is deflecting and not in any way refuting his points. Stick to the topic. In what manner does devaluing an IP that's often just behind Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman (if not edging one of them out due to being attached to Batman, their sacred cow) in their iconography and adaption into other more profitable media make any sense to anyone with a modicum of business acumen? It's like Coke advertising that you should enjoy Coke but go to Pepsi co for your lemon lime needs because who even wants to drink Sprite. It's goddamn stupid, but someone at the top of the food chain gets to mess with the formula to Sprite all he wants and gets away with it because every now and then he lets someone with a good idea fix it before said executive thinks he's got the magic ingredient and adds turpentine to the mix.

    Except it's not Sprite, it's Dick Grayson, the other side of Batman and Robin.

    It doesn't matter if you or Didio like his name or if the market is itself shrinking, those are other discussions. How does Didio trying to kill off or ruin popular IP that resonate with his customers make sense? The only argument I can think of is he's trying to strengthen the core brand and have them starved for content so they'll flock to Batman or Flash, but that ignores that these comics aren't sold in a vacuum. If DC stops providing a Nightwing product fans want, why not go to another athletic, quipy hero but who gets better creative teams-- Spider-Man? Or maybe a neat indie book? Or maybe Nightwing reprints which give a fan what they want one time and then they never buy another of your serialized books? This sort of thing is attacking a large portion of their fanbase while their competition is already beating them.

    I don't have Ascended's acumen for business, but I have worked in sales and I do know that alienating your core audience is not a wise decision just for hope of expansion. You need to keep them in consideration to provide you revenue while you develop new opportunities and you want their word of mouth and longevity as satisfied customers to provide security for prospective customers. Or that's what I've gleaned from my own experiences.
    Last edited by Robanker; 01-17-2020 at 06:14 PM.

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