Superman and Batman make new inroads to the book stores with the DC Comics EarthOne Graphic Novels, modern retellings of the origins and yet again, we say, so? Joanna over at Comics Worth Reading makes her comments known here. Lets, once again, talk formats and what they want to put into that format. DC continues, yet again, to try different things, although it will likely come to no avail. Kudos to them them, they keep trying to do something, anything different, and it always seems to come just a little wide of the mark.
Oh you can see the marketing meeting: "Lets do something that will cost some money and maybe soemthing brand new for the book stores. Lets play it safe and use our most popular characters and we've got a better chance for sales." And yet, doing Batman's origin AGAIN or Superman's origin AGAIN is precisely the wrong tact to take. Anyone who cares about the characters knows the origins and doesn't need to buy the book. You new superhero reader, someone younger perhaps, isn't going to go for that price tag. Their parents will likely buy them a regular $3 comic. You average bookstore buyer is far more likely to walk buy and pick up the new Fables book or Sandman trade than grab the long underwear hero. Its DC going the safe route and coming out with, yet again, that wide of the mark product.
Try Minx, for instance. Once you get past the name, there was the lack of fantasy in the line up, a mysterious omission given that the manga market had long since given you all the demographic and story data that you needed. And yet, based in NYC, and looking over at the Tomine graphic novels and the Spiegelmans, they decided to go with urban books, and ones that were'nt all that good to begin with. You know what graphic novel i see in every book store i go into? the new Rapunzel one. Smart use of the name, a good story, some fantasy and a great heroine and the kids will have no problem devouring the story again and again, and convincing the parents to buy them the damn thing.
The best thing that DC did was the wednesday comics format from this summer, but unfortunately it didn't get into enough hands, into prime space in the stores. Once again a promising format change that got stuck into the Direct Market ghetto.
It should be noted that my Borders shelves their graphic novel area into: Cool stuff alphabetical, then DC alphabetical and then Marvel alphabetical. Tell you truth, its realllllllly easy to stay in that first section.