The comics rumor mill was abuzz this week with claims that DC Entertainment had lost faith in its recently-launched "DC You" publishing initiative amid revenue shortfalls, and the company's publishers are now pushing back with a vote of confidence and a pledge of continued support.
As reported by Bleeding Cool, the company had made less than projected and internally, both the company's move from New York to California and soft performance in the publishing line were being blamed.
Specifically, reports claimed, the DC You initiative -- which generally features novel takes on DC properties, diverse casts and creative teams, and a willingness to embrace an indie comics aesthetic -- was to be reined in, in favor of more straightforward, traditional superhero books.
Not so, according to a new feature in the Los Angeles Daily News. Both of DC's co-publishers, Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, expressed support for the initiative, while acknowledging that it hasn't started as strong out of the gate as they might have hoped. While they will be adjusting their approach somewhat to lean into what has worked with DC You, DiDio said, the publishing line won't undergo any radical changes soon.
“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 said. “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.”
“We had some hits, we have some things that are under-performing,” Lee said. “What we (did) in June is definitely step one towards this sort of transformation of the line. And I think that story is still being written.”
Holding the line is the mantra in this piece; besides the publishing line, Lee said that the company wasn't going to be intimidated by fear of superhero fatigue, even with eight comic book adaptations hitting theaters in 2016 and dozens more planned between DC, Marvel, Fox and Sony over the next five years or so.
“What’s interesting about superheroes (is that) it’s really just a genre,” Lee said. “Within that, you can tell all kinds of stories, and that’s really a challenge to us, as a business. Yeah, you can have all the spectacle and the CGI, but at the heart of it, you’ve got to have great characters and great stories,” Lee said. “I think that as long as you have that, you’re going to capture the audiences and you’re going to capture their imaginations and you’re going to keep this business very vibrant and healthy."