Comics superstar Jim Lee, who serves as publisher of DC Comics, took time out from his shopping over the weekend to straighten and face the stock at a Walmart store whose comic book section was in a pretty sorry state. While DC has a number of Walmart-exclusive books (100 page giants that feature some new content alongside archival material, with the new stuff being reprinted only many months down the line for the direct market), it seems that it wasn't just straightening the shelves -- but jokingly making sure that DC got better placement than Marvel, that motivated him taking a short video to share with social media. You can see it in the tweet below.
Fans, predictably, had some fun with the video, with one user in particular reminding Lee of a Simpsons clip in which Stan Lee (no relation) did more or less the same thing -- but in reverse, hiding an issue of Superman behind an X-Men comic. Lee's video is jokey, but the presentation of the comics at Walmart has long been a subject of discussion among fans, who feel that even in the stores that carry the books (not all of them do), it can be hard to find what you are looking for since comics are such a low priority for the retail giant. The other side of the coin, at least as far as DC is concerned, is that the comics are getting out into a marketplace where everyday people who may have only seen the characters in movies and TV are seeing comics again -- something that has been increasingly rare in the years since the last gasps of the newsstand market.
DC has even recently announced that MAD magazine will leave the newsstands after only one more issue. The magazine will cease publishing new material altogether the issue after that, heading to a direct-market only format filled with almost exclusively reprinted material. It is in that environment that introducing numerous high-quality comics featuring characters like Superman, Swamp Thing, and the Titans is potentially a rewarding move for the publisher. Meanwhile, don't worry about him being "mean" to that Iron Man comic -- a later tweet had already seen him applauding Marvel this week.
Lee will be appearing at Comic Con International in San Diego, where he is listed as a Special Guest for the convention's 50th anniversary. the event takes place beginning on Thursday (with a preview night for the press and VIPs tomorrow) and runs through Sunday.
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