February 2, 2009

Boycotting DC?

Category: Opinion — By @ 8:11 am

The New Teen Titans vol1 #39People can get very worked up about their hobbies, and comic books are no exception. Final Crisis, for instance, has inspired some very passionate responses. Between that and Barry Allen replacing Wally West*, I’ve seen a number of people say things like “I’ll never read another DC comic again!”**

I don’t understand this reaction.

To clarify: I understand dropping comics because you’ve lost interest in them. (I’m down to one ongoing DC book, Flash, and it’s technically been canceled.) I also understand dropping a series because of something you disliked in that series. If you don’t want to read it anymore, then by all means, you shouldn’t be obligated to read it anymore (but be prepared for people to tell you that you aren’t a “true fan,” whatever that means).

What I don’t understand is protesting something that happens in one book by refusing to buy other books. It just doesn’t make sense to me. If you like, say, Booster Gold but dislike the direction that Batman is going in, dropping both series isn’t going to encourage DC to make more books like Booster Gold.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never been one to refuse to buy a company’s comics. I might have held Marvel and Image in disdain back in my teenage years, but if something looked interesting, that didn’t stop me from buying it. (Not that I found much of it interesting, but it wasn’t a hard-and-fast rule.)

So I’m curious: Who out here has done this? Or are you planning to? What tipped you over the edge? Why did you decide to drop all of the company’s books and not just the ones that bothered you? Did you extend it to other brands owned by the same company (Vertigo, Icon, etc.) or only the particular division? How long did you keep it up, and if you went back, what did it take?

*Yes, Barry is replacing Wally. Wally has highlighted the main Flash book for most of the last 23 years, and after Flash: Rebirth is over, Barry will, and it looks like Barry will be taking the Flash spot in Justice League of America as well, leaving Wally in Titans. Just because they haven’t actually killed Wally doesn’t mean he’s not being replaced.

** Update: Lying in the Gutters reports that a lot of retailers have been hearing this, too — from their customers.