Dan DiDio and the "Wait-for-Traders"

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Dan DiDio and the "Wait-for-Traders"--sounds like a band, doesn't it?

New reviews are coming soon; I've been reading old JLA trades, but I'll probably post a JLA: Trial by Fire review tomorrow, followed by JLA: The Tenth Circle and JLA: Pain of the Gods soon after. And I've been meaning to respond to this installment of Joe Casey and Matt Fraction's The Basement Tapes, as well as give my own take on Batman #608, but time, as it were, is fleeting. Those will hopefully come soon.

But in the meantime, I thought I'd be remiss if I didn't mention these remarks by DC Executive Editor Dan DiDio:

As an aside, DiDio said he wanted to put comics out that were so powerful, so exciting, that no one could wait until the trade paperback comes out to read them.

"If people can let the comics sit on the shelves and wait for the trade to come out, then we are not doing our jobs," he said. "This stuff should be so compelling that readers will not be able to wait for the next issue to come out, let alone wait months for the trade."

Now, I agree with Michael San Giacomo, that "DC’s master plan is incredible and I can’t wait to see more." But, in my perfect world, instead of DiDio saying that he wants his comics to be so exciting that no one can stand to wait for the trade, instead he would say he wants his comics to be so exciting that he'll rush the trades out there as soon as the storylines end, so that the wide market of bookstore buyers can jump on the boat just the same as comic book store buyers. Because to say that he wants his product to be so exciting that no one will wait for the trades, and then publish the trades anyway, is like saying a movie studio thinks their movie is so great, they won't bother to release a DVD, because everyone probably saw it the first time anyway. It just doesn't make sense. And with something like Identity Crisis, where the collected edition comes out more than a year later ... what other industry works that way?

Honestly, I don't think DiDio means it. I think "so compelling that readers will not be able to wait" is just hyperbole, and I do think that DiDio has breathed new, great life into the DC Universe. But dude, quit taking pot shots at the "wait-for-traders," eh?
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  1. I love trades. But I think you're ripping into Dan Didio a bit too harshly here. He's simply said that he wants to make stories that are so exciting that people should feel like they want to read it NOW. And it's working (I'm buying OMAC monthly, and maybe Day of Vengeance and Villains United as well).

    He's never said he's NOT going to put out trades. As a matter of fact, I think he'll be putting the trades for Countdown much faster since there are so many plot and character repurcussions.

    As for your comments on Identity Crisis...well, you could make the same argument for novels in a way. I've stopped buying hardcovers in favour of softcovers, and they take over a year to come out. I know it's not exactly the same thing, but the fact is the issues of IC are selling very well, and DC wants to milk it for all it's worth before going to hardcover, which would undoubtedly sell gangbusters anyway.

    But yeah, DC could put out trades much faster - hopefully not as insane as Marvel's system though.

    On an unrelated note, ever thought about reviewing non-DCU trades? Vertigo, Wildstorm, Marvel, Image, Oni Press etc? There are tons of good stuff out there that support the trades much better than DCU has.

  2. Jeffrey,

    You're absolutely right, I probably am ripping in to Dan DiDio too harshly here. And I do understand that he's not talking about not putting out trades--he's not even threatening that. What I do think he's doing is taking a pot-shot at trades, which ultimately I think is silly, because of course DC isn't going to stop putting out trades.

    Instead, I wish he'd said exactly what you suggested, which is that this stuff is so good, we're going to be putting out trades that much faster. And DC is definitely, definitely better at this than they were a year ago, and I think they'll be even better than that next year. But I do actually wish it was more like the Marvel system--do I understand correctly that they announce all their trades a month in advance? To think, if I knew what DC trades were coming out for the entire year, I could be that much more excited about, as corny as it sounds, my place in DC fandom, instead of feeling like the left-behind stepchild.

    My whole philosophy could be summed up in "more trades, faster."

    On your unrelated note, excellent suggestion about reviewing non-DC trades, and trust me, that's in the works. Mostly, the problem is money--I don't have the cash flow left over after DC trades to buy others, else I know I'd very much enjoy Queen and Country, Sleeper, Ex Machina, and Sandman Mystery Theatre, among others. I can however say that there's a couple non-DCU trades on the horizon for reviews here, including Fables: The Mean Seasons, Pedro and Me, In the Shadow of No Towers, and Absolute Authority Volume Two. Any requests?

    Hey, thanks for writing!

  3. there is no reason not to read deus ex. the first trade is 5 issues and only costs 9.95!

  4. Ye-ah, but that's $9.95 that could go to the latest Teen Titans trade, too. See, thing is, I've got my comics money budgeted down to the cent. Things like Ex Machina have to become holiday presents now (and Sandman Mystery Theatre, and ...). But you know what, I will put Ex Machina on my wishlist. You never know what'll happen.