Friday, May 20, 2005

Robin kayoes Batman AND God

Ladies and gentlemen, the winner in our "Clobbering Batman" poll: Robin, the Boy Wonder.

Coming in a close second was the bitterly disappointed God, the challenger. Sorry, God; you've got almost as much iconic resonance as Robin, but he had irony on his side.

As promised I will forward this message to a certain person of my acquaintance who speaks regularly with certain other people who work at the Marketing Dept. of a certain delightful comic book company.

This small exercise was to prove a point: on every page of every golden, silver, even bronze age DC comic book, there's at least one panel that would look great on ancillary merchandise (you know, magnets, mugs, tees, posters, etc.). Why doesn't DC capitalize on this? Why are there not "365 Days of" desk calendars for every character from Amazo to Zatanna? The Wonder Woman Archives alone contain enough images to put a unique tee-shirt on the backs of every single lesbian and gay man in America.

Just read the gosh-darned (pardon me, ladies) comic book weblogs, DC! What's the one thing almost ALL of them have in common? Excerpted panels and covers, that's what. Alex Ross's mannerly 17th century Dutch paintings of heavily carbohydrated superheroes aren't the only thing people want to see on merchandise, ya know. You own the rights to a nearly inexhaustible supply of images that form part of the bedrock of pop culture; start capitalizing on it. Great Caesar's ghost, just open up a shop at CafePress, start slapping panels on product and see what sells. It doesn't even cost you anything.

Time-Warner seems to have finally awakened to what a property it's got in DC. Unveiling the new DC logo, pushing up release dates on anticipated titles, creating materials relevant to its forthcoming films before the films come out; there's evidence that someone is finally figuring out the main thing that Marvel always far outshone DC in: self-promotion. T-W has managed to shill the Looney Toons characters into gazillion-dollar marketing icons, despite that fact that their only good work was done 50-60 years ago. T-W, take advantage of the forthcoming films on the Big Three, and market your old comic books silly.

6 comments:

Shane Bailey said...

Amen! I mean Starfinger alone can make millions in merchandising. Starfinger adult novelty merchandise would be the way to go I think.

Scipio said...

I'm finding that difficult to picture, Shane.

Fortunately.

Shane Bailey said...

I always thought Aquaman should advertise Aquafina water...

The Ray could advertise Ray Ban sun glasses...

Benari said...

Preach it, brutha! From the inadvertantly hilarious to the cheesily nostalgic, DC's sitting on a potential goldmine of pop culture goodness.

Just imagine the fortune they could make alone off of the famous "Robin, what have I done?" panel...

Anonymous said...

it's more or less up to someone else to discover this and approach dc with a proposal... the companies doing this sort of thing are the ones that should read this.

Accursed Interloper said...

I'm still holding out for a Despero(TM) cookie jar.