This week’s Busted Knuckles tackles DC and Marvel’s marketing approach. After examining such common complaints as the continuity-laden storylines, the narrow focus on direct marketing, Smith asks a rare question about the typical setting of both DC and Marvel superhero stories:
Marvel and DC Comics really need to stick their head out of the office once in a while and see that this is a huge planet outside the streets of New York.
Not everything revolves around the Big Apple. Of course there are a few fictional cities like Gotham City, but that’s just New York with another suit of clothes. Both Marvel and DC love having blurbs in The New York Times. I believe it’s first and foremost an office ego stroke because it’s what’s important to them as locals. Yes, The New York Times is a world wide read paper, but if there’s no follow up then that’s just a one-night stand and not a long time relationship. In business you’re supposed to be in it for the long haul.
That New York Times article shouldn’t be the end; it should be the start. You take that and run as long and as far as you can. All the time you’re running with that you should be working on the next one to fly with.
As a writer and a marketing person I am amazed that there aren’t more stories and characters that take place more nationally and globally. Why can’t a story take place in North Dakota, Alabama, or Caldwell Idaho and have as much impact, drama and passion as one in New York? Sure, the writer is gonna have to work a little harder, but so what? Are we just collecting a check or are we gonna be really creative?