DC Message Boards to Close

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DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:58 pm

DC have announced that as part of the redesign of their site, their official message board will close in March, to be replaced by a new interactive option via Facebook and Twitter. I don't Twitter and rarely use Facebook. But are forums becoming a thing of the past? DC aren't the first to go down this route, which I think is rather a shame...

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by freedumbdclxvi on Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:18 am

i'm not sure. i really enjoy forums, so i certainly hope all aren't becoming obsolete.

i'll probably give the new interactive option a go when they get them back up and going, but i plan on posting more here.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Lucy McGough on Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:17 am

Ooh, 'interactive'! That must mean it's all shiny and wonderful, right?

I bet they're just closing them 'cos of all the abuse they must be getting, and now they're like, "Oh, we planned this all along, honest."

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:31 am

freedumbdclxvi wrote:i'm not sure. i really enjoy forums, so i certainly hope all aren't becoming obsolete.

i'll probably give the new interactive option a go when they get them back up and going, but i plan on posting more here.
Every cloud has a silver lining! Very Happy

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:34 am

Lucy McGough wrote:Ooh, 'interactive'! That must mean it's all shiny and wonderful, right?

I bet they're just closing them 'cos of all the abuse they must be getting, and now they're like, "Oh, we planned this all along, honest."
That seems to be the view of many. Other sites which have abandoned the traditional forum idea and gone with accepting comments via Facebook or whatever often seem to keep a tighter rein on discussion. Effectively, they dictate what you can and cannot talk about and there's often a character limit, too. Just saying...

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Lucy McGough on Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:37 am

Regimes which suppress dissent and censor all unwelcome opinion always end up collapsing eventually.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:26 am

Lucy McGough wrote:Regimes which suppress dissent and censor all unwelcome opinion always end up collapsing eventually.
Are you advocating armed revolt against the offices of DC Comics? Dan Didio's head on a spike?

I could get behind that. I've nothing else on this weekend. Very Happy

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Lucy McGough on Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:28 am

tony ingram wrote:Are you advocating armed revolt against the offices of DC Comics? Dan Didio's head on a spike?

I could get behind that. I've nothing else on this weekend. Very Happy
They'd probably ignore it - they ignore everything else their fans do and say!

Anyway, armed revolts are far too much like hard work. God made weekends for relaxing in.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:41 am

Oh, but I've a lot of anger to work out on DC. Crying or Very sad

I've never forgiven them for cancelling All-Star Comics, Freedom Fighters, Secret Society of Super Villains, Steel, Shade the Changing Man, Karate Kid and Kamandi in 1978. Or Justice Society of America in 1993, for that matter.

And don't even get me started on what they've done to Power Girl...

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Lucy McGough on Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:52 am

I think you need to invest in a stress ball - perhaps one shaped like Hector Hammond.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by freedumbdclxvi on Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:23 am

i decided to save the grant morrison rereading thread i had created on the batman forum. there was a lot of good discussion regarding grant's batman run that i just didn't want to see disappear.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:04 am

It will be interesting to see if those saved conversations can be transferred anywhere when we know for certain what DC are going to do.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by freedumbdclxvi on Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:04 pm

i hope they can be. while there was plenty of inanity and vitriol i won't be sad to see gone, there was also incredibly fun and insightful discussion that made going there daily a treat. i hope we don't lose it all for good.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:40 pm

My guess is we will lose it all for good. My guess is the board will be rebooted for new readers. New readers do not care about insightful discussion so it is better to just reboot it all.

...

Sorry. I think I was channeling a certain DCMB regular, there... Embarassed

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Mbast1 on Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:35 am

freedumbdclxvi wrote:i decided to save the grant morrison rereading thread i had created on the batman forum. there was a lot of good discussion regarding grant's batman run that i just didn't want to see disappear.

That was one of the threads I made sure to save! There were others. I did enjoy that board, for years, but I'm not too broken up that it's gone.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:18 am

It has gone now, then? I hadn't checked.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Mbast1 on Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:15 am

tony ingram wrote: It has gone now, then? I hadn't checked.

I think so, yes. I find that I really don't miss it, which I thought I would.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:48 am

Ah, yes. Checked out the new website. Hideous, impossible to navigate and with no facility to allow fans to actually communicate with each other. Which was probably the point.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Mbast1 on Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:39 pm

tony ingram wrote:with no facility to allow fans to actually communicate with each other. Which was probably the point.

I got that feeling. Given the thundering negativity, I'm not so surprised.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Sam_Vimes on Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:22 am

tony ingram wrote:My guess is we will lose it all for good. My guess is the board will be rebooted for new readers. New readers do not care about insightful discussion so it is better to just reboot it all.

...

Sorry. I think I was channeling a certain DCMB regular, there... Embarassed

Let me guess: Colonyofcells?

As for the DCMB, I miss them but I don't miss all the fighting. Well. . .maybe a little.

Oh, and I also totally agree, of course, about how awful the new website is. Everything's just so. . .awkward.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:47 am

Maybe I'm showing my age, but it's all just a blur of meaningless information to me.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Sam_Vimes on Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:03 am

No, it's not your age. The website is largely fluff and is so poorly designed I can't believe it. Maybe it looks better on one of those newfangled tablet gizmos from Star Trek, though, I don't know.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:09 am

I know little of social networking sites, but from what I've seen, I do wonder at the popularity of such things. How do you know what you're supposed to be looking at?

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Sam_Vimes on Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:18 am

I think it must be some closely-guarded secret that only the teenagers are hip to. Like, maybe the new DC Comics site looks more clean and organized if you look at it through a special stone, or something.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Mbast1 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:36 pm

Sam_Vimes wrote:Like, maybe the new DC Comics site looks more clean and organized if you look at it through a special stone, or something.

Or, you are stoned.

Really, there ARE principles of design about this kind of thing. I think sometimes people are trying too hard to appear to be ignoring those principles that they forget why they exist.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by BluesShark on Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:11 pm

The death of the DCMB was inevitable, and I'm afraid suggestions that DC are suppressing freedom of speech or attempting to cover up negative press are nonsense.
Ford don't run a part of their web-site where you can endlessly run ttheir products into the ground - there are plenty of places where you can decry Ford or DC on the net, but their own site is the one place where they get to put therir side of the story without interference.
Why on Earth wuld DC want to pay to maintain and mod a site where a new reader can come along and read the sort of idiotic, negative sh*t that was repeatedly spouted by the haters on that board? The simple answer is they wouldn't, any more than you would if it was your business.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:38 pm

To me, it still seems indicative of a disconnection between DC and its readers that started with the loss of the letters pages and which suggests to me that they don't really care what readers think anymore.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by BluesShark on Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:57 pm

So Ford don't listen to their customers either because they don't offer an online forum where people can bemoan that they're not being listened to because goddamnit they liked their old Ford Edsel and don't see why Ford aren't making it because it's WHAT THEY WANT!!!!?

I just don't see it. Sales figures showed that fewer and fewer readers cared about the old DCU (or comics altogether, come to that). DC listened to the customers - the ones who were leaving in droves month after month and tried to offer something different. The DCNU may be a ghastly mess but it was an honest attempt, I think, to address the concerns not only of higher -ups at Warner but also to lure in new readers. That they prodiuced a mountain of dross was a failure of execution, not necessarily strategy.

We know that only a couple of hundred thousand people are buying comic-books BUT there were, at best perhaps a thousand users of the DCMB. Take out the outright lunatics, trolls and multiple usernames and it was less than that - in fact probably less than the average monthly drop in sales over the last couple of years. In terms of 'fan communication' it was probably statistically insignificant.

Letters pages went because it was a valuable page of potential advertising that was going begging, as well as the staff costs involved in editing them. I think they were a wonderful way of making people 'feel' like they were part of the family but it was mostly a snow-job. Even on books that were failing and due for death, I don't ever remember reading a letter that said 'Hey this book sucks and should be changed!'

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Mbast1 on Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:11 am

BluesShark wrote:but also to lure in new readers.

This I'm not sure I buy. Sure, that's what they said, but given what they did (more of the same by the same writers) I can't see it as an honest attempt at bringing in new readers. They MAY have been trying to lure back in lost readers, that would make more sense, but luring new ones wouldn't fit what they did at all.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by BluesShark on Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:18 am

With a few honourable excepetions (Animal Man, Swamp Thing and All Star spring instantly to mind) I'd say that the same old crap from the same old faces tag is entirely justified.

But that again is a failure of execution rather than strategy. It's odd because I once metioned to Adam Beecham on the boards that the DCNU hadn't been written on the back of an envelope at a long Friday lunch as he was implying in a post.

I actually rather doubt that now as it looks increasingly as though it was.

There may yet turn out to be a long term positive inasmuch that Didio and Co can at least turn round to the higher-ups at Warner and say 'See. We tried to do it your way. Now will you leave us alone to do it our way?'

I'm not holding my breath, mind.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:50 am

You think these c hanges were mandated at a higher level the DC editorial, then? I hadn't really considered that.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Sam_Vimes on Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:39 pm

BluesShark wrote:Even on books that were failing and due for death, I don't ever remember reading a letter that said 'Hey this book sucks and should be changed!'

They printed letters like that all the time in the good ol' days. The first letters page I actually read, in fact, contained several instances of people decrying the comics' current direction (it was a "Teen Tony" Iron Man, in case you were wondering; sorry to have reminded you all of that shameful period), and as a big fan of Green Lantern during the Kyle years you better believe I saw a lot of not-so-nice letters.

I think Tony's right about it being a disconnect. Not only that, I think it's a willful disconnect. We're to be seen (or at least our money is), not heard.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:57 pm

I was a regular letterhack in the early 90's (and so were several friends and acquaintances of mine, people like Andy Oliver and Olav Beemer) and yeah, both Marvel and DC regularly printed critical letters, if on ly so that the editors could defend themselves. There was a lot more direct communication between readers and editorial than there was after the lettercols vanished.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by BluesShark on Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:07 pm

tony ingram wrote: You think these c hanges were mandated at a higher level the DC editorial, then? I hadn't really considered that.

I think it quite likely that somebody at Warner told Didio to do something about the slide in sales. I also doubt it's coincidence that many titles have been brought much closer in style and content to those properties which are curently being handled by Warner on either cinema or TV.

The execution is purely Dido's fault. Jim Lee was the wrong man to bring as number 2 and Geoff Johns should either have been made to play ball or shown the door. To a certain extent I think DC's hands are tied anyway. Whilst we can all moan that this is the same old crap by the same old faces, it was always going to be a core group of superheroes handled by superhero creators - attempts to move away from that have pretty much all failed in recent years. It was unlikely that DC could (or would) be able to persuade 'outside/leftfield' talent into the fold for any number of reasons - as exciting as I would find a Ted McKeever written and drawn Doom Patrol it would only have a readership of about three.

On the matter of message boards I think the choice was plain - either DC cracked down on all dissent and negative opinions like Marvel has or they closed the boards. Either removes any feeling the fans had of 'communicating' with Editorial but to be honest I never got the feeling that Editorial even read the messageboards or gave a tinkers cuss about what was siad on them but again it only takes one bored exec to have a look and say 'Holy cr*p! Why are we paying to provide a forum for this guy Herald to spend all this time running down our product?' and you're doomed.

Letters are a different kettle of fish but looking at the one example of a company that still prints letters (and negative ones to boot), I can't imagine that Mike Mignola agonises over someone not liking the latest issue of Hellboy. The course has been set for years and isn't likely to change now. Hellboy will live or die as a title by reader numbers, not opinions.

Which is fine by me. I don't want Joe Schmoe's vision for Hellboy - I want Mike Mignola's. Far too many fans seem to think that they have a 'right' to dictate what creators do in comics that simply isn't even entertained in any other creative medium, even cinema which is bastardized art (mostly) at the best of times (and nine times out of ten a film that has been heavily altered after test screenings will be a piece of crap anyway).

Having said all that, DC are caught in a cleft stick. Going back to the DCU will solve nothing as we know sales were tanking on that in any event, but the DCNU is too little, too badly executed and much, much too late. For me, I think DC and Marvel reached a critical mass of complexity when the 'big events' took over the company schedules. Every year every book had to be involved in some 'universe shattering event' which either attempted to solve or explain previous over-complicated continuity or continuity changes and failed miserably. I think both Universes were simply way too complicated for new readers to be interested in. The DCNU fails to really address the problem because it's a hodge-podge of old (Batman, Animal Man, Hex) new (JLD, Frankenstein) and the half and half (Batgirl) continuities. What should have been a blank slate is simply another continuity nightmare for the new reader.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:21 pm

Actually, to pick up on one point (because I'm going out in a sec and don't have time to respond properly right now), Marvel still publish letters in some titles. Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil and Uncanny X-Men all have regular letters pages.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Sam_Vimes on Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:59 am

tony ingram wrote:Actually, to pick up on one point (because I'm going out in a sec and don't have time to respond properly right now), Marvel still publish letters in some titles. Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil and Uncanny X-Men all have regular letters pages.

Yes, and I LOVE the letters pages in Amazing Spider-Man. It's got that sense of community and being "on the inside" to it that comics used to have. In-jokes, gentle chiding from both sides. . .it's a perfect example of how interaction with the fans should be handled.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:57 am

What I don't quite understand is, if Marvel can publish letters pages in some books, why not all? And why can DC apparently not manage it at all?

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Mbast1 on Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:08 pm

tony ingram wrote:And why can DC apparently not manage it at all?

From what I read they wanted to space for ads, it's not that they can't manage it. They were using the boards as a way to foster interaction, but that's gone.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:18 am

So, they are no longer even pretending to care what their readers think? A sign of the times, I guess...

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by BluesShark on Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:19 am

I don't think the death of the DCMB is a sign that DC 'are no longer even pretending to care what their readers think'. I was never aware that Editorial posted there and I never once had a sense they were reading them. The only creator I'm 100% sure was a user was Adam Beechen, though someone claiming to be Keith Giffen used to post on the Doom Patrol pages.

I don't know how DC are judging reader response these days (do they still send out preview copies? I don't know), but from the perspective of a bean counter (and make no mistake, they rule the world now) the letters written by 100 people are a lot less important than whether or not 10, 000 +/- are actually buying the book.

From another point of view;

Will Eisner managed OK without readers letters and message boards for the vast majority of his career.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Mbast1 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:05 pm

BluesShark wrote:but from the perspective of a bean counter (and make no mistake, they rule the world now) the letters written by 100 people are a lot less important than whether or not 10, 000 +/- are actually buying the book.

I had a huge argument once about this. I don't think publishers should listen to what fans write on boards, it's too skewed. Sales is really the only way to get a good idea of what people actually want, especially on a large scale. Fans on boards tend to be loud but in the minority.
Now, a place for fans to talk amongst themselves is a fun thing. Or, it can be.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Sam_Vimes on Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:07 am

Mbast1 wrote: I had a huge argument once about this. I don't think publishers should listen to what fans write on boards, it's too skewed. Sales is really the only way to get a good idea of what people actually want, especially on a large scale.

Well, no, not really. We're addicted, you see. Some of us keep buying even when we don't like it anymore. I should know, I'm one of those sorry souls. I wish I weren't, but I am. As much as the New 52 has broken my heart, a part of said heart just can't give up on DC. They deserve it. They THOROUGHLY deserve it, but I just. . .can't. And I know I'm not the only one.

Sales don't necessarily indicate that fans are getting what they want. Sometimes, they simply indicate what fans are willing to put up with.

Now, that being said, I agree that publishers should by and large ignore the majority of what's being said about them on the internet. I just think it should be for artistic reasons, not cynical financial ones. That's kind of the problem. I don't think Dan DiDio did all of this for the "art". I don't think the man knows the meaning of the word.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:23 am

The trouble is, DC don't care whether you like the product, only whether you buy it. If you buy it, they'll produce more of the same. The only way to change things is by boycotting the product.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Sam_Vimes on Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:51 am

But that's so HARD. . . .

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:57 am

I dropped all my DC's last September after buying them faithfully for thirty years. It was a wrench at first, but since I know the characters they're currently publishing aren't the ones I cared about, it isn't now. And the money I've saved has allowed me to check out a lot of stuff from other companies and still be better off each month! I recommend it.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Mbast1 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:11 am

Sam_Vimes wrote:Some of us keep buying even when we don't like it anymore. I should know, I'm one of those sorry souls. I wish I weren't, but I am. As much as the New 52 has broken my heart, a part of said heart just can't give up on DC. They deserve it. They THOROUGHLY deserve it, but I just. . .can't. And I know I'm not the only one.

Sales don't necessarily indicate that fans are getting what they want. Sometimes, they simply indicate what fans are willing to put up with.

Now, that being said, I agree that publishers should by and large ignore the majority of what's being said about them on the internet. I just think it should be for artistic reasons, not cynical financial ones. That's kind of the problem. I don't think Dan DiDio did all of this for the "art". I don't think the man knows the meaning of the word.

I totally agree on the artistic reasons. I have long had an issue with the idea that "commercial" art means you should be able to tell the producers what you want, and then get it. I'd rather the writer, artist, and others make what they really want to make, and then try to sell it.

I get it about buying what you don't like anymore, I think all fans at some point have thought it would get better. Someday... And yeah, it does indicate what people buy, rather than want, but there's no other real way to judge. Yet.

I have had, and still do, a deep love of DC. I want to read the 52, or some of it (I'm getting bored with superheroes in general), but I just can't support their business practices any more. I am too old to not live my values.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Mbast1 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:13 am

tony ingram wrote:And the money I've saved has allowed me to check out a lot of stuff from other companies and still be better off each month! I recommend it.

As do I. I've always bought non-superhero books, but now I'm finding other things. At the moment I'm spending a lot less, since I don't have it at the moment, but that's a temporary situation, and I'll be looking for lots of new stuff soon enough.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by tony ingram on Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:04 am

Mbast1 wrote:
Sam_Vimes wrote:Some of us keep buying even when we don't like it anymore. I should know, I'm one of those sorry souls. I wish I weren't, but I am. As much as the New 52 has broken my heart, a part of said heart just can't give up on DC. They deserve it. They THOROUGHLY deserve it, but I just. . .can't. And I know I'm not the only one.

Sales don't necessarily indicate that fans are getting what they want. Sometimes, they simply indicate what fans are willing to put up with.

Now, that being said, I agree that publishers should by and large ignore the majority of what's being said about them on the internet. I just think it should be for artistic reasons, not cynical financial ones. That's kind of the problem. I don't think Dan DiDio did all of this for the "art". I don't think the man knows the meaning of the word.

I totally agree on the artistic reasons. I have long had an issue with the idea that "commercial" art means you should be able to tell the producers what you want, and then get it. I'd rather the writer, artist, and others make what they really want to make, and then try to sell it.

I get it about buying what you don't like anymore, I think all fans at some point have thought it would get better. Someday... And yeah, it does indicate what people buy, rather than want, but there's no other real way to judge. Yet.

I have had, and still do, a deep love of DC. I want to read the 52, or some of it (I'm getting bored with superheroes in general), but I just can't support their business practices any more. I am too old to not live my values.
If more people adopted that stance, the world might be a better place.

tony ingram
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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by Mbast1 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:23 pm

tony ingram wrote:If more people adopted that stance, the world might be a better place.

You'd have to get past the ones who treat the idea with ridicule or contempt first.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

Post by BluesShark on Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:18 am

I've always voted with my feet and as I've never been a completist it's never been a wrench to drop titles when they start to go off like a piece of bad fish. I'm only buying four of the 52 and all of them are at worst entertaining reads (Batgirl) or simply put, bloody good comics (Animal Man, Swamp Thing and All Star Western). I'll be picking up Dial H to see what Mieville is bringing to the table. (FWIW, I don't think it's coincidence that those four titles have the least changes in continuity of the titles I had begun with at the start of 53, although I'll confess that puzzles me as my interest in 'continuity' is less than zero.)

There are things I don't like about DC.but a hit rate of about 7.5% is actually pretty good for a major in my experience (or anybody else, come to that). Could I give them up? Sure, in a heartbeat but me not reading Animal Man hurts no one but myself. I support a good cross section of publishers (except Marvel) and pay for the privilege of receiving a copy of Previews each month to ensure I know what the indies are putting out because even a good store like ACE can't stock everything on their shelves - and as a lot of people on the DCMB proved, you can get locked into buying habits and become incredibly blinkered if you watch out.

The Watchmen issue is far from black and white for me BUT I shan't be buying the prequels because I think they are irrelevant in artistic terms, not because I have any deep seated objections to them per se. It makes me sad that Darwyn Cooke is wasting his time on this but then again Rags Morales wasted a year on First Wave and Cooke has previous with his Spirit stuff of not quite being the full ticket when picking projects. A man has to eat and has to make his own peace with his conscience etc etc.

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Re: DC Message Boards to Close

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