Every Stunt Is New AgainA column article, Mission: Professional by: Steven Savage
So, yes, DC is doing their whole renumber-semiboot. It made the news, it got talked about, and oddly it seems there's a kind of malaise about it in comicdom. We argued about it, got over it, and moved on. We've seen these kinds of epic changes before, wars in secret, fearing fear itself, reaching a flashpoint of changes.
We're used to Big Comic Events. Even when we should be concerned, it's hard to get worked up because we've seen it all before.
For those of us interested in working in comics and related industries, we should remember that a lot of people have NOT seen it all before, and in the age of the internet, the usual churn-and-change of comics is new to them.
The average non-comics reader is familiar with a few things. If they're old enough, maybe Secret Wars (due to the toys). Perhaps Crisis on Infinite Earth (due to the news). They remember the Death of Superman and kind of brushed it off. They've seen some wild, big, huge crazy comic events.
Now, ask yourself what it takes to get their attention, to get the attention and interest of non-comics readers. Maybe, say... a massive semi-reboot?
Comics are growing in popularity and public awareness. They're adapted to massive TV series and epic big-budget films. The public sees these films, but they're not necessarily jaded to the big stunts, crossovers, etc. that we as comics fans take for granted after all these years.
What that means? That means that there's a whole lot of comic industry publicity stunts, restarted, and attention-getters that can now be tried on the entire country, the entire world. They can still be interested and impressed.
So think about the DC semi-reboot. That got attention, and in many ways is obviously designed to get the attention of more than your core comics fans. That's something that wouldn't have gotten as much attention ten or twenty years ago.
Now, think what else could be done by those who own comics properties to get attention. Think of all the stunts and ideas and surprises we're numb to that can get the attention of potential new fans.
These gimmicks and stunts and reworks are new to the world audience.
So if you think the DC semi-reboot is going to be a one-time thing, think again. There's a lot of stunts and stunners in the comics industry repertoire waiting to be tried on a new audience, to get new attention.
If you're in comics, then you might want to consider just what "tools" are at your disposal for attention - or you may look to make sure no one you work with does something stupid with past "tools" for attention.
If you are or are not in comics, be aware some other reboots, secret wars, etc. may be coming. That's going to steal oxygen from your products and plans.
If you're in media... well you know this is coming.
So, what's next?