It’s been leaked online all over the internet today that DC comics plans to place advertisements for Twix chocolate bars into the panels of comics books being released in June. Following the Convergence event in which is the event that leads up to the newly rebooted DC universe in June, these aggressively placed advertisements features 98 Degrees musician Nick Lachey holding a peanut butter Twix in one hand and with “one thumb jauntily tucked in his pocket” looking very much like a typical model.
While the advertisement in itself is a decent, and maybe lack-luster, advertisement for candy bars, the real issue here is that the advertisement is firmly placed within a panel of the comic itself. This not only breaks up the pace of a story being told in uniform fashion, but also feels very distasteful and almost a slight against readers. Comic book readers currently have to deal with at least 2-8 full pages worth of advertisements which is already a terrible way to enjoy any story being told as you have to flip through pages of advertisements to find the next actual content of a story. In recent cases, the latest issue of Sonic The Hedgehog has more advertisement pages within the comic than actual content pages which is not only making readers think more and more about what they are buying when they buy single issue comics but also driving away sales more and more as comic book advertisements become more and more aggressive. Below is a Tweet of the actual script for Batgirl #41.
UPDATE: In a recent interview with IGN and the creators of Batman (2011-), Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, it was revealed that the creators were warned in advance and had to work their own ways around the advertisements. This caused Scott and Greg to sneak something into the book that might poke the bear but made it through.
“IGN: I noticed that there’s even a line of dialogue on that page about advertisements. Did you guys know about those ads in advance? And what are your thoughts on how it looks in the final product?
Capullo: We all knew about it in advance, so we all had to figure out our own way around it, right? So whatever clever bit Scott wanted to write. And he wrote it in such a way that when you go and truncate my work, we can assemble it, and it won’t look off when we reassemble it for the trades. I really shouldn’t talk about this thing… because, yeah, it’s not something that sits very well with me at all.
Snyder: I think when you see the issue, you’ll see that we tried to make it work in a way that was both respectful to Greg’s art and to make the page work in a way, like he said, that could be reassembled.
But also, I think we pride ourselves a little bit on Batman as being not necessarily always towing the party line. Batman is an outlaw after all, right? You have to have a little fun in the book. So we tried to have a bit of fun with that page in a way that I hope you guys enjoy. I think we kind of snuck it in there, so you’ll see. When you read it, I think you’ll see we kind of got in our little dig.”
You can read the full interview at – http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/06/10/scott-snyder-and-greg-capullo-on-batmans-2-new-costumes
So what does this all mean? This means that DC has essentially tried a new creative way to display advertisements in their comics (and probably in aggressive fashion for higher income for the project as they have just moved offices from New York to California and are looking for more revenue where possible). To me, this is a growing problem that will continue to grow and only get worse. Why even buy single issue comics these days when you can buy entire collected editions with no advertisements for less money? Lots of serious questions arise from this BUT, in reality this is just one panel for all of the DC comics in June. I really dislike this and more and more I digress with my comics purchases and am moving towards purchasing full collected editions. If you want this sort of problem to go away, the best way is to vote with your wallet but comics have always had advertisements in them and we will only see more and more blatant advertising in our comics as the years go on.
But that’s just one dude’s opinion.
~ Tyler Head