West Coast SunriseDecember 28, 2010
Back when Disney bought Marvel, I said “Now we got us a fair fight,” and almost immediately afterwards, I retracted it. Because Disney has always been integrated and focused when it comes to synergy: getting the movies, the toys, the theme parks, the music CDs and the TV shows working together and feeding into each other, which leads to more toys and DVDs and games… Hell, Disney was the first movie studio to embrace television while the others were running scared. Walt used it as an outreach to build interest in his nascent Disneyland project at a time when other studios were still clutching at Cinemascope, Technicolor and 3D to win their losing battle against change.
I said “fair fight” because with the Disney buy, Marvel now had that same corporate synergy muscle as DC did with its parent Time/Warner. I retracted because while Disney has historically known how to use that muscle, TW has not. Well, the Times maybe are a-changing.
There were a couple tantalizing developments in comics news this month. Arkham City released 2 trailers—that was very smart because, while the game is quite a ways out yet, people are shopping for new computers and game systems now. The timing also perfect in order to remind everyone at this festive time of year when our credit cards are out how much we like Batman. Meow.
The interesting thing about the Arkham stuff is the subtextual (and in some cases brazenly textual) thread running through the audience reactions: as long as it’s not from the comic book division, it’s probably good. As long as it’s not comic people behind it. If it’s Nolan or Rocksteady Studios (Arkham Asylum) or the new cartoon The Brave and the Bold or even that live show in the UK, it’s assumed to be fine. It’s assumed to be Batman. If it’s from the comics, the default is that it’s bad. If it’s not, the default is that it’s okay.
Okay, moving on to the second development: Conan O’Brien paid a visit to the Warner Bros lot which is only a few steps outside his studio… and is the home to DC Comics.
*Jim Aparo look of astonishment.*
What’s that? It is? The Warner Brothers lot is the home to DC Comics? Heeeey, it is. Because “DC Comics” is now DC Entertainment, and the last few months have seen an overdue flushing of New York positions and reassigning everything except the comics themselves to the West Coast, under the Warner Bros part of the company in practice as well as in name. A part of the company that… how to put this delicately… knows what it’s doing. Didio’s merry band came up with “Superman walks across America in a hoodie” and “Diana gets a new outfit.” They were the last major comic company – scratch that, they were the last comic company – to go digital. Alterna Comics got there first. You could get Jesus Hates Zombies on Android and iTunes while DC was still running plays from that 1972 playbook of theirs.
Team Coco paying a visit to DC Comics home on the Warner Bros lot is huge because, to paraphrase one of those non-subtext critics, the DC whose home is on the West Coast is able to achieve a cross-promo spot on Conan to chat with an animator, drop the names of the Big 3, and plug The Green Lantern. Welcome to the 21st Century, DC. Most of you are going to like it here.
Now then, Cat-Tales update. Well first, I do apologize to all those who rely on this blog for Gifts to Make Your Catwoman Purr for not finding out about nOir Jewelry’s Long Claw ring until a reader informed me. Then again, might be for the best. Now you’ll have something to exchange after you return that iPod-Docking Toilet Paper Dispenser.
The holidays are always a slow season for the tales, so I took advantage of the lull to roll out a few updates. Support for Social Networking is much improved. You can now share, tweet, stumble upon, email, and otherwise distribute individual tales, selected spinoffs, as well as the CT Collection as a whole. Selina decided to answer some reader letters in Ask Catwoman, Random Equinox finished his spinoff Don’t Fear the Z, and oh yes, if you missed Christmas in Gotham, the Cat-Tales Visitor Center will be decked out for the holidays until January 5th.