My most vivid dreams are always about working. Usually about being put in charge of some major project, and I spend the whole night doing intense, focused preproduction for a job I don’t really have, like the time I dreamed I was tasked with fixing a doomed, I’ll advised sitcom adaptation of Fight Club.
But last night I dreamed that I was put in charge of DC Comics. (after reading a lot of comics on my way to Japan) Here’s what I did.
First, I decided to convert everything to a Japanese manga style digest system. Instead of fifty some monthly titles, print them all in four giant pulpy weekly books.
I planned out four weekly books. Each with their own team in charge. DC Comics, which housed all your brand new Superman, Batman, Justice League, and all those titles. Then DC Kids, which housed all ages friendly versions of the universe. DC Classics, which reprinted great stories from the massive history of the company. Then DC Presents, which ran new, original stuff unrelated to the DC universe.
My first meeting was with the DC Comics team. I made it clear that the reason their books were separate from the kids line was so they could do sophisticated, thought provoking work that adults would get interested in. Not so they could add rapes. I kept the DC Universe, but told the writers if they had a story that didn’t fit perfectly in it, I wouldn’t get all up in their junk. Their priority was to create satisfying, stand alone stories that existed in a universe, not to build the universe. Any relation to previous continuity should create curiosity in new readers, not confusion. If they need to explain some continuity, rather than interrupt the book to insert an editor’s note, or create a year long crossover event to retroactively explain something, just pop it in some subtle, greyed out alt text like Ryan North does in Adventure time. I also started commissioning a bunch of awesome indie cartoonists to do stand alone stories for each issue. I gave Kate Beaton a monthly spot to do whatever the hell she wanted with.
Then I had a meeting with DC Kids. I put Jerzy Drozd and Dean Trippe in charge. In addition to creating a home for DC’s existing kid content, I gave them freedom to build their own line of supporting titles with no further input from me cuz those dudes know what they are doing.
I met with the DC Classics team and tasked them with finding chunks of story that tell a satisfying story. Each issue could be a couple dozen single issues of old comics that tell a full story, or an extended run of a great story unavailable as a trade paperback.
I decided to curate the new DC Presents content myself, because FUN! And made sure everyone got super nice contracts because, hey, it’s a dream, isn’t it?
Then I put one more team together, in charge of curating those four digests into great, classy, trade paperbacks.
Now, with only four books to keep track of, I started making sure they were available in every supermarket, convenience store, bookstore, newsstand and e-reader on the planet. Those 4 books could be had anywhere, but comic book stores were where people could go to get the trades, back issues, higher end releases, and merch. The ease of entry into the comics would only create a larger fanbase ready to head to the comic store to feed their new fandom.
Did it work? I don’t know because a drunk guy in the hallway woke me up before I found out.
I also hate waking up from my awesome dreams to find out they aren’t real.