Monday, February 11, 2013

Let Me Get This Straight--DC Is Actually Calling Their Event, "WTF Month"?

"WTF," indeed.
I'm going to tell you story about something that seemed like a good idea at the time but turned out to be one of the stupidest things ever attempted. I was in junior high and there was a big contest our science club entered (yes, I was in science club, I am a nerd). The idea was you had to drop a pumpkin from a certain height and have it protected enough by padding/boxes/whatever you chose that it didn't break at all.  Anyone who came up with the best design and showed it off won...something, I don't recall what. Anyways, we all came up with ideas in our science-club groups and one group decided they had the most genius concept of all. They wouldn't put the pumpkin in a box or something. No, they would get something really light such as a milk crate, place the pumpkin in it, and then outfit the milk crate with various complex parachutes that would result in the pumpkin floating to the ground from the 500-feet-or-so it was dropped completely unharmed. The crate would not have a lid, packing peanuts, or anything that could cause it to weigh more than the pumpkin and its parachutes. In other words, there was nothing to protect the pumpkin but this:
You probably sense things aren't going to end well.
The day came when we tested our designs out and the local fire station was kind enough to send one of their trucks over. Each team got in the fire-ladder, it would go up to the requisite height, and we would drop another teams box (this was to prevent any sort of cheating or something, I guess...although how you could cheat at this I don't know). I had the honor of taking the milk-crate pumpkin up and dropping it with the rest of my team. The group who had assembled it were looking proud. Yes, their pumpkin would gently come down to the ground utterly unharmed and they would look awesome, or so they thought.

The fire-ladder reached the required height, my team held the box over the edge, and things got ugly. The crate immediately flipped upside-down as we tried to let go and the pumpkin fell out. About 3 seconds later a loud, "POP," was heard as the pumpkin hit the ground and shattered into more pieces than all the King's horses and all the King's men could ever put back together. A split-second later the pumpkin was followed by the milk crate which had failed to deploy its parachutes even without a pumpkin inside it.

What had seemed like a good idea at the time was in fact one of the worst thoughts ever dreamed of. If only someone on that team had said, "Hey, maybe this won't work," something could have been done to prevent the tragedy that befell the pumpkin that day. No one did anything though, so when the team debuted their "genius" design and it failed spectacularly, all we could really do was ask, "What were they thinking?" and proceed to clean up the countless bits of pumpkin that had scattered everywhere.

I'm telling you this story because DC is doing something that I bet within their offices seemed like a good idea when they thought it up. No one in the office said, "Hey, maybe this isn't the best plan," so DC kept things going and before you could say, "Uh oh," they had announced, "WTF Month," for April's comics, and the metaphorical pumpkin had fallen out of the milk crate.

Within any of the mainstream DC titles you cannot under any circumstance have a character say, "Fuck," unless it is bleeped/blacked-out/etc. Sure, the Vertigo books can have all the swearing and nipples they want, but Superman won't be dropping F-bombs anytime soon. Therefore, I ask you to let me get this straight, DC is actually calling a month of their comics, "WTF Month?" For those who don't know, that stands for, "What The Fuck?" Generally this is used negatively, but DC apparently feels that with this month of comics that feature special, "gatefold covers," people will be so shocked when they fold the cover open to reveal the surprise they will exclaim, "Oh fuck, DC, you got me you motherfucker, what the fuck?" in one loud sentence of harsh expletives. Besides my finding it funny DC actually is encouraging people to pick up their comic, reveal the full cover, and swear loudly in front of everyone in their comic store (some folk whom may be children or not appreciate random cursing), I think that actually saying your comics are, "WTF Certified," or whatever is pretty stupid.

Saying, "fuck," generally just comes off as crass. If someone swears all the time you kind of think they have bad manners or are trying too hard to look tough or cool. DC does not allow the word, "fuck," to be uttered within any of the comics they are dedicating their, "WTF month," to this April, which makes this seem even worse because it is as if DC is trying to have their swear-cake and eat it too without suffering any consequences of using the f-word (with said consequences being people not picking up their comic for the children DC claims to be targeting more since the reboot). 

Anyone I have spoken with or read the words of on the internet seems to think this is a stupid idea. Do note I'm not saying having shocking covers is a bad idea. That could be a cool promotion that gets someone to pick up a comic they don't normally read, see the surprise when they fold the comic out, and maybe even buy said comic out of curiosity. However, actually calling this idea, "WTF month," is idiotic beyond belief. The pumpkin has hit the ground, but this time instead of a marvelous explosion we've just gotten a, "thud," of disbelief.

I'm sorry DC, but you've lost the pumpkin-dropping contest for the upcoming month of April.

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