Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Attention DC Comics, That is Not How You Use the Word, "Pop-up," Okay?

I don't think DC Comics fully understands what a, "Pop-up," is. When you have a pop-up restaurant, library, or store it is a brief, temporary thing. It appears with little warning, cooks its food/checks-out its books/sells its clothes or whatever and then disappears, only to eventually return somewhere else when least expected. Having a, "Pop-up imprint," called, "Hill House Comics," as a part of your Black Label is not truly a, "Pop-up." Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of the imprint's founder/curator, writer Joe Hill, as his stellar comics and solid prose-work always impress. Hearing he has a line of books (some written by him as well as other talents) coming-out sounds really cool--even if it is a little hypocritical considering DC just announced it was getting rid of all its imprints (R.I.P. Vertigo), more-or-less (Bleeding Cool is quite cheeky about this, for sure). Again though, when you create a new imprint/sub-imprint/whatever and it releases mini-series of comics that retailers order two months in advance and expect on set schedule...what exactly is, "Pop-up," about that?

The one exception here where I could maybe, just maybe let this slide is if once Hill House Comics releases its announced titles it truly does just stop and disappear for awhile--like an actual pop-up business would do--only to reemerge some years later without warning. In such a case Hill House Comics is just barely like a pop-up, at least in one regard. Otherwise, calling your new line of books a, "Pop-up Imprint," just sounds like a desperate marketing/branding attempt that looks as cynical as it does foolish. Semantics aside though, I do expect Joe Hill and friends to give us some good stuff, although I wonder if this means he's done doing any further work with IDW where much of his great comic-output originated ("The Cape," "Locke & Key," and so forth). IDW is in trouble finance-wise, so they don't need to lose anybody else who can make them quality books.

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