Dan DiDio Worries About ‘Nostalgia’ In The Comics Market

Following recent comments from Dan DiDio about DC’s reprint strategy — including the quote “People are more interested in buying the stories from 30 or 40 years ago than the contemporary stories, and that’s a failure on us” — the co-publisher and his partner, Jim Lee, had more to say on the subject during a talk with ICv2 at this year’s SDCC.

DiDio outlined his thoughts about the overall health of the industry and how he sees nostalgia play into that:

“Where my concern comes from is more about the overreliance on nostalgia, speculator marketing, variant covers, and a lot of things that seem to be driving numbers in sales to give the appearance of a healthy industry, but it’s not built on the ongoing success of the individual titles in order to keep those numbers successful and maintained. If we’re creating these artificial highs on a continual basis, if something pulls that apart, does it break the infrastructure overall, and how do we change these buying patterns in that fashion to build something that is a more healthy business going forward?”

In contrast to the concerns voiced above, DiDio struck a different note when discussing the status of MAD magazine, a recent newsstand casualty:

“Our choice right now, though, is to go primarily with mostly reprint material because we feel that the nostalgic material is really what people have been enjoying most, and we want to go back with again. There’ll still be a smattering of original material in several of the books going forward. We have a plan that still pushes out for the next year, and we’ll be reviewing how this strategy has worked over the next year to see whether or not we continue on moving past that. Right now, we’re still publishing. We’ll still have new material. We’ll still have the Mad 20. We will still have other things that people come to look forward to in MAD.”

You can read the whole DiDio-Lee interview here.

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Kevin Sharp

From alternating Batman & Green Lantern as childhood Halloween costumes, to getting punched in my adolescent heart by Love & Rockets, to playing convention sidekick to the legendary Len Wein, the comics medium and characters feel like a part of my DNA.