GETTING THE AXE

I can’t say I’m not a little disappointed that of the comic books in DC’s “New 52,” two books starring African-American characters, and written by African-American writers, were on the chopping block due to low sales. To see Static Shock and Mr. Terrific go bye-bye was a little disheartening. I’m always a supporter of black comic book creators, and both Static and Terrific are among my favorite characters. I feel especially bad because I wanted to support the books when they were out, but my finances (actually my lack of them) kept me from actually picking up any of the books when they were out. I did manage to get my hands on Mr. Terrific #4, and I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. It had a nice “Doc Sampson” feel to it, with a guy using the power of pure science (and his fists, of course) to face bizarre threats. Part of me thinks that if I had bought the issues, I might have saved the books. But that’s a bit facetious.
Now, I know a lot of folk are up in arms about this happening to a couple of black books with a couple of black writers, because there are so few of either in the comics industry, especially mainstream comics. But let’s remember that this is a business, and DC has little margin for error with this new business model. The lowest selling books won’t last, pointblank. Now, I know that in the past DC has given low-selling books they believe in some leeway to find their legs. But that was a different time and a different age. Things are a lot more cutthroat now, and DC can’t afford to have any weak links. Justice League was the best selling comic book last year, so there are people who would support the books if they liked them. They didn’t support Static or Terrific: the numbers don’t lie.
Maybe the problem was that not enough people were willing to give the books a chance. But then again, the fact that sales diminished from one issue to the next indicates that the stories weren’t strong enough to keep the few readers that DID take a chance on the books. It’s like a guy said in a forum I was on “If you like these characters and the books fail, it’s your own fault for not buying the books and not telling your friends to buy them.” If you want to support a character, talk with your wallet.
Also, let’s not forget that Static Shock and Mr. Terrific were two of SIX DC books that got the axe for low sales. They weren’t the only books on the chopping block. So let’s not insinuate that this was an isolated or targeted decision. On top of that, DC plans to add Terrific to their biggest franchise, the JLA, and I’m quite sure we haven’t heard the last of Virgil Hawkins, if only out of respect to his creator, the late Dwayne McDuffie. Let’s also not forget that one book starring a black hero – the African Batman spinoff BAT WING, is still standing and is doing quite well. So all hope isn’t lost.

Speaking of spinoffs, I hope you enjoy this little side story featuring Scripscrap, one of the “Weekend Heroes” that will play a crucial role in the SEIZURE2 action webcomic, as early as the next chapter. I needed to buy some time while I get caught up on coloring and lettering chapter 3 (which I can now do because I finally have Photoshop back. Yay!) and start drawing chapter 4 and writing chapter 5. if you like it, be sure to check out the other weekend heroes action webcomics in the archives. I have two more weekend heroes stories to tell, but I’ll try to get to those a bit later, after I’m caught up with the SEIZURE2 action webcomic.