Heroes & Villains On The State Of DC Comics + Canto II: The Hollow Men

There’s not a ton of new releases I want to write about today so I’m “forced” to bring the room down and discuss the dreaded topic of current events…in the comics industry. I’m not sure what exactly it is I do here insomuch as I don’t consider myself a critic. I write about comics I like, I avoid the ones that I don’t…I’m not sure how much critical thought enters into the equation.

The broad description would be “writer” which makes me cringe because (to me) it seems to positively drip with pretense. This has been rumbling around the back of my head today because I had to have a virtual doctor’s appointment in order to get my prescription approved for the pills that make it so I don’t cry all the time. At one point during the appointment, I was asked for my profession and I answered “writer” because it’s technically true in the broadest sense of the definition. I write at my day job for eight-plus hours a day and then I log off and write about comics until I’m done.

Crippling self-doubt can be a real peach sometimes.

Maybe “DC” stands for “Don’t Comics”?

There I go, being a writer again.

The BIG NEWS of the last 48 hours was that AT&T positively gutted the DC Comics editorial department by about one third and did away with DC Collectibles. So, of course, I have a few ill-informed opinions about this.

First and most importantly, I feel the worst for the people that have been laid off. When the dust settled about 600 people are jobless and that’s 600 people who have no clue what they’re going to be doing next…and it’s not like they can go out and pound the pavement looking for new gigs right at the moment.

I feel like this has been coming ever since DC left New York for the West Coast a few years back. Love him or not, Dan DiDio being shown the door was another indicator that things were shifting behind the scenes and plans for DC’s next big creative push, 5G (for 5th Generation and not the cell coverage that causes COVID-19) was most likely scrapped. As recently as a few months ago there was absolutely insane talk that AT&T was looking to unload WB Interactive Entertainment to make some money.

With DC Collectibles apparently going away, a huge hole has been created in the collectibles market. DC Collectibles has been around since the mid-’90s and they’ve consistently produced some of the best action figures, premium format statues, and comic book ephemera the industry has ever seen. I’ve had my misgivings about McFarlane Toys getting the DC license to produce action figures for the mass market and now it would seem that coexistence was never the plan, but rather replacement.

In the end, it all comes down to cost-cutting and increasing profitability. I don’t think people quite understand how bad it is for them to do away with so many editors. Personally, I would be fucking lost without my editor and this can only hurt DC Comics in the long run.


David M. Booher (W)
Drew Zucker (A)
IDW Publishing

It seems like just yesterday and not a month ago when I wrote about Canto and the Clockwork Fairies, the one-shot that was priming the pump for the forthcoming Canto II: The Hollow Men which will be out August 26th.

I was honoured to receive an advance look at the book which was great for me personally because I’ve gone ALL IN on Canto. Case in point, I just got my SDCC @Home exclusive Canto pin in the mail which is the first official piece of Canto merch….and it’s great!

Back to the book…like all good sequels, The Hollow Men expands Canto’s world. The first Canto book was very much a hero’s journey in the vein of the Joseph Campbell tradition that we all know and love. But what about the hero’s friends? The first issue fleshes out more of the supporting characters along with expanding the lore and asking some questions you may have had after reading the first series.

If you missed the first Canto book, well, do what I did and pick up the trade and get caught up. If that’s not in your budget currently, The Hollow Men has a nice recap at the top of the issue along with a handy cast of characters page. The book also comes with a myriad of great covers and I have to make sure my LCS gets me the Ben Bishop incentive cover because it just works so well.

I’m excited to see what Booher and Zucker have in store for Canto and crew in this go around. It’s a fun fantasy adventure book that destined to become one of the greats and one of your favourites…if it’s not already.

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