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She Has No Head! – Opportunity Redux!

I wrote a post back in March of 2010 opining that neither DC nor Marvel managed to pick up the rights to adapt Twilight into a graphic novel.

My point back then was simply that Marvel or DC should have moved heaven and earth to get the rights to adapt Twilight and when successful, made a simultaneous effort to place advertisements for female friendly comics and graphic novels in the edition, as well as shelve some of those same titles right next to it. The Twilight Graphic Novel went on to smash sales records, selling an approximated 66,000 copies in the first week.  And in June of 2010 Twilight The Graphic Novel had been #1 on the New York Times best-seller list (for hardcover graphic books) for 12 weeks.

Well, this time around, DC has managed it, as they’re scheduled to publish the graphic novel adaptation of the hugely popular The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo novels via their Vertigo imprint.*  With stats that 80% of fiction readers (in the US, Canada, and Britain) are women, and the “unofficial stats” that the readers for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo are perhaps as much as 71% female it’s worth considering what the audience for this graphic novel might look like.

If the graphic novel is going to sell, it seems like a good bet that it will have a large audience of women, and if it goes on to smash sales records the way that Twilight did, then it will be a very large audience of women.  Which makes this a perfect opportunity to reach out to female readers that might discover a love of comics.  So, what are the existing books that DC can and should advertise in their graphic novel and shelve next to it whenever possible?

For starter’s I’d say trades of the new Wonder Woman, Birds of Prey, and Batwoman, trades will be out by then and hopefully those series will still be running strong.  Also collected trades of Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan’s Demo (volumes 1 and 2), and Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly’s recent The New York Five.  Absolutely Brian Wood and Rebekah Isaacs’ DV8: Gods & Monsters would be an excellent choice, though I’d highly recommend repackaging the existing trade with one of the original Fiona Staples covers (my pick would be issue #2 – see below – it’s awesome) as opposed to the less accurate current trade cover.  I’d shelve Joshua Dysart and Cliff Chiang’s Greendale as well as an early Fables trade. Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra Y: The Last Man Vol. 1: Unmanned and probably Ed Brubaker and Darwyn Cooke’s Catwoman Vol. 1., perhaps Darwyn Cooke’s Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score.  Matt Kindt’s Revolver, and some American Vampire, American Vampire: Survival Of The Fittest, DMZ and Northlanders trades wouldn’t be a bad idea, and I’m sure several others that I’ve neglected to mention.

From Left: Catwoman, Greendale, Wonder Woman, Batwoman: Elegy, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, DV8: Gods & Monsters, Demo Volume 2, The New York Five, and Fables

And that’s a hell of a start.  But say you actually manage to hook a new reader with any of these books.  Wouldn’t it be great if there were even more books for them once they got through those?   If The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo does remotely the sales that Twilight has, there will be two more books to follow closely on its heels.  So why not put into motion, in anticipation of that, a handful of great female friendly books to fill some shelves and possibly capitalize on that interest?  Is it a risk?  Absolutely.  Might it not pay off?  Absolutely.  Few business ventures worth the effort have no risk, and most take a long time to pay off in any concrete way, but as I’ve opined frequently here, trying nothing gets you exactly nothing.

I’ve love to see DC be truly bold here and make a push for some new and interesting female friendly content.  The goods news is that they have at least three really wonderful ongoing series right now that could easily appeal to most women (I refer of course to Wonder Woman, Batwoman, and Birds of Prey), but more couldn’t hurt.  And just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that we coat everything in pink and unicorns so that “the wimmins will like it”, I’m suggesting, as I have ad nauseam, that it takes very little effort to create books that don’t actively turn women away.  Choosing smart A-list creative teams, including artists that can draw beautifully without collapsing constantly into male gaze, and writers that are experienced with creating complicated and layered female characters.  The books I suggest would in no way be a turn off to the vast majority of men, they’d just be damn good comic books without the “no girls allowed” sign smacked across the front.

It also wouldn’t hurt to have some YA or teen friendly titles being produced to be shelved next to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (you know I’m going to recommend someone FINALLY letting Ben Caldwell do his brilliant Wonder Woman Digest pitch) because you know what a lot of women reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo have?  Children.  Yup, women have children, and if not, they frequently have nieces and nephews, or just friends with children.  You know how many Wonder Woman things I’ve bought for my boss’ young daughter?  I see something awesome with Wonder Woman slapped on it and I’m quick to snap it up.  This has resulted in books and dolls for her, coloring books and toys. And as soon as she’s old enough to read comics I’d love it if there was something wonderful I could offer her.  Alas, for now, there’s not much.

Of course the logistics of how to make sure that additional product that might interest readers of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and how female readers not familiar with or interested in going to comic book stores, are complicated and will affect how well any of this could work.  Certainly many women will order online, or pick the book up at local bookstores, where it is more difficult to have a special shelving situation, which is why the ads are important.  As is a solid well-considered plan for a PR & Marketing push as well.  My fellow 3 Chicks podcaster, Sue of DC Women Kicking Ass, has talked about the strangeness of DC’s marketing presence, where and why they decide to give out exclusive previews of new material, how and why they opt not to reach out to major female focused media outlets like Jezebel and The Mary SueAfter Ellen is a site that has responded very positively to Batwoman, yet they are never gifted any exclusive previews, instead the most recent exclusive preview for Batwoman simply went up on DC’s own site, The Source, which is a complete waste for everyone.  The Birds of Prey #4 preview, a female positive book if ever I’ve seen one, went to Maxim…where roughly zero female readers will ever find it.

There needs to be some serious reverse engineering here if there is any hope of reaching out to female readers.  Given DC’s own statements in recent years, and most notably their comments regarding the DCnU this past fall, they’ve made it clear that they don’t see women as a demographic they’re going after.  So not talking to After Ellen, Jezebel, The Mary Sue, and other similar sites or sharing material with them makes a certain amount of sense.  But I fundamentally disagree with that strategy.  They should not be ignoring everyone outside of their males 18 – 34 demographic.  It’s quite honestly insanity to do so.  Focusing on that demographic has brought them nothing but dwindling sales over the last ten years, even while movies, games, and various other IP explode and SHOULD have been able to help grow the industry.  As Einstein famously said (so famously it has now become a cliché): Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Let’s not be insane.  Let’s try something that totally might not work, but also isn’t the same thing we’ve already exhausted our efforts trying.  Let’s try something new.  Let’s try this.

*Though I don’t want to dwell on it as it’s not the point of this piece, I do think this first image from ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ is a misfire for the graphic novel. It’s far too sexualized for the Lisbeth Salander of the novel and strikes the wrong tone right out of the gate.  Though Salander is a sexual (and sexy) character, this image does not synch up with the character well at all, and I suspect runs a high risk of turning off fans of the book, much like the Fincher movie supposedly has. Though I think the Fincher movie is excellent, I agree that the super sexual and aggressive Craig/Mara teaser image released for the movie was a similar mistake that may have turned off many female fans looking for a more nuanced look at this controversially feminist work.

41 Comments

[...] A new piece up on She Has No Head! today about the opportunity DC has now that they’ve acquired the rights to adapt The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. [...]

Sounds good to me. Though given that this is the same company that gave you the current CATWOMAN and RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS, it’s about as likely as me getting a magic dog that eats garbage and craps money.

I keep giving Shanower’s Wizard of Oz series, Papercutz Disney Fairies and others as gifts to the young girls in my life in the hopes they will one day find themselves at a comic shop deciding what it is they like.

This list… doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I have to ask, do you have much experience hand-selling or merchandising? Because these look less like recommendations based on experience trying to match readers with material than they look like lists of things you yourself like, which is a fine enough strategy for recommending things to friends but doesn’t work so well with customers. Exactly what attributes does Fables have that makes it similar to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? What makes the jump in genre from crime fiction to superhero titles make sense? Because for most casual readers, those are pretty starkly different reading materials.

All I can say is, if Manco “draws” that like his recent stuff, it will look terrible. If he actually draws it, like he’s capable of, it will probably look pretty good. I’m sure fanatic fans of the book won’t mind, but his recent stuff is really, really bad, plus he’ll probably make the main characters look like Mara and Craig, because that’s also something he’s been doing recently.

Wait, what were we talking about?

@Peter: That’s part of the problem that I’m talking about – and part of the suggestion that DC build their library a bit before this book drops. Show me a great detective story with a strong female lead from DC Comics…? Where is it? You’ve just made my point. It doesn’t really exist, certainly not in good numbers. Since it’s not there I picked DC/Vertigo books with strong female leads and material that I felt would not actively turn women away from comics.

I don’t buy that people interested in Girl are ONLY interested in crime fiction, or only interested in computer hackers. Most people like more than one genre, more than one type of character, so I just tried to pick smart, beautiful stuff that wouldn’t offend them at every turn, because I DO buy that many women that might like Girl as a graphic novel might not know or understand that there are some really interesting comics out there for them if they find they like the medium.

What would you recommend? Do you know of any crime fiction graphic novels and comics from DC/Vertigo with strong female leads that would appeal to women? Because short of some of Greg Rucka’s work with Renee Montoya in material that could be difficult to jump into for new readers…I came up with little. Love to hear your suggestions though.

If I was going outside DC then that’s a different story, we’ve got some more flexibility…Alias would be a great pick, as would Stumptown, etc.

@Marc C: I haven’t seen/read the Papercutz Disney Fairies stuff so I can’t comment but the Oz stuff has been great. I tried to limit the things I was talking about today though to DC’s playlist, since this is their opportunity to seize or ignore.

@Greg (both of you): Sadly neither of you are wrong.

@Greg Burgas: I’d love this to be good, but given some of the issues with the Twilight adaptation, it may not matter if it’s any good…it will STILL sell.

Looking at that cover, I am really disappointed with how conventionally hot Lisbeth is drawn. It’s like a playboy bunny or victoria’s secret model dressing up as a hipster or goth. Really disappointing lack of imagination there. Kind of like the fratboy fantasy where every lesbian relationship is between two lesbians of the smoking hot lipstick lesbian variety (kind of like what I saw DC doing with Renee Montoya and Kathy Kane during 52).

@Kelly, for me it is about spreading the love of the comic book form. I don’t want to see the thing I love die out. I recall a few years ago I was at my LCS and a young girt about 9 or 10 came in. The staff was busy with other customers and she thought I worked there. She asked me where she could find a book about Zatanna. I was clueless, as this was before the recent Zatanna book. I directed her to an actual employee who also struggled to find or recommend something. What a missed opportunity for a new reader.

Corporations make money and will always do the safest thing possible to do so. Occasionally a riskier project sneaks through and succeeds so well that all we see are imitations for the next three years. I maintain that what the big publishers should be thinking about is hiring the writer and artists to do their story the way they imagined; isn’t this what an editor should be guiding? Anyway, maybe I have a misconstrued idea of what editors do at DC and Marvel, I only know the general fiction side of editorial where there isn’t a long fictional history to protect.

It’d be interesting to know if yen saw any significant crossover from Twilight to their licensed manga series. My guess is no. DC will probably face the same (intractable?) difficulty. If this version of gwtdt does well the sensible strategy would seem to be new or existing ips tied to name authors (like, maximum ride for example). Then of course they’d be moving away from the superhero business which is where all their cachet is.

There’s a world of difference between “things people like” and “things that people will buy because they’re sold alongside something else.” I mean, I’m sure everyone who likes Stieg Larsson also buys toothpaste, but stocking some toothpaste next to Girl isn’t going to help either. Bucking the general public’s trends in categorical thinking so hard mostly just leads to confused customers who don’t buy anything.

Truthfully, the ideal recommendations for DC are some other vertigo crime graphic novels and maybe Sandman and Preacher. But in the way of “interesting and centered on women” here’s my picks for out of their catalog.

I would also include Gotham Central, since, hey if it works, there’s like three more volumes of stuff to sell. And I’d agree with Demo, New York Five, and Batwoman as viable suggestions.

That didn’t work:

Kill Your Boyfriend
http://dccomics.com/media/product/1/0/10434_180x270.jpg

Black orchid
http://dccomics.com/media/product/1/5/1598_180x270.jpg

Young Liars (This one is my “because I like it” pick)
http://dccomics.com/media/product/1/0/10600_180x270.jpg

Death (The two characters are even styled the same)
http://dccomics.com/media/product/1/1/11621_180x270.jpg

@T. I agree with you 100% I think it’s a real misfire and I hope they are able to course correct before they get too far along.

@mark: Agreed. I don’t follow Manga too closely but it would be interesting to see if they saw a jump in any other sales. Like you, I kind of doubt it, especially since I didn’t see any big media push, which I think is necessary to even have a chance of cultivating a new audience.

@Peter: But not Catwoman? Of everything I listed (except perhaps Batwoman) she’s the closest to a crime based genre fiction tale and as an outside the law anti-hero.

Given what you’re agreeing might work, I really don’t understand your complaint as based on “it needs to be the same genre” New York Five and Demo would make no sense based on your complaint and Catwoman WOULD. /confused.

@T I thought the same thing. They’re doing a graphic novel of a story that’s about the horrors women face at the hands of men and the first thing they do is objectify the main character. It immediately told me that a point was missed.

Yeah Peter I think you missed the point of what Kelly is saying. The Girl books are crossover books possibly bringing new female readers of GRAPHIC NOVELS to the table. Not new readers of crime novels, or mysteries. And as Kelly said this series has a sweet spot with female readers. So if they are drawn to the format of sequential art, the titles that Kelly put together would possibly hold another story that would may interest them. The girl books didn’t get to be super big sellers, they became big sellers by bringing new readers some of who may not have picked up a book in ages.

I have sold books and also worked in a library so I know lots and lots about putting together “if you like this, you’d like that” – this is a format vs. genre recommended sell. Seems to make sense to me.

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how Diana Gabaldon’s original Outlander graphic novel is doing? The Outlander historical romances have a huge following – the majority of them women, I’m guessing. Does anyone know if any significant portion of that series fans tried the graphic novel format? Or if fans of historical graphic novels (but not Gabaldon) gave it a shot? I’ve seen the book on the shelf at Barnes & Noble and I have to say it looks incredibly out of place shelved next to Tin Tin, Mouse Guard, Spider-Man, and Bat-Man. It doesn’t even fit with Persepolis or Habibi. At least something like Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter manga and Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake can hang out with Witchblade and the Darkness and not be too out of place. Kelly’s right. DC really needs to make sure they release some other books along the same line as Girl with the Dragon
Tattoo at the same time to create a presence.

Dean, Rob III, I’m especially surprised because this was done by Vertigo, which usually has good judgment and does things tastefully. I expect facepalm inducing decisions and boneheaded missteps when things are overseen by Dan Didio and Bob Harras and company but not the Vertigo crew. They usually think these things out better.

Oops, I meant to type Kelly not Dean.

I wouldn’t recommend the *current* Catwoman, but the Brubaker/Cooke stuff, if it’s still in print, absolutely.

As far as the cover goes, I imagine someone thought “it would be really cool if we made the title her tattoo” and didn’t think through the implications.

@Kelly Thompson
Shoot this idea down if you disagree, but do you think that the old Marvel GI Joe series could be considered “female-friendly”? Larry Hama really wrote all the female characters nicely and quite strong. And the art was pretty nuanced.

People who buy the Millennium Trilogy aren’t using it as a jumping off point into crime fiction anyway. Bookstores have been merchandising Larsson with other crime stories, and seen nothing. What people ARE buying in conjunction with the series is the Hunger Games trilogy, The Help, and A Game of Thrones (not the whole series, just the HBO cover of the first book). After that it’s a host of book club titles – Cutting for Stone, The Glass Castle, One Day, whatever Jodi Picoult is selling.

People aren’t reading the series because they want to read a strong feminist crime story – they’re reading it because it’s the thing to read. On that basis, putting your best foot forward with Fables or Y is about the best you can do, unless DC has nabbed or can nab a Hunger Games license. As a bookseller, I doubt I’ll merchandise ANY other titles alongside the Larsson GNs, because they aren’t going to move in the GN aisle, they’ll move off the LitFic table or at the cashwrap.

What I’m wondering is:
who exactly is the audience for these Twilight and Dragon Tattoo graphic novels?
Is it just any fans of the books/movies?
Or fans who already also read comics?

Because I know plenty of women who love both the Twilight novels and movies but none of them would possibly ever give a rat’s ass about the manga, not even the few ones who do read comics!

(Of course the problem could be that they can’t fantasize about Edward when he’s just a cartoony drawing.)

I don’t see it being any different for the Dragon GN, especially with that terrible cover.

I pretty much agree that Larsson books are not sold by loads for people who are deeply invested in crime fiction, it’s more a general buzz book. So basically throwing any high concept books next to it might have a chance (especially ones which have a movie or tv tie-in).
Of the cover, dunno, I don’t see that as that sexy (then again I don’t consider pale and skinny to be sexy traits). Haven’t read the books but the image of Lisbeth I have got has been quite on line with that pic…

Of the other points about marketing presence, I agree.

Eh that cover is wrong and i agree with what you said that it will turn fans away, i have a bit of faith in Vertigo but die hard fans of the series will not like this based on the reactions they had to the movie poster and they are the ones who should be targeted.

@Mark C. That’s kind of a heartbreaking story about the girl looking for Zatanna…one that I suspect happens far too frequently.

@Sue: Yeah, initially I was going to say that I don’t have much experience putting people with books since I never worked in a bookstore or LCS…but thanks to this column and blogging and podcasting, I actually spend a lot of time making recommends and putting people together with books…and with a really good success rate if the response is any indication…so yeah, I guess I do have a lot of experience. You and I are on the same page with this one. No surprise I suppose (although given our recent Batfights, maybe it is!)

@Kiki: I’m sorry to say I’m not great at stats and know little about Outlander. Interesting thought about it looking out of place with the other books it was shelved with.

@T. No problem, always happy to be confused with Dean!

@Peter: Some of your linked suggestions seem good, I don’t think they’re any better than my original selections though quite frankly.

@Michael P: Oh good god no to the “current” Catwoman. A thousand times no!

Seems we’re all mostly in agreement on the cover – which makes it seem like an even bigger misfire. In addition to feeling tonally very wrong for the character I’ll add that the design for the title/tattoo just doesn’t make much sense and is not very aesthetically pleasing.

@Acer: I haven’t read any of the old Marvel GI Joe stuff, but I loved Scarlett (and Snake Eyes) like crazy when I was a kid watching the cartoon. I could see how that series could work for women looking for good female characters, if done well.

@Shkpsr: I’m sure there’s a certain amount of truth to what you’re saying about people reading it solely because it’s popular…but if that’s the case, I agree with you that it’s less about similar titles and more just about making the best stuff you’ve got easily available within arms reach. In which case I still stand by the picks…especially since a lot of women might come calling. :) DC would be incredibly smart to nab The Hunger Games adaptation rights. That could be huge, in large part because it’s a younger audience in general than the one for Girl.

@IAMFeAR: I have no idea on actual stats/demographics for Twilight but I would assume based on the insane sales numbers that it was primarily girls and women that love the series and films and wanted to experience the story again in a different way.

AS: If you read the books you would know what is SO wrong with that image…but I can see why it doesn’t necessarily seem that off to people who haven’t read the books and potentially just see Salander as “hot goth/punk chick stereotype” but that’s really not who she is, or what the books are about at all.

@Mirri: I have a lot of faith in Vertigo…I hope they can turn this around visually. It could be a real problem if they don’t.

The design character on the cover is based from the Lisbeth character played by Noomi Rapace in the original Swedish movie which is the best version of the Stieg Larsonn’s novel: “Män som hatar kvinnor”.

The US remake stinks and sucks. I do not understand why the US do remakes from the European blockbuster movies… It is a real dumb comportment… And the US trail is stupidly awful!!!! Yurk…

That point aside, you forget to talk about the French comic adaption from Dupuis due to November 2012. This adaption will cover the 3 volumes in 9 French format graphic novels (yep, printed in our French oversized hardcover format which makes your “Deluxe” edition childish books!!). It will 3 GN for each volume of the saga.

And I think that this adaption will be the best.

I have nothing against Vertigo, but in Europe, we are accustomed to GN adaptions from prose books. So, it will not be a surprise to have and to read the best adaption ever.

It is also astonishing that vertigo has not a strong female character outside of the US comic books market. To put on the same shelves “Millenium” and “Batwoman” is really a non-sense!!! Frankly, the US mainstream comic books market is not a mature and developed one. It stays close on the supes stories which are for kids, else if I read them.

To have a strong female character, you must see what the US indie publishers are doing: “Stumptown” is a very good example of an excellent female character. “Whiteout” too. “Local” is much better than the “New York Four/Five” (which I really like) despite being written by the same author. Why the great Vertigo is not taking this path??

One more question: why DC Comics has canceled its Minx imprint? I am a male and I really like to read the Minx comics. That was an excellent all-sex, all-age and all-genre comic books imprint.

Stupid, stupid, stupid…

I actually have a problem with “the male gaze” comment, as I’ve met MANY women who ARE interested in looking at FEMALE skin and don’t have much problem with it and like looking at scantily clad women. I don’t think every female character should have be scantily clad, mind you, but the author also shouldn’t assume that all women DISLIKE or are turned off by it. My wife LIKES it, my friend’s wife likes it, and many others I have met. Who are these women who are going to cons dressed as Red Sonja… they are WOMEN. I didn’t see a gun to their head, last time I looked. So what about the “female gaze” who also likes to look at the female form?

Not saying that you don’t have a point, but “the male gaze”… geez… yeah, I like to look. But so do a few women, and maybe more than a few.

@Zagreus:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaze

“In feminist theory, the male gaze expresses an asymmetric (unequal) power relationship, between viewer and viewed, gazer and gazed, i.e. man imposes his unwanted (objectifying) gaze upon woman. Second Wave feminists argue that whether or not women welcome the gaze, they might merely be conforming to the hegemonic norms established to benefit the interests of men — thus underscoring the power of the male gaze to reduce a person (man or woman) to an object (see also exhibitionism).”

Are there women who like to look at stuff presented with a heavy “male gaze”, of course, there are exceptions to everything, but don’t object to the use of a term that is commonly used in academic and critical discussion of such things. C’mon now.

@kelly
Definitely pick the series up, look for IDW’s Classic GI Joe TPB’s. I believe they’re on their 14th volume, but let me tell you, whether it was Scarlett, Lady Jaye, even Baroness, Hama knew how to write good stories about them. Also check a few things from Devil’s Due, like the Scarlett: Declassified story featuring art by Phil Noto.

@Acer:

Scarlett: Declassified with Phil Noto art?! SOLD.

Tom Fitzpatrick

January 17, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Ms. Thompson: If you like crime fiction, you should try reading Burke novels by Andrew H. Vachss. Very pulpy. And very underground in a film noir-ish way. Dark and striking.

Speaking of the GWTDT, have you watched the DVD extended box set version?

Manson, are you sure that’s supposed to be a likeness of Rapace? It doesn’t quite look like her to me.

Even though I loved Rapace’s acting in the movie, I felt she still didn’t physically look right for the role, especially in the body and face. The book says Lisbeth looks adolescent, despite being in her 20s, plus is anorexic looking, to the point where people keep thinking she has eating disorders. And her hair was short. Rapace looked to be in her 30s, hair wasn’t as short as the book said and didn’t quite look emaciated. But I was more forgiving of the Swedish and Hollywood movie versions taking liberties with how the character looked because it’s hard to find mainstream actors who fit that description, and the quality of the acting was more important for a good movie.

The beauty of comics though is that you have no limit to what you want to cast. Physical body types are limited only by the power of a writer’s imagination and the skill of his artist. That’s why I’m a little less forgiving of the comic version than I am of the Hollywood version taking the same liberties. They could really have used this opportunity to bring the bizarre visual Larsson originally described to life, which based on the picture up there they didn’t. Instead they managed to make her look even MORE conventionally beautiful than both actresses.

To be fair, maybe the interior art is more on target.

IIRC, that’s not Manco art on the cover, it’s…dammit, who is it? Lee Bermejo, I think. So the interior art may be different.

Also, I thought I’d heard that this was going to be a series (floppies, single issues, what have you), not OGNs, although OGNs would make more sense. Did I read wrong?

While I think your ideas about advertising other books in this volume are good (and while apparently some people would quibble on the specific books, I think you’ve got a decent list), I’m not sure how much DC can control how much the books are shelved otherwise. I assume individual stores control that, and as a couple of commenters mentioned, bookstores seem to just see “comics” and shelf them all together regardless of content. Which amuses and delights me to see Tintin by Crumb by Batman by Maus by Milk and Cheese on the shelf together, but for a newbie, it’s certainly got to be confusing (particularly as more comics seem to be getting shrinkwrapped on bookshelves, so browsing becomes harder).

Since B&N is THE chain left (from what I know, anyway), and they’ve had the recent issues with DC over the digital exclusive DC have with Kindle, I don’t see where B&N is going to give a rat’s ass where DC wants things shelved even if DC cares. Independent stores will probably just shelve it with the original novels, and who knows what comic stores will do, but it’s not likely a fan will specifically go into a comic store just for that.

Since DC does have a relationship with Amazon, perhaps they could feature other GNs like the ones above in the “people who bought this bought…” part, or elsewhere on the page.

(Ok, I see I skimmed over part of where you addressed special shelving, but I think most of my points remain. Or not. At this point me haid hurt.)

@Kelly T–the Male Gaze…nice…throw a little scopophilia and psychoanalysis in there and you will really have them confused. Ta!

Daniel – those are awful covers. I’d never seen them before. Lisbeth isn’t even pierced! I’m not sure why UK editions of books often have such bad low-budget covers. In America the books don’t have photos of Lisbeth on them.

Also, I’m not saying the cover alone will drive fans away or that sales will be hurt in any way. I’m just saying if the cover is indicative of how she’s depicted inside, that will be quite a disappointing creative choice because they will just be squandering the chance to really capture the visual Larsson described in his book, something that is harder to do when using live models and actresses. Comics don’t have the same limitations a casting director has, so I find it more disappointing to see a comic making that type of aesthetic pandering because they totally don’t need to.

daniel the demon cleaner

January 18, 2012 at 10:14 am

T. – Actually, my comment was aimed at Kelly’s last paragraph:

I do think this first image from ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ is a misfire for the graphic novel. It’s far too sexualized for the Lisbeth Salander of the novel and strikes the wrong tone right out of the gate. Though Salander is a sexual (and sexy) character, this image does not synch up with the character well at all, and I suspect runs a high risk of turning off fans of the book,

Sorry I should have made that clear.

But what you’re saying is actually pretty interesting to me, because when I look at that Bermejo cover, I think it captures Larsson’s intentions quite well. When I read the book, I thought he was either consciously going for a sexy lolita goth chick look or he saw Hackers (you know the Angelina Jolie movie) and he actually thought that that is what real, live hackers look like. I could be wrong, a lot of people here seem to think there is something deeper here, but for me it was more exploitation movie than cutting-edge feminism.

By the way, I have nothing against sexy lolita goth chicks and Hackers the movie. Both are near and dear to me.

Okay, Kelly, fair enough- definitely not familiar with the term. Thanks for the heads up.

[...] the Swedish graphic-novel version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but then I was reminded of Kelly Thompson’s wise words about DC’s adaptation, now on the schedule for November 7. Don’t screw it up, [...]

New York Five is over-rated pandering crap that comic nerds can’t see through. It hardly passes the Bletchel test and when it does the content is inane and cliched. Anyone can crap out this awful coming of age college story and draw a bunch of attractive girls to act it out.

This is like people thinking that suicide girls is actually a kind of cerebral pornography when it is just tattoo’d girls with large breasts (aka normal pornography).

Comic nerds need to ask for more. Not this pandering tripe.

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