In a cool bit of fan engagement, DC Comics has been doing a Q&A-style column in recent months, answering questions from fans about everything from upcoming storylines to the finer points of the industry. But when fans started asking questions they didn’t like, the company pulled the plug.
At Comic Book Resources, DC Comics Editor-In-Chief Bob Harras and Editorial Director Bobbie Chase had put together the “B&B” column as a way to interact with readers.
Though many questions focused on upcoming books and things of that nature, some fans used the forum as a way to broach some of the more controversial topics surrounding the company, such as the decision to hire the extremely outspoken Orson Scott Card to work on Superman, and less-than-flattering comments from former employees about the company.
Here’s the editorial note announcing that the column is coming to a close:
When CBR proposed the idea of a regular column with DC's executive staff, our stated intent was for the feature to be a place to connect the decision makers at the publisher with the wider comics community. Aside from product and story information, discussing the industry news and debates of the day was something we always planned to focus on both in the regular interviews with Harras and Chase and the monthly fan Q&A. However, the DC team has made it clear to CBR that discussing some of the more controversial debates surrounding the company and the comics community is not something they feel comfortable doing in this format, and ultimately they decided to no longer participate in this feature.
Specifically, Harras and Chase declined to comment on questions about DC exclusive talent Jerry Ordway in regards to his statements about his work with the publisher. (Though it should be noted that DC Co-Publisher Jim Lee did discuss the matter in a recent CBR TV interview).
After ensuing discussions on the matter, CBR regrets that DC has decided not to continue what we consider a valuable discussion for readers, retailers and creators. We will however continue to cover the company's comics, editorial moves and broader impact on comics to the best of our ability – including future interviews with DC executives and editorial staff as they are willing and available.
It makes sense that DC would want to tackle controversial issues in a more controlled way (aka prepared statements), but killing a column aimed at the fans you’re trying to reach because they dared ask some fairly valid questions is not the right move.
Avoiding the problems from a PR standpoint is never the right approach. Face it, get through it and move on. If anything, this column could’ve been a tool for DC to do just that. Instead, they shut down the very fans they’re trying to connect with.
What do you think of DC’s decision to ax the fan Q&A column?
(Via The Mary Sue)