Ok, so there might be a billion reasons for this being a bad idea. But it’s covid times, we are isolated and have nothing better to do, so lets play with the idea.
Saying that DC has a diversity issue is fair I think. Come October just about everything but white guys is gone.
I am not going to say that DC hasn’t tried. I am sure they have. But it’s been over 80 years. We have had the discussions of diversity in society time and time again and made loads of progress, but comics still party like it’s 1957 or something.
Once every other year or so the promises come:
and then a few years pass and now we are here:
Now, this isn’t good PR, and it… well it’s just not good at all. This mirrors recurring discussions we have at the forum about the importance of inclusivity.
I am going to make a presumption here, and the reason for DC not fixing this in 80 years isn’t because of institutionalized misogony or racism, but a business decision. They are incapable of making money and being diverse at the same time.
Counterpoint - It has been a popular tweet lately that combining diversity with profit works well.
Above from a known DC writer. But if DC knows how to do diversity and make money. Why is the diversity so #$%$ bad? That leaves me with just institutionalized misogony and racism and I don’t want to go there so for the purpose of this discussion I will assume that they do struggle to combine these two.
Other counterpoint: The titles are disappearing because of 5g not happening and it messing with plans. Counter-counter-point: White male comics still make it to shelves fine and this was a problem even before it got even worse.
So now we are getting rumors of milestone comics coming back to alleviate this. This will definitely help with parts of the problem but not all.
What I am proposing is to take this outsourcing further. What if instead of having characters gathering dust, DC open source all characters for the purpose of comics except the handful they know how to turn into big profit? DC still retains the rights to merch and movies and animation.
Open sourcing has worked well in software and other businesses.
It could probably take a while for artists and writers to adapt to it. Maybe they never will. But what outcomes do we have? Maybe no one jumps on the bandwagon. Well, nothing lost then. Maybe someone writes a great story and makes money on kickstarter. It could give income and recognition to new talent. The character finds popularity that DC didn’t know how to mine and DC can also rake profits from merch and movies.
The whole world would have the ability to contribute to the use of DCs diverse characters. Maybe some of them could reach the big or small screen with time?
Am I crazy? Probably. Or maybe it’s a way to get characters off the dusty shelves, more artists and writers an easier window in and more diversity on the shelves? Right now they are gathering dust. They are not making money, but they are making bad PR.
Chime in: DC open sourcing for diversity. Madness? Impossible? A way to make it bigger and better. Worst idea ever?
I’d personally be happy to fund kickstarters using unused DC characters if a budding artist and writer want to do something with them.