Posting comments via Facebook or Twitter seems faster than a speeding bullet, but DC Comics is going back to its Silver and Bronze Age ways, returning readers’ letters to the pages of its comic books.
The New York-based publisher — its imprints also include Vertigo and Mad Magazine — used to devote a single page, typically toward the back, to letters from readers commenting on the latest adventures of the Justice League, Batman, Superman and scores of other characters.
Letters pages were once common in comic books and gave far-flung readers the chance to weigh in on stories, heroes, villains and make requests about what should happen next. Those pages gradually disappeared not only in DC’s comics, but those of other companies, too, as the Internet, e-mail and the rise of Facebook and Twitter all but rendered them obsolete.
David Hyde, DC Comics’ vice president of publicity, quietly announced the change on Monday, in DC’s own blog, The Source. Reaction was positive with one reader remarking that “as a fan of DC Comics since boyhood (more years than I care to remember), one of the things I looked most forward to was the letter page, so very excited.” DC’s last letters page was in 2002 but ever since, Hyde told The Associated Press in an e-mail, readers had clamored for a return.
So, starting with the March issues of the company’s ongoing series, letters will be printed — though they will be edited for space and clarity, as needed. Readers can mail them in or fill out a form on DC’s website. For readers who prefer 140-character tweets or a quick “like” on Facebook, nothing is stopping them from posting on DC’s own site or its Facebook landing page, either.
The announcement came even as DC reiterated that it would keep prices of its ongoing comic titles, including those from Vertigo, priced at $2.99 in 2011, a move aimed at stemming the loss of readers who can only spend so much per month to feed their comic-book habit. The prices of comics have risen in recent years, with some single-issue titles now costing as much as $3.99 or, in some cases, more.
“As we begin the New Year, the pricing changes are going into effect and the timing couldn’t be better,” DC Comics co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee said. “We have a number of exciting story lines beginning in January, February and March that we believe will connect with the readers who have already been following the titles — and will most definitely be of interest to fans who aren’t yet buying the titles each and every month.”