DC Comics co-Publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee did an interview during San Diego Comic Con for ICv2, which was recently published. Didio named speculator marketing and gimmicks as ways to give the appearance of a healthy comic book industry, while not increasing readership.
Specifically discussing market conditions, Didio said:
Where my concern comes from is more about the overreliance on nostalgia, speculator marketing, variant covers, and a lot of things that seem to be driving numbers in sales to give the appearance of a healthy industry, but it’s not built on the ongoing success of the individual titles in order to keep those numbers successful and maintained. If we’re creating these artificial highs on a continual basis, if something pulls that apart, does it break the infrastructure overall, and how do we change these buying patterns in that fashion to build something that is a more healthy business going forward?
DC Comics loves their variant covers, so much so that they published a hardcover titled DC Comics Variant Covers: The Complete Visual History in 2018. So DC isn’t standing on the high ground here. In fact, for October 2019, DC is releasing 79 new comics, with a total of 61 variant covers.
Detective Comics #1000, released earlier this year, had at least 86 variant covers alone.
DIdio, you might want to let your co-publisher know that you’re contributing to the problem.
Read the entire interview here.