How DC Comics Grew A Pair & Made Millions

One of our oldest sayings is “If you’re worth talking about, you’re worth linking to.” We believe this and have made a lot of money ourselves by following this principle. If people are willing to talk about you, if there is a buzz about you, it will generate links, which will improve your SEO. The more people who talk about you, the higher you will rank.

So when DC Comics, publisher of Batman, Superman and my favorite the Green Lantern, decided to relaunch their entire line of funny pages, it got people talking.

It started in August of 2011 with the relaunch of DC’s flagship title: Justice League #1. We have a first printing copy of Justice League #1 here in the office, which has jumped from it’s $3.99 cover price in four short months to selling for $12 or more today on eBay. According to the Hollywood Reporter (never thought I’d say that on this blog) this new incarnation of the Justice League #1 sold 361,138 copies since it’s August launch and that doesn’t take into account new digital distribution mediums.

Why am I blogging about this? This is an SEO blog, and while I am certainly a known Comic Book geek, this is a bit of a departure from our usual. I’m blogging about this because DC Comics, for the first time in years, beat Marvel Comics in sales. Simpler characters like Spider-man and the X-Men are huge sellers and DC Comics has long lived a close 2nd to Marvel in sales figures.

According to 2011 Year End numbers, DC Comics took 32 of the top 50 spots for comics sold in 2011. This boost, this advancement, this buzz and revitalization of a struggling comic book market came from the inspirational leadership of co-publisher’s Jim Lee and Geoff Johns. These two asked the difficult questions and weren’t afraid of the answer.

Jim Lee and Geoff Johns helped DC Comics grow a pair.

Last year at SXSW Interactive, I spoke alongside No Bullshit Social Media author Jason Falls at an event where Jason posed to the audience that we as a people have stopped asking the right questions. We’ve stopped challenging the status quo.

Jason was absolutely right!

We are far too accepting of things as they are. Imagine where DC Comics’ sales would be right now if they hadn’t started asking the hard questions? If they didn’t challenge the status quo and take a risk relaunching every single one of their comics. Where would they be if they’d decided not to make a change because of fear?

DC Comics took a risk, made a leap, grew some balls, and dove in, face first. What can you learn from this? They certainly could have failed horribly, and hey, maybe 2012’s sales numbers will show DC back in the number 2 spot (which I doubt), but this is what it takes to succeed. This is what it takes to win.

It takes kryptonite evading, bat signal responding, blackest night surviving, amazonian trained, faster than a speeding bullet, big brass testies! It takes balls! It takes fearless, limitless, and inspired determination.

In a digital age, growing a pair helped DC Comics sell print funny pages.

What is fear stopping you from doing?