San Diego Comic-Con International is right around the corner. This means that the news sites are starting to ramp up, and publishers are becoming looser with information. It happens every year. If Wizard magazine were still being published, then this would be an especially thick issue.
Comic “news” isn’t really news. It’s really marketing. It’s about getting readers excited about the projects that are coming down the pike. Hints and teases, all geared to make things appealing and get buyer dollars.
Generally, it works. There’s no mistaking that. If it didn’t, there wouldn’t be the cycle of “news” that gets released, like clockwork.
The end of Secret Wars isn’t news. What happens after isn’t news. It’s a tease.
News is defined as newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events.
News is meant to inform. How much real information can be gleaned from what passes as comic book news?
This is not meant to cast aspersions on comic reporters. Without them, we’d have almost nothing to go on when it comes to information on the books we love. Just be aware that most of what you’re going to be reading in the next few weeks are teases masquerading as news, with very little actual news to be had. And while I recognize that this happens all year long with comics, it just seems much more obvious around conventions.
I don’t know if there’s any changing the way comics are reported. If it were just straight news, then there wouldn’t be much to go on. Creators moving from book to book, new titles starting up and some titles being canceled, promotions, and the like.
This is what comic news might have started as, with press releases doing the teasing. I figure that when readers saw the press releases and got excited, they wanted to know more about the books in that manner. This then morphed over time into what we have now: press releases being regurgitated as news, with the occasional analysis.
I just wish the pendulum would swing a little bit.