Nick Smith of the Pasadena Public Library in Pasadena, California read Dave Luebke's comments regarding publishers not providing sufficient advance solicitation information (see "David Luebke of Dave's Comics on Advance Solicitation Copy") and agrees that it's a problem.
I very much agree with Dave Luebke's point. Our library orders over a thousand Free Comic Book Day comics to give out every year, and the fact that both Marvel and DC have "secret" projects this year is a huge pain, for a simple reason:
We have no idea who these comics are written for! Are they suitable for kids? Are they complete stories, or are they just pitches for an upcoming comics event? Are the covers problematic in some way?
For us, Free Comic Book Day is a family event, and we buy comics for kids and teens, and use the day to help educate parents about comics and graphic novels. We sort them by suggested age range, and help families choose ones that are right for their family members. Our ordering numbers are based on information, which in this case is mostly lacking.
Okay, so the DC one is in some way related to Superman, and the Marvel one is a crossover-ish book of some kind. Is Superman undressing Wonder Woman on the cover? Is Wolverine disemboweling a villain? These things matter, and they are well within the range of things that either company might do… or have the rest of you forgotten Catwoman's bra-tossing on the cover of her issue 1, or Pepper Potts' thong underwear display in an "all ages" issue of Iron Man? I can assure you, parents who come to our library haven't forgotten…
We order comics for this event based on the apparent age ranges of the titles, and it matters to us whether a comic is suitable for kids, aimed at teens, or aimed at adults. Based on recent experience, both companies have a very poor grasp of what is suitable for different age ranges, so "It's secret, trust us!" just isn't reassuring.
Thus, we will order a minimal number of both "secret" titles, because we just don't know who they're for, and because both companies have failed to earn the trust that they ask for.
The opinions expressed in this Talk Back are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.