Well, they were new in 1995, anyhow.
Ah, the early days of the internet when it was still referred to as “the Information Superhighway” and was a world where people got together to discuss things they liked, well before the days of people getting together to call each other names even if they liked the same thing, and threaten rape and death to those who didn’t like the same thing. (Twitter, I’m looking at you.)
DC Online was run through America Online (remember that?) and was set up as a series of chatrooms where fans and DC staff could talk with each other:
Here we are, twenty years on from this and I can’t help look at that and think “Aww, how cute!”
And look, for the newbies (was that even a word in ’95?) they produced a handy guide to “some computer shorthand symbols that will help you understand what some of the AOL cyberjocks are chatting about:”
While they clearly wanted people to log on and join in – remember, all you need is “a computer (IBM compatible or Macintosh, either one)” – reading that ad I can’t help but get the sense of older guys trying to appeal to a younger audience by using buzzwords like “cyberjock” and “surfing the waves” and being “buzzed about this leap” but instead just coming across as . . . well . . . older guys trying to sound young.
And it’s not like they did that before, is it?
When he can’t get hold of his favourite DC Comics titles?
He just heads over to see Carol Fein at DC, who tells him to subscribe to save himself the disappointment of his “favorite newsstand” selling out.
Reading this, I had to wonder – why don’t DC just give him the titles? He’s the most iconic character they have, the one that all other super-heroes spring from, and yet they force him to buy – potentially – the same titles that he’s actually appearing in! And sure, getting 38% off the price is a much better deal than a five minute pre-paid phone card, but come on, DC, this is Superman. Are you really going to make him pay for those comics?
Man . . . and Alan Moore thought he was treated poorly.
By the way, in the very next issue of Justice League of America after the one I’d found the above ad in, contained a similar ad with Batman which I was going to feature . . . and then found that snell over at Slay, Monstrobot had beaten me to it . . . by about six years . . .
Looking for something to read this week? Let’s see what DC’s Direct Currents coming soon box could suggest, shall we?
The Man with The Comet Head from Strange Adventures #200?
I . . . I really just have no idea what the hell that’s all about.
At the very least, you have to applaud their straightforward honesty. They call a story “The Man with The Comet Head” and damn me if they don’t deliver exactly that.
First, I’m intrigued by the news of a new Plastic Man series – while I’ve never been a massive fan of the character, I like Gail Simone’s writing and will definitely be picking this up.
Second, as I came across this yesterday, I couldn’t resist re-purposing this old ad and dropping in the new series art:
Plastic Man, folks . . . not as wet as Aquaman.