DC Daily Planet: Language lessons, writing programs, and…insurance agencies?

DC Daily Planet: Language lessons, writing programs, and…insurance agencies?

Welcome to this, our first DC Daily Planet of 2016! As part of an informal new years resolution, I'm going to be playing around a little with the style and presentation method of this column in the future thanks to some feedback provided to me on twitter. Let's do this. In a truly "yikes!" worthy

Welcome to this, our first DC Daily Planet of 2016! As part of an informal new years resolution, I’m going to be playing around a little with the style and presentation method of this column in the future thanks to some feedback provided to me on twitter. Let’s do this.

In a truly “yikes!” worthy moment, DC editorial allowed the Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #2 to be published with an embarrassing editorial comment claiming that dialogue balloons were being translated from “Pakistanian”, which, you guessed it, is not a real thing. Not only is this screw up embarrassing and racist, but completely baffling when there is literally a wikipedia page titled “Languages of Pakistan” immediately available to anyone with an internet connection.

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What’s more is the fact that digital copies of the book have since been corrected to read “Urdu” in the editorial comment – the actual, real life national language of Pakistan – but the change was made completely silently and without announcement. I only stumbled upon it on accident when I went to check my digital copy of the book for a publication date.

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Now, here’s the thing: I’m glad that the correction was made in the digital copies of the book. I’m not glad that it was done in such in such a way that feels like DC editorial was hoping that people just wouldn’t notice it was ever there in the first place. This became news even in circles outside of the standard pop culture journalism. People noticed. The classy, professional thing would have been to issue an apology along side an announcement that digital copies of the book had been corrected.

Either way though, I suppose some credit is due for correcting what was wrong. But maybe next time someone will have the common sense to double check real world facts before they send a book off to press, right?

We can only hope.

In less eye-roll inducing news, Scott Snyder’s mysterious “writer’s development program” appears to be underway with a handful of the students confirming their attendance on twitter.

This is something we’ve known about for a while, but details have remained pretty vague on all fronts. According to Snyder on Twitter, the program is set to “help writers shape personal, passionate superhero stories.”

Snyder, a veteran teacher, says that this writers program is the “exact same class” that current DC writers James Tynion and Marguerite Bennett took, and that it focuses on telling personal, high-stakes stories in a limited amount of time. He also said that he had no influence in the decision of who was selected for this first round (via Newsarama).

There have been some comments about a more public application process happening at some point in the spring.

Now, none of this is really any cause for concern, but it is pretty unique for a major publisher to be doing. The last attempt at a college-style “writers grooming” course was back in 1995 when Marvel attempted a similar program that lasted only one year.

Personally, I think it’s respectable of DC to want to cultivate some new blood for publication, but I’ve got some mixed feelings about whether or not this is the way to go about that. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the end results of this first round is before we make any snap assessments.

In DC TV news, it’s been a week beginnings and endings. The live action TNT Teen Titans show that has been mumbled about in the vaguest possible terms for what feels like forever was officially announced as being unsurprisingly scrapped today (via EW). Dashed before it could even get off the ground. While it was definitely too good to be true from the get-go, I can’t lie, I’m a little bummed about it. I guess I’ll just have to keep waiting for my live action Nightwing.

NBC, however, announced that it had ordered a pilot of a new DC based TV show called Powerless, a “workplace sitcom in the style of The Office” about an insurance agency that deals with metahuman related incidents in the DC Universe. What part of the DC Universe exactly is unclear, but according to the press release, the show is “not expected” to deal with the big names like Batman and Superman (via Deadline).

I’m a total nerd for mockumentary style sitcoms a la Parks & Rec, so this news is exciting to me on a very basic level. However, NBC as a network is a bit of an immediate buzz kill. Not because I have anything against NBC, but strictly because this only serves to further splinter the current DCTV universe across multiple channels. With The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow making their home on the CW, Supergirl living on CBS, and Gotham living on Fox, adding another network and another line of continuity to the mix seems like a potential feather for this camel’s back, not to mention a big missed opportunity as far as aligned continuity goes.

 

 

Meg Downey
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