The End of CMX, Two Days Later

Two days ago, I gave the middle finger to DC for shutting down CMX.

I don’t feel much less angry about it today. I loved CMX as a manga fan. They put out great titles that should have received more love from other fans, let alone their parent company. They didn’t get that and I assume that’s why DC is closing CMX. One big hit can’t ALWAYS pay for all the losers.

But the biggest reason I said “fuck you, DC” was because it was obvious to me that DC never understood what it was doing with CMX and regarded it with the usual up-turned nose attitude a lot of comics fans take towards manga fans, illustrated best, I think, by David Welsh’s reaction post at Manga Curmudgeon. It was pretty clear to the manga blogging community in general that DC didn’t care about CMX whether it made money or not and that hurt the most.

I can’t say I hate DC in general. I certainly do not hate all the writers, artists, editors, accountants, marketing managers or anyone like that. They did not kill CMX, the highest echelons of DC did. Even then, I can see where those executives were just making another business decision. If an imprint is losing enough money to make your boat sink deeper into the water, why bail yourself out pail by pail with leaky buckets when you can just stop the hole from leaking entirely?

I understand it. If I were running DC, maybe I would have done it myself (albeit, very very very hesitantly), but it doesn’t make me less sad or less angry to understand that. Why? Because I’m a fan and I always have been, even if now I can go to Comic-Con as an industry member.

For more commentary about the CMX shutdown, visit Deb Aoki’s summary of blogger reactions at About.com. I’m not the only one who said “fuck you!” to DC.

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4 Responses to The End of CMX, Two Days Later

  1. Phillip says:

    I have always thought that DC regarded CMX as nothing more than a weird little experiment. I think they started it out of some brainstorming session over at Wildstorm and thought “why can’t we licence stranger comics than American ones?” “Oh, well, there are these comics in Japan that everyone reads, even girls-” “Yeah, yeah! Licence that stuff and put it out.” “Yeah, but these aren’t like American ones-” “Well, they’d better not be. We have a hard time selling our stuff to kids!” “No, these aren’t just for kids-” “Whatever. I’m sure you’ll make ‘em work. Now, I’ve gotta fly. Late for my meeting with Christopher Nolan.” “But we can’t just…” “Ciao!”

    It’s sad that the people who actually ran CMX weren’t the ones to shut it down. This is a good example of company setting up by committee, leaving it to non-committee people then stepping and shutting down a company by committee. At least ADV held on till the bitter end before the electric company cut them.

    • Ugh that sounds just about right. It sucks that they didn’t have higher sales, but it seemed like they had enough to sustain themselves and get new licenses regularly… Perhaps that was just their allowance money from DC.

      I will be mourning CMX for a long time. For the manga that may never be finished and the disrespect that DC has shown them.

      • Phillip says:

        This goes towards the idea that neither big, BIG companies nor little operations can completely succeed in manga or anime in the US/Europe for the most part. You’re either too small to weather the storm whenever your market plans or simply your market doesn’t work out or you’re SO big that whenever you dip your toe into the “niche” market that at the first signs of no money (not trouble as this sometimes generates cashflow) you say “that’s it. Pack it up, we’re going home.” In the meantime, in both cases, your loyal customers are left in the dust.

        And they remember that you’ve stabbed them in the back, whether the wound is real or imagined.

        • Indeed. It would take some serious skill to rise to a comfortable middle ground quick enough to survive this market. And you really can’t screw up because fans WILL remember. I mean… People are saying CMX deserved the ax for Tenho Tenge even though the creative team then was not the creative team that got axed at all!

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