Zuda is officially pronounced dead

The sad news comes from Robot 6. DC Comics is doing some housecleaning… with an axe. Among the divisions getting the axe: the Wildstorm imprint, which was the home of comics like WildCATs, The Authority, StormWatch, and Gen13 (which comic diehards probably remember mostly under the Image banner); and, of course, former webcomic imprint, Zuda Comics, home to Harvey-winning comic High Moon, Eisner-nominated Bayou, Azure, Night Owls, Lily of the Valley, Black Cherry Bombshells, and LaMorte Sisters. No word yet on whether these titles will simply cease to exist or whether they will be folded into DC’s existing brands (like Vertigo).

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UPDATE: Actually, it seams like The Beat is on top of this (as they always are; yeah, yeah, it was also mentioned in the Robot 6 piece but I totally missed the second link thanks to a lack of quotable quotes). From a note by co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio:

After this week, we will cease to publish new material under the ZUDA banner. The material that was to have been published as part of ZUDA this year will now be published under the DC banner. The official closing of ZUDA ends one chapter of DC’s digital history, but we will continue to find new ways to innovate with digital, incorporating much of the experience and knowledge that ZUDA brought into DC.

Whether the formerly Zuda titles can compete with the existing titles or not remains to be seen.

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What’s killing these brands? Superheroes.

“These organizational changes reinforce the strengths of DC’s greatest legacies – most importantly its people and its creative talent – and offer greater opportunity for maximum growth, success and efficiency in the future,” said Nelson. “Our two offices will stretch and build their respective areas of focus, while prioritizing and aggressively striving to connect and cooperate more strongly than ever before between them and with their colleagues at Warner Bros.”

“This strategic business realignment allows us to fully integrate and expand the DC brand in feature films as well as across multiple distribution platforms of Warner Bros. and Time Warner,” said Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, to whom Nelson reports. “We are creating a seamless, cohesive unit that will bring even more great characters and content to consumers everywhere.”

In other words: “We totally missed the superhero movie gravy boat that Disney/Marvel have been riding on, and we need to get rid of all the distractions.”

Zuda already was functionally in the ground when it shut down online. Now it’s time to put the dirt on the coffin.

About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on September 21, 2010, in The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Augh I… I always feel so damn insulted on behalf of webcomics when I read news like this.

  2. But isn’t Wildstorm full of Superhero books? So that can’t be what is killing them, am I right?

    The more accurate statement would be, “Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern are killing these brands.” It all goes back to the familiar. People who have been reading the same comics for 30 years, don’t wanna give anything new a shot. I see it at certain cons, where some people are there looking for old back issues and have no interest in some guy selling an off the wall webcomic.

    This isn’t the case with everybody, but there are a few people that don’t step away from the back issue bins the whole con. And I’m guessing most of them aren’t looking for that long lost Vertigo issue to fill out there collection.

    I will give DC credit in this regard to expanding their audience beyond superhero books. They have recently started making their first issues of new Vertigo books only a dollar. This type of promotion helped my find the incredibly awesome “Sweet Tooth”, a new title that I may not have jumped on if it were 3 bucks out of the gate. So that is one way to try and expand your audience beyond superheroes.

    Then again, the other issue is whether your comic shop will have these more indie type books on the shelf for you to try in the first place. Most comic shop owners can’t afford to fill up shelf space with more offbeat stories that are just gonna sit there and won’t sell. If there are any smaller books that I want to continue reading, I have to basically put in a subscription with the comic shop owner, because they just aren’t gonna put that title on the regular order for the month. Which is why, the most “indie title” you could see at a majority of shops is “The Walking Dead.”

    So it’s sad to see these imprints go, I have more faith that the former ZUDA titles will stick around in some form at DC than if they were at Marvel. Whose policy when it comes to smaller more offbeat tales goes like this, “But… Why would we wanna do a comic about a Trans-gender Vampire, when we could just do another Deadpool book?”

    The truly sad day will be when DC folds their Vertigo line. Then the only thing non-superhero related will come from the web.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like superhero books as well, But I like Pizza also, it just doesn’t mean I wanna eat it every day.

  3. I’m pretty sure DC and Marvel both stopped caring about comics years ago, it’s all character franchises. Toys, games, mostly movies, cartoons; when you get right down to it how much of their profits are actually from comics?

    That sure was a great move Zuda. Reminds me of something Scott Mccloud once said, “Just because you’ve decided to sell out doesn’t mean anyone will buy.”
    There were reasons why everyone said it was a bad idea, like how they don’t really care about you because you’re small and they’re big and it’s all about the money.
    I like webcomics because I really don’t care for superheros. I’d like the difference between comic fans and superhero fans to be more apparent instead of the two being synonymous. DC and Marvel can make their superhero stuff but they shouldn’t be at the top of the comic scene when they don’t really care about the medium. Unlike what Isaiah there just said, it won’t be a sad day when the only non-superhero comics are on the web because DC doesn’t give a crap, it would be doing comics in general a favor.

  4. Side note: This is what you get for that little annoying loading screen thing Zuda. Those random faces will never mock me or my slow internet again! Bwahaha!

  5. Hey, Isaiah and Grey: The American comic book industry isn’t the only one in the West producing comics. I don’t like superheroes, either, so I just read loads of European comics (well, I *am* European, that might have something to do with it). I know some of these have been published in the United States, so it might be worth the effort to track some down.
    That brings me to my next point: Zuda had international appeal. You had creators (and, thus, fans) from just about any part of the world on there. And now they’ve decided to shut it down, that’s all gone. That’s pretty sad, because it might be the only international comic hub I’ve seen. Ever. So, good luck with the mindnumbing superhero movies, I guess…

  6. This Effin sucks mega super balls! I loved Zuda comics because of the wide appeal they had for all readers. The Comics were imaginable and adventurous, without all the “superhero” hub-bub. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love superheroes too but like Isaiah said, I like pizza, but not everyday. My favorite comic was “Bayou” as soon as I saw the artwork and the storyline, I was hooked like a fish! It was a vivid and creative spin on the whole Jim Crow, Depression era in the south. I loved it! and now I can’t find Jeremy Love’s work or continuation of the series and that sucks! My husband tried to hide my kindle because everyday I was buying a new issue of the series! It straight up Effin sucks.

    • I loved it too. Bayou was definitely stellar and one of my favorite webcomics of all time. I posted a review on this site at some point. There was definitely a lot of quality stuff being generated by the Zuda creators, and I am personally sad to see that the experiment is over.

  1. Pingback: Webcomic Overlook’s Webcomic Moments of 2010 « The Webcomic Overlook

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