ICv2 has its first comprehensive interview with DC co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio since the publisher restructured in February. The interview runs in three parts. There’s a hint that some of the CMX titles that weren’t finished may get picked up by a different publisher, perhaps Dark Horse, and an acknowledgment of the need to keep prices down from DiDio:
Only 25% of our line is over $2.99. For the amount of books that we put out, the amount of product we have out there, to be over $2.99 for just 25% I think is a good, strong indication of how we’re dedicated to try to keep the prices down. In the 4th quarter we’re going to be doing a number of reprint books at a higher price but I wouldn’t compare them to the periodicals. I say a “halfway trade” in order to get more product in the market that people are looking for and find ways to do it. We’re trying to hold the price as much as possible.
There’s also this bit of character development:
One observation that we’ve heard is that a co-publisher arrangement is unusual and might be…
Didio: Well I’ve never been in one before! (laughter)
Lee: This is my third, and Image Comics was six co-publishers!
Lee is enthused about the upcoming DC Universe Online MMORPG as a means of getting new readers:
Lee: On the videogame side, I’d say DC Universe Online scheduled for November 2nd release through Sony Online Entertainment. We plan on supporting it with a bi-weekly comic book that basically ties into the storyline that’s crafted for the game itself.
You couldn’t ask for a better demographic of people that to choose from to convert to comic book readers. These are people that are gamers and they’re going to be exposed to not just Justice League, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, they’re going to be exposed to hundreds of secondary and tertiary DC heroes and villains and probably get to know our universe better in certain ways than the comic book readers, because they’ll be going through the universe at a much quicker pace. It would be great to be able to convert some of those gamers into readers. Being able to sell comics digitally and also co-market through the user interface when you log into the game, these are opportunities that look particularly ripe for us.
Finally, the BIG question of whether DC is moving to the West Coast gets evaded skillfully:
Are you going to move the New York office to California?
Didio: Me personally, no. (Laughter) I don’t pack boxes really well.
There’s a lot being explored and I can be perfectly honest about it, there is no answer on that just yet. We’re trying to find the right fit, where the right place for the company’s going to be. Again, like you said, we were just talking about Consumer Products and other divisions. Where things make the most sense is where we need to be, but we don’t want to rush any of those decisions. We want to make sure we keep everybody’s best interests in mind.
Lots more to read and parse in the links!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.