SDCC ’17: DC Meet The Publishers panel – live blog

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We’re currently in the room for DC’s “Meet the Publishers” panel, where both Dan DiDio and Jim Lee are in the hot seats. We’ll be reporting live with any of the breaking news or pertinent questions that fans may be throwing the way of DC’s top brass in this post-Rebirth/Young Animal/Wildstorm landscape!

  • Dan and Jim have entered the room and are discussing how they were trying to figure out what they wanted to talk about today. The first suggestion was Rebirth, or as the audience member put it, “the Superman clock thing”
  • Earth M was also suggested, which Lee said that a fully realized slate announcement is coming in the next few months. They are working very closely with Reginald Hudlin on the line.
  • DiDio is speaking to the importance of Rebirth as a way to get back to the basics of what people enjoyed about their characters. He admits that with The New 52, DC lost something along the way on that score.
  • 2018 will be a transformative year, DiDio says, with a hope towards outreach to audiences beyond the direct market.
  • DiDio is looking for a show of hands from readers who have been reading comics for 2 years or less. His hope is that those numbers will increase due to these efforts that will be announced.
  • He tosses it over to Lee to discuss this strategy a bit.
  • Lee highlights efforts like DC Super Hero Girls, which is all about trying to find new audiences in different ways. In this case, that book focuses on girls, ages 6-12. Their plan to do have a strong core Rebirth lineup, but also a line of books for young readers entitled the “DC Young Reader Program”.
  • On the other side of that coin, Lee mentions the “evergreen” books that populate their lineup, like Watchmen, Sandman, etc…and with that thought in mind, they have begun to reach out to creators who have one particular story starring their characters, but don’t have the time to be part of the weekly grind.
  • DiDio compares this new “mature readers” line, will be in the Euro-style graphic novel size, “allowing the art to breathe”, as he says.
  • “We realize not one size fits all”, DiDio says, and he states that the success of Rebirth allows them to do that.
  • Now the panel moves on to their two big storylines that are coming up, the first of which is Metal.
  • DiDio says Metal has been in the planning for a year, and he’s so happy it’s finally out so “Scott can stop pitching us”.
  • He highlights it’s rock and roll energy, and the reunion of Snyder and Capullo.
  • DiDio then segues into Dark Matter, which he says has the energy of the early days of Marvel, along with the attitude of the early days of Image.
  • He turns it back over to Lee, whose first book, The Immortal Men (with James Tynion IV) kicks off the line.
  • Lee finds the process of working on the title liberating and fun, since these characters are brand new and there’s no already tread path to follow.
  • DiDio says there are no variant covers on Dark Matter titles.
  • Every book will be $2.99
  • He says both of these decisions are meant to keep comics from becoming a dying business. They want the books to be affordable, and the reason they put their top artistic talent on these titles is to meet reader needs and not dissuade anyone from purchasing efforts in this line.
  • DiDio is stressing “new characters and new adventures” as a major focus of DC. “We don’t want to be a cover band.”
  • Giving an impassioned plea, DiDio emphatically states that we have to stop the death of the comic book industry. He hopes DC can lead that charge.
  • In a big surprise, here comes Grant Morrison to join the panel!!
  • The panel begins their discussion with Grant by bringing up Wonder Woman: Earth One.
  • “With Wonder Woman, I stuck to the Marston stuff”, unlike his efforts on Batman and Superman where he aimed for a more all-encompassing approach.
  • Morrison says he wanted to de-emphasize the idea of Diana as a warrior and highlight Paradise Island’s development as a civilization.
  • Art from the upcoming Volume 2 has been shared

  • Paula von Gunter will be the villain, leading the Nazi army onto Paradise Island. And that this entry will be the Empire Strikes Back of this trilogy. He says the theme of this series is “Don’t mess with these women”.
  • Morrison has also revealed that he and Chris Burnham will do Arkham Asylum 2!!!
  • He said it will star the Damian Batman in the Batman #666 continuity, and will be a 120 page graphic novel.
  • The first question to come up is related to Multiversity Too and if it’s related to Warren Ellis’ conception of the snowflake-style multiversal  approach.
  • Lee states that they aren’t related as such, but that the DC universe is one of infinite possibilities between Earth M, The Wild Storm, and the conception of Multiversity Too embodies that, with the existence of additional Multiverse.
  • The next question directly asks if Wonder Woman is still the child of Zeus or if her clay origin is restored.
  • Lee says it’s left up to interpretation but that he sees her still as the daughter of Zeus.
  • The next question centers on if Marvel or DC will ever crossover again
  • DiDio states he sees that returning to that kind of effort as a last resort, and that the industry would be in bad shape for that to occur again. He thinks that it homogenizes both companies.
  • Next q: any movement towards a Netflix type service for DC?
  • Lee says there have been discussions but they aren’t ready to pull the trigger on that kind of imitative, specifically citing the possibility of devaluing their digital library by offering it all at one price point.
  • Q: “When will Batman solve the mystery of the three Jokers?”
  • Lee: “That’s a tale of someone else to tell”, DiDio: “Maybe at the next panel!”
  • Q: “Why is there a lack of Shazam in DC Rebirth?”
  • DiDio states the problem is that Shazam has been relaunched so many times and they’re just trying to find the right team and take to bring him back.
  • In responding to another question, DiDio said he’s getting his “creative jollies” with the Hanna-Barbera line, and books like Batman/Elmer Fudd. He particularly enjoys the weirder stuff beyond just superheroes.
  • And that’s a wrap!! Eventful stuff! Stayed tuned for Alex’s look-in with the Geoff Johns panel next!

1 COMMENT

  1. I think the comment from DiDio at the end is most revealing. The events since Flashpoint have definitely strayed into “weirder stuff” at times. Super stoked to read more Morrison DC stuff.

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