Follow along with me and let’s take this ride together!
– Dan DiDio comes out and right out the gate he makes a pretty great Walmart joke: “any retailers in the room? Great! We love the Walmart initiative”
– with that, he introduced Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner who are writing the Wonder Woman portion of the Walmart comics
– Dan then segues over to the Hanna-Barbera material as part of his introduction of Mark Russell. Though Dan in great form tonight is going for some serious laughs, “no one really asked for Superman/Top Cat”
– Josh Williamson is up next, who Dan intros as the most successful Flash writer of the last 10 years. Williamson corrects him: “of the last 20 years”
– Tom King is the final panelist, with his “bodyguard” David in tow.
– Dan asks the crowd, how many people wanted to see Batman and Catwoman get married? To which the crowd gives a strong approval to. And Dan starts to ask select audience members why.
– Dan then asks how many people got sad reading Tom’s comics. I raised my hand anyway.
– Dan asks Tom what his plans are for Batman going forward. Tom says it’s a 100 issue story. He compares this halfway point to the turn in Empire Strikes Back, insofar as his Batman story goes.
– He calls it a story where he wants readers to feel what Batman feels, and what it’s like wearing the cowl. It’s the story where Bane breaks Batman in a way that he hasn’t been broken before. Can Batman rebuild himself being the central question, and in turn punch Batman in his f’ing face, to paraphrase.
– lots of F-bombs in this panel from Tom, Dan is keeping count.
– they move their discussion over the Heroes in Crisis. Tom describes the story as a book where a mass slaughter occurs in the one safe place in the DCU.
– he announces that Mitch Gerads is joining the art team. Which allows him to compare it to Mister Miracle, a book that allows him to scalpel the entire DCU in the same way Mister Miracle investigates today’s times and ennui
– Tom drops one other bomb: quoting Dan during the development of this storyline: “you can’t have a crisis without a dead Flash”
– Josh Williamson takes over next: “to get me off the Flash book, you’ll have to kill me”. No change on that book is coming, in the big creative shakeups sounds like.
– Josh discusses that after Flash War, Wally West will be handed off to Tom King for Heroes in Crisis.
– In the Flash title, Barry Allen will learn that being the fastest Flash doesn’t make you the best Flash.
– He also talks about the upcoming story Force Quest which will be a road-story that finds Barry trying to relearn how to become a hero. He says his next story after that is one he’s wanted to do for a long time.
– Dan then surveys the crowd about their favorite Flashes. Wally wins.
– Mark Russell is next, and discussion turns to The Snagglepuss Chronicles, which leads him to ask the crowd “who likes William Faulkner?” I raised my hand.
– Mark then talks about how he pitched Huckleberry Hound committing suicide to DC. Which allows him to clarify that his Green Lantern crossover with the character will actually feature his son, Huckleberry Hound Jr. It takes place in 1972, and it’s about a crisis of conscience that the Green Lantern has about using his powers to help right wrongs in this era.
– Finally, they discuss Second Coming, which Mark pitches as Jesus and a superhero living in a two-bedroom apartment. Which Mark says is his critique of the superhero genre, as Jesus is sent back to Earth by God to learn from a modern day superhero, but the superhero will learn empathy from Jesus, turning the tables on that plan.
– Dan turns the topic over to the Eisner awards and recognize both Tom and Mark for their numerous nominations along with that of their collaborators. They’re actually competing against each other in one category.
– Dan then asks Jimmy and Amanda about the differing sensibilities required in their approach to Wonder Woman vs. Harley.
– Jimmy says it’s a different tone, and calls it very uplifting and fun. And Amanda says she loves pairing the personalities of Etta and Diana together especially.
– Jimmy then makes a pitch for the Walmart partnership as a great entryway for new readers who may not have a comic shop near them.
– Jimmy also praises the comic shop locator information in the back of each issue.
– Dan asks Amanda how she enjoys drawing Jesus on the covers of Second Coming. She says her church choir-singing mom is very proud of her.
– Dan surveys the crowd trying to find the longest-habitual comics reader in the room. There’s three guys in here who have been reading for 50+ years.
– the longest-lived reader in the crowd says his first comic was Superman #158
– Josh and Tom then share stories about their first bad pitches. This bodyguard guy still hasn’t flinched once!
– King says he pitched Karen Berger, when she requested a Vertigo concept, and he was reading Cloud Atlas at the time and he basically pitched that. A pitch he basically called “word vomit”. And despite how badly that went, he got connected with Mark Doyle thanks to Karen Berger.
– Amanda shared her first comics gig too, which was a Solo Avengers story that Tom read as a kid he reveals!
– Dan then asks the audience what titles they’d want to see these creators on. One audience member says Mark should do Cyborg dealing with all the messed up stuff on the internet. Not bad actually.
– Another member asked for a comic that selves into the political leanings of the various heroes. This allows Dan to bring up Decisions! Remember that book?
– Dan asks everyone what their dream projects are
Tom: Anything with you Dan
Mark: Supervillains that aren’t up to par with the Legion of Doom
Amanda: Power Girl/She-Hulk
Jimmy: Legion of Super-Heroes
On that note, the panel has concluded. Another pretty hilarious hour. Hope you had as much fun reading as I had laughing!