Saturday afternoon at WonderCon in Anaheim, DC hosted a ‘Meet the Publishers’ panel. The panelists included DC Publishers Jim Lee and Dan Didio. Lee and Didio introduced the panel with a video reel of the DC Universe app spotlighting upcoming television projects. Lee and Didio showed off a second video featuring the 20,000+ comics coming to DC’s Digital App, which will be 12 months behind on the current comic books published by DC. “It’s super, super exciting and [a] big new move for us” teased Lee about the new comics coming to the app. Didio joked that he was going to quiz the audience next year on the full line of comics now that readers can easily get up to speed.
Didio and Lee introduced DC’s Year of the Villain and teased that the panel will introduce new ideas with what is going on with DC. “We always wanted people to understand the full scope of DC Comics” said Didio, who then introduced Detective Comics. Didio requested a show of hands for audience members who had read Detective Comics #1000. “Thank you guys for your support on those books,” said Lee. Lee gave insight into his storyline in the title with film director Kevin Smith. “It was amazing to have him contribute to his story.”
Didio thought readers will get their value out of Detective Comics #1000. Lee thanked the publicity and marketing team at DC Comics for promoting the book. Lee promoted Batman80.com, celebrating Batman’s birthday. Didio shifted the focus to Free Comic Book Day, promoting the 25-cent one-shot, DC’s Year of The Villain #1. “We’re putting a book together that is really going to be a showcase and highlight for the villains,” said Didio. “It’s a great story that’s being done by Scott Snyder and Brian Bendis together.” Didio teased City of Bane, Leviathan Rising and the upcoming Justice League storyline with Perpetua. Didio stated that there is going to be a focus between the Shared Universe of comic book titles going forward.
Lee teased the upcoming Leviathan Rising storyline, introducing the Lois Lane title written by Greg Rucka with art by Mike Perkins. The panel followed up a short discussion of the Lois Lane title with a focus on the Jimmy Olsen comic written by Matt Fraction with art from Steve Lieber. Didio stated that Bendis was looking to get ‘settled’ with Superman before introducing the sister titles. Didio teased the quirky tone of Fraction’s Jimmy Olsen title, directly referencing the Marvel book Hawkeye as an inspiration for the title. Lee teased that various generations of Olsen family members will be in the Jimmy Olsen comic.
Lee brought up the Black Label line and sequel to Batman: White Knight, which he identified as Batman: Curse of the White Knight. Lee praised the art of creator Sean Murphy and stated he was happy with the writing for the title as well. Didio teased Batman: Last Knight on Earth. Lee discussed the origin of creators Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo as a creative team and teased the comic as the last Batman story told by the two creators. “I think they are going to be doing something really special here,” stated Didio.
Lee next addressed Superman: Year One, explaining that the story is all about Clark Kent’s great loves including Lana Lang and Lois Lane. Didio asked a show of hands from the audience to know how many in attendance had found a Walmart comic on the shelf, and asked for stories of how difficult it was for audience members to find the Walmart comics. An audience member stated he drove to a Walmart two hours away to find one of DC’s Walmart comic books. The panel announced that in July the publisher is going to collect the Walmart titles and release them in the direct market.
Lee asked how many young readers were present in the audience before introducing DC’s Zoom and Ink line of comics. Lee stated that for the Zoom and Ink lines they were looking for writers and artists who did not typically work in the direct market. The panelists spotlighted the recent releases of Mera: Tidebreaker and Super Sons: The Polarshield Project.
The panelists continued the spotlight with the upcoming releases on May 2nd including Catwoman: Under the Moon from DC Ink, written by Lauren Myracle and drawn by Isaac Goodhart. “We wanted to make a very fast, big impact,” stated Didio. He elaborated that DC is trying to appeal to all readers with the main superhero comics, Black Label, DC Zoom and Ink lines of books.
Lee shared an anecdote about Isaac Goodhart, stating that he received an invitation several years ago from a woman going to dinner. Goodhart reminded Lee about the story when he visited the DC offices, stating that he was present at the event. “I think one of the coolest things about working in comics is the stories are aspirational,” said Lee. He encouraged young members in the audience to pursue their passion, sharing Goodhart’s story. Finally, Didio shouted out the Vertigo and Sandman Universe titles. Before the end of the panel, Didio confirmed Gerard Way’s Doom Patrol series is coming back. The publisher’s referenced Mad Magazine and opened up the floor for audience questions.
Fruit snack aficionado. @AlexandComics