Posts Tagged ‘Dan DiDio’

Jim Lee And Dan DiDio Declare That DC’s June Mini-Relaunch Is Just The Beginning Of A New Direction For The Publisher

March 10, 2015


Way back in July 2011, after the mess that was DC’s discussion of female characters and creators at that year’s Comic-Con, co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio released a joint statement promising that DC would do better on both fronts. The New 52 was about to debut with only 2 female creators in the mix, and preview pages were showing female characters in all sorts of objectified ways and sexy scenarios. It wasn’t a good scene, some fans got vocal about it, and DC promised to do better. And then they didn’t, really. Female creator numbers improved marginally, but the books stayed about the same and nothing really changed substantially for a couple of years. So that promise from July 2011 was, basically, a bunch of crap. They said all the right things, and then did very little about it.

Now Jim Lee and Dan DiDio are saying the right things again, but I’m feeling much more optimistic about where DC is heading. This is largely because we know where DC is heading: In June, they’re debuting 24 new series that feature many female creators and characters, and are diversifying their lineup generally in terms of style and tone. Here are a few highlights from their discussion about the new line-up, courtesy of Comic Book Resources.

Jim Lee acknowledged the rise in female readership in this discussion of DC’s audience:

I think a big part of the June launch was really a recognition that the audience has changed. It’s more fragmented than it was before. The original direct market was perceived as a monolithic fanbase. You see a lot more women that are into comics, at comic book shops and conventions. Our own studies have shown there’s a lot more people that are looking for a lot more flavors and diversity in our line than we’re currently doing.

Lee later trotted out the usual line about the publisher wanting to tell the best stories, which has often been used to dismiss focusing on a more representative creator base. The story is key, not who’s telling it! But while Lee said, “You want to have diversity, but you don’t want it to be prescriptive”, he then added:

I think it’s as diverse a group of creators, characters, stories and approaches to storytelling that I’ve seen in the history of DC, at least in my years that I’ve been here.

Dan DiDio then explained how DC is looking to the future after the early days of the New 52 got away from them:

When we launched, it was so pressed up against this hard-driving continuity for so long, people had a hard time recalibrating and rethinking how to approach our characters. So they started to fall back into old habits, and looking in the past, of where they were going to get their ideas from. Now I can tell you that we’ve changed it. We’re actually looking to the future for where our ideas are.

I think this “old habits” comment applies to the creators they hired as well, which were a lot of the same old in the early days on the New 52. Many of the creators at the helm of June’s mini-relaunch are relatively new faces, bringing bold new ideas to their books.

So now, three and a half years later, DC’s co-publishers are saying the right things about their changing audience and diverse creators, and this time they’re backing it up. I think this bodes well for the future of DC Comics. They’ve steadily grown their ranks of female creators and improved the depiction of their female characters. While there’s still a lot of work to be done, DC finally appears to understand that the game has changed and that they need to adapt accordingly.  Time will tell if it sticks, but they’re moving in a positive direction.


Comic Con 2013 Wonder Woman News Round-Up OR Is It Possible To Have A Negative Amount Of News?

July 22, 2013

Now that Comic Con 2013 has wrapped up in San Diego, it’s time to sift through the piles of announcements and panels and find out what’s new and exciting for Wonder Woman.  It turns out, not a lot.  Barely anything in fact.  There’s lots of news for everyone else, but things were pretty quiet for Wonder Woman.

Let’s start with the comics.  First, we got a look at the fully coloured, foldout cover for Superman/Wonder Woman #1, so that’s something I suppose:


But then people started talking about Superman/Wonder Woman and it all turned into a big downer.  First, the book was part of the Superman panel, because there was a Superman panel and not a Wonder Woman panel because there’s never ever a Wonder Woman panel.  Then, Charles Soule described the book as “epic punching – things that are dangerous and huge always get in the way of their romance”, which sounds sort of terrible.  Finally, in describing the book at Sunday’s “Meet the Co-publishers” panel, Dan DiDio stated:

We want to keep building on Superman’s legend and lore. We also wanted to build on the story of this relationship. It’s a centerpiece of the New 52 to show we’re in a new area.

That’s right, SUPERMAN’s legend and lore, not Wonder Woman’s. I guess Wonder Woman just happened to be the nearest woman to Superman when they decided he needed a new romance story so he could have another book to punch things in.

Anyway, the news wasn’t so hot on the comics front, so let’s turn to the movies.  Marvel certainly made a big splash with the Avengers 2: Age of Ultron announcement.  Plus their panel featured a lot of ladies: Scarlett Johannson, Cobie Smulders, Emily Van Camp, Karen Gillan, and Zoe Saldana were all onstage.  While none of them are the leads of the movies, that’s a lot of gals compared to the Warner Bros. panel, where they announced that the Man of Steel sequel would be a Superman/Batman team-up.  Not Justice League.  No Wonder Woman movie on the horizon.  Just two dudes.  AND DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson called a Wonder Woman adaptation “tricky” in an interview last week, so it sounds like there might not be a Wonder Woman movie any time soon.

On the positive side, there was a rumour that they’d announce a Flash movie for 2016, and that was never mentioned.  If they had, the internet probably would’ve collectively lost its mind; a Flash movie before a Wonder Woman would just be insane.  But yeah, it’s Superman and Batman next AND it sounds like they’re going to fight.  Man of Steel was an absolute trainwreck, so I can’t even imagine how terrible this next one is going to be.  I look forward to the inevitable Clark/Lois/Bruce love triangle.

However, there was one fun piece of Wonder Woman news.  In the upcoming The Lego Movie, Wonder Woman will be voice by Cobie Smulders, a fun choice considering she was Joss Whedon’s pick to play her when he was working on his ill-fated live action Wonder Woman movie.  So that’ll be cool!  Probably brief, but cool.

All in all, it wasn’t a great Comic Con for Wonder Woman.  She got massively overshadowed by Superman at the comic panels, and in all of the recaps I read they only ever talked about Superman/Wonder Woman and didn’t mention her solo title.  Then Batman’s set to get his THIRD film franchise reboot before Wonder Woman even gets one movie.  Luckily we’ve got Lego, at least.  Lego is always fun.

DC Comics’ Artists Appear on SyFy’s Face Off, Including Wonder Woman’s Cliff Chiang and Nicola Scott

January 23, 2013


I don’t know about you all, but I’ve seen every episode of SyFy’s makeup reality show Face Off.  They give contestants these crazy challenges and the make up artists have to come up with a design, sculpt and manufacture prosthetics, and costume and paint their creations, all in two or three days.  It’s really fun to watch the process, and to see the cool things they come up with.  And the trainwrecks too.  This week was a trainwreck episode for sure.

DC’s Dan Didio and Jim Lee came by the show to give the contestants their challenge: Design a superhero, and the winner’s character will appear in a DC comic book.  To help them with their designs, Lee and Didio brought along six of DC’s artists.  They were (in order of appearance in the above photo, after McKenzie Westmore) Mark Buckingham, Cliff Chiang, Tony S. Daniel, David Finch, Nicola Scott, and J.H. Williams III.  It was a pretty awesome lineup.

They got barely any screen time, and god among men J.H. Williams III was relegated to just a very unenthusiastic “Oh, okay” after hearing a crappy pitch, but things went pretty well for the contestants that got to work with Wonder Woman artists.  Most of the designs were just awful, and totally missed the superhero mark.  It was roof stoof.  However, Nicola Scott’s contestant, Eric, made it to the Top Three with his character Dick Gritty.  Dick was a cop who got killed and brought back to life or something, all 1940s style.  I actually thought it was pretty bad, but the rest of the designs were so terrible that this one made it to the top of the list.

And then, SPOILER ALERT, Cliff Chiang’s contestant, Anthony, won the episode with his character, The Infernal Core, despite a massive chest piece malfunction.  The Infernal Core is from the Earth’s core and is all shiny black with bright yellow and red lava in spots.  It was a good paint job, and I think it was definitely the most superherolike character of the night.  I could maybe see him in a comic book, and I suppose I will soon.  Here’s a look at the character:

So yeah, it was NOT a good night for Face Off at all, but Cliff Chiang, Nicola Scott, J.H. Williams III, and other fun artists were on my TV!!  That was pretty cool.  And good work to the former and current Wonder Woman artists for helping their contestants achieve the best (relatively speaking) looks!!

Greg Rucka And J.H. Williams III’s Scrapped Wonder Woman Earth One

September 12, 2012

I almost wish I didn’t know about this one.

As reported at DC Women Kicking Ass and first mentioned in the latest fantastic episode of “3 Chicks Review Comics”, Greg Rucka was going to write Wonder Woman Earth One for DC Comics.  The Earth One line are graphic novels that tell the early days of DC’s biggest superheroes, outside the bounds of continuity.  Superman Earth One by J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis was fairly average, and Batman Earth One by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank kind of sucked, but they both sold like hotcakes and sequels are coming.

Rucka was scheduled to write Wonder Woman Earth One, with art by the amazing J.H. Williams III, when the rug was pulled out from him.  Here’s what happened, in Rucka’s own words:

I was told I was not going to do it. Dan Didio called me and told me he was giving it to someone else. And I said if you take that away from me I can no longer work for you because I have taken many a job for you, sir, on the promise of doing this and now you’re taking it away and I can no longer accept your promises any more. He had his reasons for doing it; this is not me throwing stones. This is just the way things shook out.

The book is now being written by Grant Morrison, and the rumour is that the art will be by Yannick Paquette.  I want a Grant Morrison Wonder Woman like I want to be kicked in the crotch, but I’m trying to save my impassioned feelings about that for if/when the book is announced.  It will be a dark, angry day, should it come.

So Rucka, far and away one of the best writers for female characters that DC has EVER had and one of the few people in recent memory who wrote a readable Wonder Woman, got pulled off the project.  Not only that, but we lost more Rucka stories at DC because he very justifiably doesn’t want to work for them anymore.  No more Rucka Batwoman.  No more Rucka Montoya (or Montoya generally, it seems).  Just more shitty Morrison.

In the podcast, Rucka briefly talked about his take on Diana, and it was fantastic.  His Wonder Woman was a young woman who was itching to get off Paradise Island and find out what the rest of the world was like.  He described a scene where the Amazons are doing some stargazing, looking up at the sky, while Diana aims her telescope towards the horizon, trying to see what lies beyond the confines of her home.  You should go listen to “3 Chicks Review Comics” to hear the full conversation about his plan for the book.  It was SO good.

And we could have had an ENTIRE graphic novel of J.H. Williams III doing Wonder Woman!!  That would have been amazing.  It’s fun that Wonder Woman is guest starring in Batwoman now, but imagine a whole graphic novel with Williams designing Paradise Island and the Amazons and the gods… how fantastic would that be?  And now it’s never going to happen.

Sometimes I feel like I’m just better off knowing how stupid the brass at DC can be.  This news bummed me out like crazy.  How do you not let GREG RUCKA do a Wonder Woman graphic novel with J.H. WILLIAMS III?!  Do they hate good comics?  This news just makes me sad.  The folks at DC really need to get it together.

Good Work DC!! More Female Characters And Creators Are Coming

July 30, 2011

DC Comics has just published the following statement on The Source blog:

Over the past week we’ve heard from fans about a need for more women writers, artists and characters. We want you to know, first and foremost, that we hear you and take your concerns very seriously.

We’ve been very fortunate in recent years to have fan favorite creators like Gail Simone, Amy Reeder, Felicia Henderson, Fiona Staples, Amanda Connor, G. Willow Wilson and Nicola Scott write and draw the adventures of the World’s Greatest Super Heroes.

DC Comics is the home of a pantheon of remarkable, iconic women characters like Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, Batgirl, Batwoman, Catwoman and Supergirl as well as fan favorite characters like Black Canary, Katana, Mera and Starfire. We’re committed to telling diverse stories with a diverse point of view. We want these adventures to resonate in the real world, reflecting the experiences of our diverse readership. Can we improve on that? We always can—and aim to.

We’ll have exciting news about new projects with women creators in the coming months and will be making those announcements closer to publication. Many of the above creators will be working on new projects, as we continue to tell the ongoing adventures of our characters. We know there are dozens of other women creators and we welcome the opportunity to work with them.

Our recent announcements have generated much attention and discussion and we welcome that dialogue.


Jim Lee & Dan DiDio
DC Entertainment Co-Publishers

This is really great to see.  I’m glad that DC has noticed the reactions to the lack of women, both characters and creators, in the relaunch, and that they are planning to do something about it.  The people who asked questions at ComicCon, especially the now-famed Batgirl, and the big sites out there who made these issues heard all deserve applause, and it’s awesome that their efforts have brought about results!!

I am excited to see what DC has coming up, and I am very much looking forward to their female creator stats improving in the months to come!!

DC Comics To Relaunch EVERYTHING In September, With A New Look For Wonder Woman

May 31, 2011

So WOW DC is really going big with their post-Flashpoint plans!!  Every book is getting relaunched with a new #1, and every character appears to be getting revamped.  USA Today reports that Dan Didio said:

This was a chance to start, not at the beginning, but at a point where our characters are younger and the stories are being told for today’s audience.

And if the first image from the only announced book so far, Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s Justice League (Cyborg?  Really?  I’m all for diversity, but Cyborg bores the hell out of me), is any indication, everybody’s looking much younger.  Superman especially… he almost looks like a kid. 

Apparently Jim Lee has redesigned all the costumes, with is slightly troubling.  Jim Lee is a spectacular artist, but designing things is not his strong suit (see: the recent Wonder Woman costume).  Superman doesn’t have any briefs and a weird collar, which I don’t much care for.  Some things you don’t need to screw with.  But everyone else looks normalish. 

Let’s take a little more time with Wonder Woman, and single her out for a closer look:

Some thoughts:

  • It looks a lot like the latest redesign… we might have a pantsed Wonder Woman for a while.
  • No more gold!!  Apart from the lasso anyway… the tiara, chest piece, and belt are all silver now.  The bracelets remain silver, as always.
  • I really like how Jim Lee always draws Wonder Woman’s bracelets to look like the manacles they are based on (in the old Marston origin from the 1940s, the Amazons wore the bracelets as a reminder of their capture by Hercules so that they’d never let a man subjugate them again).
  • The tiara looks a lot like the current tiara, which I really don’t like.
  • The choker and arm bracelet just look silly.
  • Amusingly, the one big change to the costume is the removal of the straps, which many people thought was one of the few sensible parts of the outfit.
  • I don’t mind the silver eagle on the chest.  I don’t love it, but I don’t mind it.
  • I don’t miss the belt really.
  • She certainly looks better than Superman… the Superman costume doesn’t need to get screwed with!!

We’ve got no story details yet, so all I can talk about is the costume… and it doesn’t seem to hold any exciting revelations for us.  We should find out the creative team for Wonder Woman in the next couple weeks, and perhaps a bit of information on what’s up with her from the solicit.  Bleeding Cool is saying that there might be a Superman/Wonder Woman romance in the works (which SPOILER ALERT suggests that Clark Kent and Lois Lane will no longer be married), but that’s all we’ve got on Wonder Woman thus far.

The other big news is that DC is moving to day and date digital release for ALL their comics, which is great… digital is, of course, the wave of the future, and it’s smart for DC to get onboard.  I’m impressed that they are embracing it so fully, and that gives me hope that the people running the company have some brains (I worry sometimes).

So yeah, big changes are coming!!  I am both nervous and excited… DC definitely needs a shake-up, but huge changes can be VERY tricky.  To be super honest, there’s no current team I’d be really upset to not have return to their book… I like Snyder and Jock on Detective Comics a lot, and Geoff Johns on Green Lantern (apparently he’s staying), but for pretty much every other book I’d be open to seeing someone new.  I really hope it goes well… I love DC, and it would be nice to have the whole line revitalized.

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