SDCC DC Spotlight: Dan DiDio and Jim Lee Panel

SDCC 2019

Dan DiDio and Jim Lee held their annual DC: Meet the Publishers panel Thursday morning at SDCC.  Here at DC Comics News, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know organized by topic!  Check it out below!

Dan DiDio and Jim Lee on Recent Restructuring:

DiDio:

“It’s been a pretty exciting year for us at DC Comics.  We got a lot of great stuff going on in the DC Universe. I don’t know if you heard this or not but we made multiple changes to the way we put books out. I know a lot of people are Vertigo fans. I just want to be clear that the fact that the imprint might go away doesn’t matter — what’s in the books is what matters.  What we need to do is give you a destination that makes the most sense.  We have a great name — DC Comics. It makes the most sense to us to put everything under that name.”

Mad Magazine:

“It was a tough choice for us to move it off the newsstand. There’ll still be new material, probably not as much. It still exists, it’s still out there, hopefully, we’ll be able to rebuild these great brands someday.”

Lee:

“What’s interesting is that so much of the core Vertigo talent is writing main DC books.  That line was blurred, there was less distinction and less of a need for distinction.”

Dan DiDio and Jim Lee on Larger Events:

DC-Year-of-the-Villain-Direct-Market-Cover

Year of the Villain:

DiDio:

“In some cases, [villains] become more popular than the heroes.  We have so many great creators with unique visions working on the line,” he continued. “Snyder on Justice League, Bendis on Superman, I know these books are in good hands. Scott has this great story with The Batman Who Laughs. It’s like lightning in a bottle. Between the stories you see with Year of the Villain, and with City of Bane.

Event Leviathan:

DiDio:

“Then we’ve got Bendis starting Event Leviathan.  We asked him to examine all the agencies we had in the DCU and cull them down a bit. We expect those problems to make them out to the rest of the DCU, too. From my standpoint, what you’re starting to see is years of planning.”

Lee:

“We got Bendis from another company.  We’re really excited he’s working on Event Leviathan. He’s also tying that into the Lois Lane maxiseries. They really wanted to tie into all the investigators, the greatest detectives in the DCU.”

Legion:

Lee:

“On the Legion side, I’m really happy to be joining Brian on Legion of Super-Heroes. It’s a short chapter, sort of like Action Comics #1000, and I’m kind of the lead-off artist on this.”

Dan DiDio and Jim Lee on Imprints:

Black Label:

Lee:

“Superman is actually Frank Miller’s favorite character. I think it’s a really interesting perspective on the character.  We kind of have the best of both worlds. We have brand equity in DC and it allows us to market each pop-up differently. You need to hand-sell these.”

DiDio:

“We also have Snyder and Capullo on Batman: Last Knight on Earth.  It captures all the insanity Scott and Greg bring to this character.  We got Bendis working on Wonder Comics, which is a flavor that’s not being fed across the line. We’re introducing Hill House Comics, and here to speak about that is Joe Hill. The fun part is when other creators see this, they want to get involved.

Joe Hill:

“There’s always good things happening in horror comics,” he said. “But I’m greedy and I always want more. We have five titles and they start coming out in October.  There’s also gonna be a backup feature in each one of these called Sea Dogs about how werewolves helped us win the Revolutionary War.

DC Young Adult Books:

Lee:

“Earlier this year, we introduced a series targeted toward young adults and middle-grade readers.  Dan’s point is, it’s a different audience. We recognize for us to continue to grow our business, we have to find younger readers. It’s really gratifying to see the support and the sales its been garnering.”

DiDio:

“We wanted to create books that were more accessible for casual fans.  We gotta find ways to bring people in — through these young adult imprints, through Wal-Mart. What we see in the marketplace is a little unsettling. We want to build worlds, we want to build universes.  It also seems like some people are more interested in the older stuff than they are for newer stuff.  That’s a failure on our part. The only way we can do that is by keeping people excited.”

We do understand the global reach of our product. It’s intriguing for us to hear the interest from around the world. If we grow ourselves as much as we can in the U.S. and need to grow more, that’s when we expand.”

On the Future:

DiDio:

“One of the things we’re working on in the DCU is we’re building an ultimate timeline.  We’re building this so we have a better idea where our stories connect. That’s where we made our mistake during the New 52 — we didn’t understand which stories matter, which ones didn’t. Once we understand how these characters connect, then we’ll be in a place to give you the true history of the DCU.”

What did you thing of this panel featuring Dan DiDio and Jim Lee?  Let us know in the comments!

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Ari Bard

I am currently a Sophomore at Case Western Reserve University studying mechanical engineering. I have been in love with DC since I saw the animated series and movies in the early 2000s. I started reading comics regularly at the start of Rebirth. My favorite character is Martian Manhunter.