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Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

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Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Old 02-21-20, 03:46 PM
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Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Big news!

DC's Dan DiDio Out as Co-Publisher

The industry veteran had served in the role since 2010.

Dan DiDio is no longer with DC, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

DiDio had served as publisher of DC alongside Jim Lee since 2010, following a six-year stint as VP executive editor, and, prior to that, VP editorial.
Hollywood Reporter




Dan DiDio No Longer Publisher of DC Comics, As Of Today

Whether he was quit, fired, or pushed out, we don't yet know. We may never know. But Bleeding Cool can confirm that Dan DiDio, publisher of DC Comics is no longer publisher of DC Comics. He is gone from the company, as of today. Whatever happened, happened fast.
Bleeding Cool

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Old 02-21-20, 03:55 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Not totally unexpected, rumors had it that Warner's AT&T overlords were looking for sweeping changes at DC. The thing is that Jim Lee had as much input and control over DC this last decade, so all of DC's decisions can't entirely be blamed on DiDio.

I fear what may happen to DC Comics over the next 2-3 years. The move out to the West Coast has definitely changed things. They resemble modern Marvel Comics more and more each day and this will likely only accelerate during the planned "5G" reboot.

This is speculation, but I think the double punch of the Bat-Cat wedding fake-out and the meager returns on hiring Bendis for Superman were the last straws for DiDio. The main Bat books aren't selling well at all and many fans are simply waiting out for Bendis to leave Superman by this point. I expect the next Superman writer to literally ignore and retcon his entire run from existence.
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Old 02-21-20, 04:08 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Fucking finally.
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Old 02-21-20, 04:18 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

One one hand I can understand why AT&T did this as they have been clearing house as of late and their bean counters arenít happy with DCís return on investment. On the other hand, he canít be blamed for all the bad decisions the company has made since the New 52. Jim Lee, Geoff Johns, Bob Harras and the top executives at WB share the blame too. While Disney has let Marvel do their own thing to be successful, WB on the other hand has been an interfering force in every fucking decision the company has made.

On a personal level, I feel bad for Dan and his family. Iíve known him for a while now and he has been great to me and my family. I know how passionate he is about the business and how heartbreaking this is for him.
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Old 02-21-20, 04:43 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Can’t say I know what the effect will be, but I’ve been frustrated by DC’s release strategy of their back catalog (SA Batman, Warlord, etc.) so we’ll see what happens.
Old 02-21-20, 10:17 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Pssst... DC, here's a bit of advice. When you reboot your universe every five years, the whole thing just becomes one big Elseworlds.
Old 02-22-20, 05:58 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Several things about all this about Didio getting fired and jackasses like Rob Liefeld and Ethan Van Sciver saying that they are happy for what happen and that DC is going to be sold/closed, is that this type of change happens when there's new ownership. This happened when WB acquired DC over 40 years ago, it happened again when AOL acquired Time Warner and it happened now with Didio. Also, Marvel may sell more books as they have always done, but DC has 3 of the top 5 most well known characters/properties in comics with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. AT&T will be fucking crazy is they get rid of their only property to have had an impact for 80 years, something that not even Looney Tunes has been able to do. Everyone knows who Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are, and those 3 properties are as valuable as the entire Marvel Universe. Just like Didio was brought over to replace Paul Levitz, someone will be put in that same position. Wishful thinking, it would be Bruce Timm or even Kevin Smith. My fear is that AT&T decides to bring Jeph Loeb into that position since he is known to be a corporate yes man, or someone from their business side that doesn't know comic books at all. Personally, I don't have anything against Jeph Loeb, but he's not been a good producer and his track record at Marvel shows it. He was crucial in eliminating Marvel's 3 best cartoons ever (Spectacular Spider-Man, Wolverine & the X-Men, and Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes) in favor of doing Avengers Assemble, Ultimate Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, all of which have mediocre animation and are mediocre in general.
Old 02-22-20, 08:04 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Didio basically ran DC for, what, 20 years or so. He did some good, he did some bad, he did some real blockheaded shit, but he seemed to be coming from a place of trying to keep DC viable and great.

It'll be interesting to see what happens next, and why.
Old 02-22-20, 09:32 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

I doubt the person put in charge of DC will be anyone this board knows. Inane fans keep posting things like Grant Morrison or Bendis getting the job, which is crazy. Rumors circulating seem to be that AT&T lost faith in DiDio as a wave of long-term editorial talent had recently left DC over work issues. 5G was DiDio's big idea, so no idea where that goes now.

Supposedly the plan by AT&T is moving away from hiring established comic book writers and looking outside the medium for talent.
Old 02-23-20, 01:14 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

From what I hear in Burbank, the outcome of 5G (replacing established DC Legacy characters with new, diverse alter egos under the mask) was driven by AT&T. How DC got there was up to DiDio. It all starts in May with the Generation Zero FCBD offering and the Generation One one-shot.

They're either going to stick with the current leadership (Lee as Publisher and CCO, Harras as EiC, Lifford as President) and continue with the current plans (with modifications) or bring in someone completely outside the industry to shake things up.

It'd be fun if Warner can woo Quesada from Disney. See if he can put his money where is mouth is with Superman ("What the fuck is DC anyway? They'd be better off calling it AOL Comics. At least people know what AOL is. I mean, they have Batman and Superman, and they don't know what to do with them. That's like being a porn star with the biggest dick and you can't get it up. What the fuck?"). But because of shenanigans like that quote, it probably wouldn't happen. Hard to argue with his success tho. He helped turn Marvel around at their lowest ebb.


Old 02-23-20, 05:59 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

At this point, I'm thinking DC is a lost cause.

And it goes beyond anything Didio did or didn't do.

I mean, shit, look what they did to Vertigo. Karen Berger spent over a decade curating a line that was a critical and commercial success. Then the corporate overlords swooped in, tied her hands behind her back, ran off their top tier talent, and ultimately forced her out of the company. And, finally, after they drove Vertigo into the ground, they shut it down and folded what little was left into the "Black Label" nonsense.

Their comics are just a constant stream of reboots, relaunches, and retcons. They couldn't get the DCEU films off of the ground. It's just a big fucking mess.
Old 02-24-20, 09:32 AM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
At this point, I'm thinking DC is a lost cause.

And it goes beyond anything Didio did or didn't do.

I mean, shit, look what they did to Vertigo. Karen Berger spent over a decade curating a line that was a critical and commercial success. Then the corporate overlords swooped in, tied her hands behind her back, ran off their top tier talent, and ultimately forced her out of the company. And, finally, after they drove Vertigo into the ground, they shut it down and folded what little was left into the "Black Label" nonsense.

Their comics are just a constant stream of reboots, relaunches, and retcons. They couldn't get the DCEU films off of the ground. It's just a big fucking mess.
Because DC doesn't understand what separates themselves from Marvel.

If I were to "Reboot" the company, I'd move to almost all graphic novels for the big characters. Make each one an event when it comes out. And get the best talent, stop worrying so much about continuity (have a characterization bible versus a universe bible).

Relaunch Elseworlds. Most of the biggest cultural cache from DC has been Elseworlds stories and hey, they let you make way more action figures.

The only weekly comics should be all-ages legacy titles, Detective, Action, Adventure, Sensational, an EC imprint, etc. Weekly comics should be accessible for children. Bronze Age probably has the right tone.

I think the only people who understand these IPs are probably Mark Waid, Alex Ross, and Paul Dini.

A more independent Vertigo would be great, too. Especially as a way to give young talent to bring fresh ideas.

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Old 02-24-20, 10:53 AM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

They kind of did that "all graphic novels for the big characters... best talent, stop worrying so much about continuity" with the Earth One stuff. I'm not sure how big of a dent that made.

I think at this point, if you want to keep the comic book fans you can't get rid of monthly, for some one of the only reasons they pay the exorbitant prices are because they're addicted to the monthly drip. Someone thought it was a great idea to get rid of most of DC's history and start fresh, and it basically just helped me remove myself from monthly comics altogether.

The other thing is, kids don't want comics, and comics are too expensive. I think they did a decent thing doing a young adults-style graphic novel launch but I'm not sure how well it did. Even the Walmart specials, I'm fairly sure the majority of people that bought them are comic fans already.

If they don't care about comic fans, then they can go all graphic novels, but personally I think that would be a mistake. Comics aren't going to do gangbusters, might as well focus on creators, have a little looser continuity but not abandon it altogether, and have the more popular stories be IP for other more lucrative projects.
Old 02-24-20, 12:31 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Originally Posted by fujishig
They kind of did that "all graphic novels for the big characters... best talent, stop worrying so much about continuity" with the Earth One stuff. I'm not sure how big of a dent that made.

I think at this point, if you want to keep the comic book fans you can't get rid of monthly, for some one of the only reasons they pay the exorbitant prices are because they're addicted to the monthly drip. Someone thought it was a great idea to get rid of most of DC's history and start fresh, and it basically just helped me remove myself from monthly comics altogether.

The other thing is, kids don't want comics, and comics are too expensive. I think they did a decent thing doing a young adults-style graphic novel launch but I'm not sure how well it did. Even the Walmart specials, I'm fairly sure the majority of people that bought them are comic fans already.

If they don't care about comic fans, then they can go all graphic novels, but personally I think that would be a mistake. Comics aren't going to do gangbusters, might as well focus on creators, have a little looser continuity but not abandon it altogether, and have the more popular stories be IP for other more lucrative projects.
A company has no loyalty to long-time fans, though. and with declining sales, they need to widen their customer base. I would also argue that the issue with the Earth-One stuff was multifold. With #1 being marketing, which dropped way off after the first Superman volume. And then they didn't really separate them in any way. "Re-tellings for the modern age". How does that differentiate the product from the last reboot or the upcoming one?

But also, comics shouldn't be expensive. Stop with the glossy paper on monthlies, up the page count to make it actually worth something from a value point of view. Parents might not mind dropping $3-5 on comics for their kids if it's the same thickness as Shonen Jump.Stop catering to a shrinking fan base and get back to basics by trimming a lot of fat.
Old 02-24-20, 12:55 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Less titles, more quality. Other companies like Boom are doing it, and sales go up.
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Old 02-24-20, 01:55 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Changing paper wouldn't really help much. A few years back an Image creator said that newsprint was actually more expensive to use than the glossy stuff, due to modern equipment not being set up for it anymore.
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Old 02-24-20, 02:06 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Yeah, it's printing costs, distribution, ad revenues jumping off a cliff, and the inability to reach a bigger market.

But even without that, we've had this discussion before: I'm a parent, I buy my kids comics so they have no idea what the cost is, and they still lose out to other media. Now part of that can be because comics aren't really written for kids, and the ones that are usually suffer in art or story, so even comic-like books like Captain Underpants and the like hold more appeal and get mass market adoption far beyond what any comic can hope to reach. But say there were monthly comics for kids and they were cheap... where would kids get them? Maybe the Walmart stuff has gone to kids but like I said before, I kind of doubt it.

I'm curious to see what DC does, but they've done all manner of stuff to try to move the needle: devoting creators to go wild on new characters, doing stuff that's as Morrison as you can get in something like Metal, bringing in Marvel creators, etc. For me, I liked Rebirth but then they started messing with it and I was out again, but I've probably lost the pulse of the DC fanboy long ago, so I'm curious what they're going to do now.
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Old 02-24-20, 02:45 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

My LCS went to Comicspro this past weekend, and was telling me about how the top 100 graphic novels for the year, had 3 from DC and Marvel. Dog Man sells 3-5 million copies through Scholastic. That blew me away. Kids & YA stuff has to be the gateway into more traditional comic reading.
Old 02-24-20, 02:58 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Brian Hibbs usually looks at the Bookscan numbers every year for his column Tilting at Windmills on Comicsbeat, the last one is from May of 2019:

https://www.comicsbeat.com/tilting-a...scan-for-2018/

It's dense reading but it goes through basically the top selling graphic novels of the year before as told through BookScan, which gets reports from bookstores. He removes by hand ones that are not comics (like Dork Diaries, which is mostly prose, or comic-related ones that are mostly text). The top six, easily, are Dog Man. The next seven are either Reina Telgemeier or Ann Martin's Baby-Sitters Club. The first manga is My Hero Academia at 25, the first superhero one is Infinity Gauntlet at 29. And this does not count Scholastic distribution via their book fairs.

I doubt the common comic book fan has ever read anything from Dav Pilkey or Raina Telgemeier (unless they have kids) but they are absolutely huge.

I believe one year Marvel got Scholastic to distribute copies of Champions #1 and that was a huge huge deal.
Old 02-24-20, 04:11 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
At this point, I'm thinking DC is a lost cause.

And it goes beyond anything Didio did or didn't do.

I mean, shit, look what they did to Vertigo. Karen Berger spent over a decade curating a line that was a critical and commercial success. Then the corporate overlords swooped in, tied her hands behind her back, ran off their top tier talent, and ultimately forced her out of the company. And, finally, after they drove Vertigo into the ground, they shut it down and folded what little was left into the "Black Label" nonsense.

Their comics are just a constant stream of reboots, relaunches, and retcons. They couldn't get the DCEU films off of the ground. It's just a big fucking mess.
Completely disagree. The characters are still icons. The animation and television shows are on point, mostly. The DC films have been either commercially successful or critically positive (and in the case of Shazam, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman, both). They've only really flopped with Birds of Prey.

The comics though, I can't tell you. I haven't read monthlies from DC or Marvel for years. I think the era of "monthly comics" is pretty much over as a long-term sustainable business model. Five/six bucks for 22 pages of mediocre crap is nobody's bag of chowder anymore.
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Old 02-24-20, 05:26 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Wasn't it Dan Didio who insisted that all the people from Super Buddies die horribly?
Old 02-24-20, 07:34 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Originally Posted by IBJoel
But also, comics shouldn't be expensive. Stop with the glossy paper on monthlies, up the page count to make it actually worth something from a value point of view. Parents might not mind dropping $3-5 on comics for their kids if it's the same thickness as Shonen Jump.Stop catering to a shrinking fan base and get back to basics by trimming a lot of fat.
DC has done this with their (originally) exclusive WalMart books. 100 pages for $5. About 30 pages of new content, the rest reprints. The initial batch (4 a month then 6 a month) did reasonably well. They've expanded that to a wider market that includes comics stores. During that first run of books, I was pleasantly surprised to see a bunch of kids grabbing copies of the new books on a regular basis. But my local WalMart stopped carrying the books so.... that's probably over.
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Old 02-24-20, 08:44 PM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Kids and most parents don't see the Scholastics books being comic books at all. Still, that's the way most of the kids and YA stuff get their sales and how a property like Bone became a bigger sensation beyond the comic book market.

I've mentioned this before but it bears repeating: Companies need to bring the prices per issue down. Printing cost is not as high as people think. Distribution cost is more due to there being a monopoly (Diamond). But in general, comic books are too expensive for a kid to go and buy on a weekly basis.

As for the amount of comic books out there, there are 2 train of thoughts: What Marvel does, which is quantity over quality but at the same time experimenting and giving new talent a chance. By this I mean, that Marvel see the new releases section each week as real state. To them (Disney), they don't care if comic books break even, they care about market share (as a public company) and they care about having more presence on the shelves than any other company every single week. At the same time, they are giving new artist and writers a chance for new storylines, that could potentially down the road lead for more opportunities for them while Marvel (Disney) gets cheap (in relation to cost, not quality) stories that could be used down the road on multiple media projects. Look at how much money Disney made on a property like Guardians of the Galaxy, which cost them pennies on the dollar in terms of story and characterization compared as what it would have cost them to hire a Hollywod writer to come up with an original story and characters. The second train of though is quality over quantity, which most publishers, including DC, have done over the past several years. Still, that doesn't assure anyone that the book is going to be popular and sell or good at all. There are tons of new Image books that come out each year and not all of them have the reception that Walking Dead, Saga or Sex Criminal get.

The third part that needs to improve is the business has more to do with the local comic shops. I can tell you that 75% of LCS standing today have one of these issues:
1: Either they look abandoned, with an old school owner that barely puts an effort to improve the store appearance and the only reason they are still standing is because they have been grandfathered into Diamond's 90 day terms and they have a loyal but small customer base.
2: Gatekeepers. For some fucking reason, many stores have fucking gatekeepers that make new customers feel uncomfortable and not wanting to return. These gatekeepers judge you for purchasing things like Deadpool or Harley Quinn and the boast about being true fans, "not like these fairweather fans that come in when they see something in the movie theater". Fuck gatekeepers
3: Owners are either comic book savvy but not business smart or vice versa or either. Many of the new comic book store owners don't have any business sense at all. One of the reasons I saw many store fall during the past 2 years was because the owners didn't put the effort to crunch the numbers and live within a budget. I saw many stores crumble by ordering excessive amount of books, statues, toys or other stuff that they couldn't sell.

This business has always been cyclical. Didio being fired by AT&T was about to happen sooner or later as it happened before to Carmine Infantino, Paul Levitz, Jim Shooter, etc. The hope now is that whoever comes next does a good job to keep the interest alive.
Old 02-25-20, 06:43 AM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Originally Posted by stingermck
Less titles, more quality. Other companies like Boom are doing it, and sales go up.
This.
Old 02-25-20, 10:23 AM
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Re: Dan DiDio out as Co-Publisher at DC

Less titles, more quality at DC or Marvel means more of what sells (Batman) and less experimental/off the wall stuff. They would put all of their top creators on the big properties and very rarely branch out. We would never get a Starman, Hitman, Preacher, etc. I'm not saying that they're the bastions of quality but, as an outsider, it looks like DC tried a few things and comic fans are just so entrenched in the old that new ideas need a ton of buzz (or political weight) to get off the ground.
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