Last week, I wrote about the Dan DiDio era at DC Comics, and how his time there was really split between the two sides of his vision for comics. It was a whole thing, and something I ran rather deep on. But within it, I mentioned how I wasn’t going to hypothesize about what’s next for the DC in the post-DiDio era. As I noted, it all would be conjecture anyways, so I didn’t even want to bother. Since then, we found out my guess was correct anyways: Jim Lee would carry on as the sole Publisher of DC Comics, and that would be that.
Of course, that’s just answering the question of “Who is replacing Dan DiDio?” with the correct response being both “no one” and “Jim Lee” simultaneously. It doesn’t really answer what’s next for the publisher as a whole. That’s too much to guess at, but we can all hope, right? We all have things we’d like to see, I Imagine? I for one want more of the things I like – continuity-free takes on big characters from Black Label and the young adult/middle grade graphic novel lines – but also a simplified approach to the main line that is less built around big, insane ideas and more about the things that make each of these characters special. Less grimdark and sidelining sidekicks, more hope and legacy. I want to remember why I loved these characters to begin with. Like Wally West, before he became a dude in a chair powered by Doctor Manhattan and a sort of murderer.
Oh, and I’d love to see more of what the publisher was doing when Black Label, Ink and Zoom were first announced and creator imprints were first arriving: giving us more comics with a specific goal in mind, trying to serve different audiences than just the old standards of Wednesday Warriors. I found that stretch of outside-the-box thinking to be a wonder from them. More of that, as it reflected the way the world is rather than…well, a nu metal music video.
But those are my ideas, and you’ve heard me yammer plenty about DC’s relative failings and what else they could be doing over the last while. Today, I wanted to highlight other perspectives, so I reached out to fellow journalists and retailers to get insight on what they would want to see. While it’s only a small selection, it was fantastic getting their thoughts on what they’d like to see more of so it’s not just my takes getting shared. So let’s get to that. Each guest commentator was asked a single question to guide them, with that being the following…
We’re now in the post-Dan DiDio era at DC after a long stretch for the former co-Publisher. While things might not change much, at least initially, if you had your choice of things you’d like to see change or continue onwards after DiDio’s departure, what would they be? Are there specific things you think DC needs to do to strengthen its position in the broader comic markets?
Patrick Brower, Co-Owner, Challengers Comics + Conversation: Interesting question. I’m going to answer this as a retailer because I’m a money-loving capitalist and I want every single DC book to be a hit. And, not so much a nuanced, clinical examination, more a near-vomited list in the form of a paragraph. First and foremost, keep making Black Label comics! Those are DC’s only moneymakers right now (until Dark Nights Death Metal). Stay away from line-wide events– they just don’t work for you. Maybe have less editorially-driven story ideas and trust your creators to create! By that I mean no more telling creators what they have to write about. Cultivate the A-list artists of tomorrow, rather than relying on the past as much. Keep making Tom King maxi-series! Don’t feel every book has to tie into a specific DC ‘family.’ Bring back Teen Titans Go! Keep focusing on younger readers books. Release less comics per month.