San Diego Comic Con is without a doubt the biggest event on the industry’s calendar, and people will be flying from around the world to attend panels, watch trailers, meet creators, and make friends. This year’s event is bigger than ever, with so much going on every single day that it can be difficult to sift through all that information and decide how to spend your time.
Yesterday we gave a rundown on what to expect on Thursday and Friday, but things heat up as the weekend kicks in and the major studios make their presence known. Expect big reveals from Marvel Studios, DC's TV offerings and more, plus great panels featuring your favorite creators in comics.
DC’s mature readers imprint Vertigo has had a rough few years; where once it was the benchmark of challenging and thought-provoking creator-owned comics, many of its classic titles have wrapped up their runs, and Vertigo has struggled to find new epics to replace them.
In what DC describes as an effort to "set the business up for future success," the publisher has announced a restructuring of the imprint that includes the elimination of its executive editor role. Unfortunately that means letting go of veteran editor Shelly Bond, who has been with Vertigo since almost the very beginning.
DC Comics hosted a special livestream event at WonderCon in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon to unveil the creative teams behind its DC Rebirth event, which relaunches the entire DC Universe line with new issue #1s and multiple double-shipping titles. The relaunch will set the future course of DC Comics at a time when fans are wondering whether the company will embrace a new and diversifying audience or double down on serving a shrinking core audience.
The event was introduced by DC All Access host Tiffany Smith, with DC co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio and chief creative officer and Rebirth chief architect Geoff Johns introducing and interviewing the creative teams as they joined them on stage at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Last week there was a rumor going around that DC might pull the plug on its new 'DCYou' initiative before it had even had a chance to take root. DCYou aims to provide more diversity in content, characters, and creators, in an effort to reach new readers in a shifting market. The initiative stands in sharp contrast with the homogeneity of DC's last major relaunch, the traditional and conservative New 52, targeted squarely at long-time readers.
Of course, the New 52 performed very well for the publisher, and in some months it even pushed DC ahead of industry leader Marvel. The relaunch never achieved its major objective of permanently toppling Marvel, but it did provide strong numbers in direct market comic store sales. Compare those numbers to the sales for DCYou, and one can see a clear argument for going back to the old model. But that argument is grounded in a narrow understanding of the industry.
Nearly 30 years after the release of The Dark Knight Returns, and almost 15 after The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Frank Miller is coming back to DC comics for a third installment in his series of stories about an older Batman in a world of corruption. It will be out this fall.
Let's generously say that the title is...interesting: The Dark Knight III: The Master Race. Miller is set to co-write the eight-issue series with Brian Azzarello, who wrote a somewhat controversial Batman story of his own, "Broken City," back in 2004. According to DC's blog, an artist has yet to be named. (Which seems to mean Miller won't be drawing it.)
Convergence is drawing ever closer; a massive not-quite-in-continuity crossover event that replaces all of DC's monthly titles for two months this spring, to throw together interpretations of characters from throughout DC history on an isolated world where they will end up fighting a lot. The event is comprised of a weekly miniseries by writer Jeff King and artists Carlo Pagulayan and Jason Paz that delivers the central overarching plot line, and a number of character-focused two-issue miniseries that will expand on the themes of the weekly series, provide additional context, and revive fan-favorite versions of many classic DC heroes and villains.
It's a huge, massively ambitious undertaking, so we spoke to DC co-publisher Dan DiDio to get a better idea about the publisher's plans, the company's overall goals for the event, and the impact it will have on the DC universe in the future.
If you're one of the unlucky millions who can't be in the giant steaming San Diego convention hangar this weekend, you probably won't get a chance to get up close and personal with the glass cabinet containing a bit of Ben Affleck's costume from next summer's Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Sucks to be you! No proximity to Afflatex for you!
The small DC nation state on the con floor is showcasing a lot of Batmemorabilia to mark the Caped Crusader's 75th anniversary -- including the new movie Batman's actual crusading cape and crime-detecting cowl from Zack Snyder's sure-to-be poignant summer batbuster.
A letter from DC Comics Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee to the company's freelancers has outlined a new payment policy that offers royalties to the creators of digital-first comics and colorists (previously, payments just a flat rate), and changes the structure of how all creators are paid. The new plan, which will supplant a policy that has been in place for more than 30 years, goes into effect July 1 and is a direct response to a recent survey DC took of its talent pool.
Specifically, payments (DC doesn't use the term "royalties" because that implies ownership) will soon be based on net revenue -- how much money a book makes after costs -- rather than on the cover price. That gives DC "more flexibility to sell our material in new distribution channels that have different pricing models," according to the letter obtained by ComicsAlliance. That seems to point to digital comics and possible experimentation with pricing there.
So is this a positive or a negative for creators? That's a little harder to suss out.
Each week, ComicsAlliance’s Chris Sims and Matt Wilson host the War Rocket Ajax podcast, their online audio venue for interviews with comics creators, reviews of the books of the week, and whatever else they want to talk about. ComicsAlliance is offering clips of the comics-specific segments of the show several days before the full podcast goes up at WarRocketAjax.com on Mondays.
This week, Chris and Matt dig deep into talking about DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio as a businessman and as a comics creator in their discussion of his new series with Keith Giffen, Infinity Man and the Forever People. Then they pivot to talk about two great starting-point issues in the middle of series runs: Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson's Astro City #13, and Ian Flynn and Jamal Peppers' Mega Man #37.
Put as succinctly as possible, the Forever People are a bunch of space hippies with individual powers and gimmicks, but when they're in trouble they can combine to form the Infinity Man, who is a gestalt organism. First introduced in 1971, they are part of Jack Kirby's expansive Fourth World tapestry of "New Gods" characters and comics, and the focus of a new collaboration between storyteller Keith Giffen and co-writer Dan DiDio, creators of the New 52's last major Kirby revival, the short-lived OMAC.
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