Monday, June 16, 2008

DC: Ouch

Y'know, I'm no fan of Dan Didio's version of the DC Universe, but I've often felt that he gets unnecessarily personal attacks from a segment of fandom. "Dan Didio Must Die" was, and is still, an over-reaction to not liking the dude's work in comics, even if it is meant to be a riff on the stupid "Jimmy Olsen Must Die" promos that Didio's DC cooked up.

However, as a fan and a retailer who would: A) Like to enjoy more DC Comics and B) Like to sell more DC Comics, I think it's pretty clear that Didio's guidance is driving DC into the ground. I mean, if you just look at this:

Chuck Dixon gives Didio both barrels

Well, that's one thing. But when, on the same day, you get this:

May Sales Charts

Which show that Final Crisis #1 was outsold by a pretty large margin by Secret Invasion *#2*, not to mention Marvel continuing to absolutely *dominate* DC in terms of dollar share (43% to 28%, rounding generously) and unit share (47% to 30%, again rounding generously in DC's favor), well...

I'm just saying if I were Didio, I'd be more than a little bit nervous about how much more rope they're going to let me have before they use it to hang me.

From a link by Heidi on The Beat, we've got this rundown of possible replacements, along with the news (well, it was news to me) that Didio's contract expires in a year.

None of these candidates look particularly great to me as a replacement (except Schreck, who is a, no pun intended, dark horse candidate. I'd actually *love* to see what Schreck would do in the big chair.) And a lot of the speculation is pure crazytalk, even in the insane industry that is comics. Other than Schreck, not one of the "in" comics crowd looks even remotely realistic, as they either wouldn't want the job or aren't likely to be offered it for political reasons, and the rundown of past talent seems to ignore how much comics companies *never* give their older talent a leg back up. Shooter? Even if he hadn't just left/been ousted from Legion, does anyone think he's someone the suits are going to pick to run the company? Len Wein? Marv Wolfman? Gerry Conway? These guys, however talented and probably suited for the job given their experience, are the old guard, and the last thing DC wants to do is continue to promote the image of "old man DC" in contrast to "hip young Marvel."

Heidi notes that one of the names she's heard isn't on the list. I'm very curious what name that is.

Is Karen Berger an impossibility? Vertigo may not be a sales juggernaut these days, but Berger is a proven talent magnet and a smart editor. What about John Rogers, as another dark horse candidate? True, his comics experience is limited (but Didio's comics experience when he got the job was co-writing a Superboy book with Palmiotti), but he's a TV guy and a newly crowned showrunner... which might put him in the "would be a pay cut" position. But the thought of Rogers bringing the planning and storytelling magic that he brought to Blue Beetle to the larger world of the DC Universe... ah, now that's a dream casting.

Going to be some interesting gossip at San Diego this year.

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