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Old 02-23-2020, 08:02 PM   #51
Trey Strain
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Dan DiDio is a very smart and knowledgeable man. He just got consumed by the goofy idea that he could sell more comics by flushing protagonists who were straight white males and replacing them with characters who were not straight white males.

Even though there was not one shred of supporting evidence anywhere for this. In fact, it just seemed to alienate comics buyers. And quite severely too.

He assumed it to be true simply because he wanted it to be true, and he clung to it for years, despite suffering one rebuff after another over it.

He seems to have thought, "Sooner or later the readers will wake up and see how right I am."

He should have flushed decompressed storytelling instead, and left that shit to Marvel. They invented it, and it worked back when comics cost 12 cents.

Maybe his successors will figure that out. But don't get your hopes up.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:38 PM   #52
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The thing is, white male adults who want to buy comics are a dwindling resource. The old ones are literally dying out, and the younger generation is too consumed with electronics and other hobbies. If you want to keep comic books relevant, you have to appeal to somebody else. Just not at the expense of the fanbase you already have. I believe that Marvel's successes with Kamala Khan, Miles Morales and DC's popular-at-the-time Jaime Reyes have paved the way for more attempts at hooking other strata. And when it works, it works. But a blanket campaign across all titles all at once is biting off more than anyone could chew. It's what cost Axel Alonso his job at Marvel. At one time, his writers and artists had replaced Steve Rogers AND Thor AND Tony Stark AND Banner AND Logan AND Ghost Rider. All at once. And while every single one of these stories on its own was great, I read and loved them all, there was no safe space left at all for less progressive readers. It's okay to throw pasta against the wall to see what sticks, but you need to have a backup plan. Not every superhero identity can handle Clint Barton and Kate Bishop sharing the name, and we're beyond breaking point for Green Lanterns from Earth.

I can't blame Didio for trying something new. But from my point of view, he botched the execution of it all.
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:09 PM   #53
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DiDio was correct that the comics market is aging out and dwindling. What he should have done though was try to recruit more customers from the demographic that has contributed the vast majority of the buyers. He should have focused his resources on younger white males, instead of on EVERYBODY BUT white males.

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Old 02-23-2020, 10:24 PM   #54
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When Xbox and Playstation went after the same gamers who had bought their previous consoles, Nintendo marketed the Wii exclusively at people who have never owned a video game before in their lives. Senior citizens. Kids. Yes, they had the meaty games like Twilight Princess and Super Mario Kart, but it was Wii Sports, Wii Play and games like those that got all the attention. Nintendo called it the "Blue Ocean" strategy. Fishing where nobody else is fishing. The Wii became their most successful console since the Game Boy and beat both the PS3 and the Xbox360.
Alonso and Didio both tried that approach, with the mindset that us comic bros would buy Justice League and Batman anyway. But they both forgot to market the books outside of the existing fanbases. And word of mouth can only get you so far.
But DC has a multiverse. There's no reason to believe that they can only support one "main" universe, with others at a series each, tops. They could easily have three different main universes, one for the Silver Age heroes, one for the 5G generation, and one for their Earth One books or whatever. And then see what sticks. And then merge them in the next Crisis 10 years down the road, with the knowledge of what has a fanbase and what doesn't.
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:02 PM   #55
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And now the "DiDio kicked Liefeld's dog" compendium:













Jesus. Didiot sleep with Liefeld's Mom or something?
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:05 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Trey Strain View Post
DiDio was correct that the comics market is aging out and dwindling. What he should have done though was try to recruit more customers from the demographic that has contributed the vast majority of the buyers. He should have focused his resources on younger white males, instead of on EVERYBODY BUT white males.
Agreed. As Cheryl said in her tweet to still try to reach out to other demographics, but not at the expense of your current demographic. This is why Marvel and DC sales have been dwindling. They've been determined to drive away the people who have been supporting you for demographics that may never support you for various reasons.
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:45 PM   #57
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Maybe political correctness and a craving to shout "Diversity!" short-circuited his common sense. Anyone should recognize that the most effective way to bolster a market of aging white males is probably to seek younger white males as their replacements. And if you insist on pursuing other demographics, you should possess some data that support such a counter-intuitive use of your limited resources. He never saw any such data because there's none to see.
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Old 02-24-2020, 12:10 AM   #58
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The weird thing about DiDio, though, was that he backed this weird stuff, but he was also a main force at bringing back Hal and Barry specifically at the expense of Kyle and Wally. So, on the one hand he's like "chuck it all out" and on the other he's a little precious about the Silver Age.
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Old 02-24-2020, 12:18 AM   #59
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Yeah, I never got that. How do you get from "We can't have Wally as the Flash, because his origin would be too complicated" to "Psych, Wally is Doctor Manhattan now!"?
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Old 02-24-2020, 03:35 AM   #60
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Yeah, I never got that. How do you get from "We can't have Wally as the Flash, because his origin would be too complicated" to "Psych, Wally is Doctor Manhattan now!"?
Because they don't care about him. And you can be sure when the smoke clears on Doctor Wally, he'll be even worse off than he was before.
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Old 02-24-2020, 04:15 AM   #61
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The weird thing about DiDio, though, was that he backed this weird stuff, but he was also a main force at bringing back Hal and Barry specifically at the expense of Kyle and Wally. So, on the one hand he's like "chuck it all out" and on the other he's a little precious about the Silver Age.
Several sites are reporting that he was indeed fired, which really rubs me the wrong way. Unless he did something unknown that was unprofessional, a veteran employee and ambassador for the industry shouldn't have been unceremoniously dumped.
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Old 02-24-2020, 12:46 PM   #62
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Several sites are reporting that he was indeed fired, which really rubs me the wrong way. Unless he did something unknown that was unprofessional, a veteran employee and ambassador for the industry shouldn't have been unceremoniously dumped.
Yeah, judging by those tweets, that seems to be what’s really getting at a lot of the creators—-not that he shouldn’t have been moved on but that it could have been done in a much classier way.
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:37 PM   #63
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Several sites are reporting that he was indeed fired, which really rubs me the wrong way. Unless he did something unknown that was unprofessional, a veteran employee and ambassador for the industry shouldn't have been unceremoniously dumped.
Given recent attitudes of comic book writers, artists and editors I wouldn't be surprised if it was done this to send a message that they are not above the industry and that are easily replaceable.
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Old 02-24-2020, 02:20 PM   #64
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Lot of stuff in this ComicsBeat article, reccomemd everyone read it but here's the most pertinent part:
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How did Dan DiDio last so long when he was wildly controversial? My understanding is that, abrasive and mercurial as he could be, in the past he was seen as an irreplaceable figure, manning the steering wheel of the good ship DCU with a knowledge of the seas that no one else had.

While he and Publisher Jim Lee were the two captains, in recent years, Lee was often working on supplemental projects like DC Universe and video games. In their final ICv2 chat, or DC publisher panels, you could see a bit of where their different interests lay.

But it was always clear that the DCU, and the periodical market, was DiDio’s passion. If I could go back in time, one of the things that I would do (besides buy real estate in the 90s) is get a recording of a panel I did at the first or second NYCC called “Is The Periodical Doomed?” which featured me, DiDio, retailer Brian Hibbs and Nickelodeon editor Dave Roman. I can always hear DiDio’s words echoing in my head: “I’m a pamphlet man.” He may have said “I’m a periodical guy” – that’s why I wish I had a recording – but the meaning was clear.

DiDio loved the comic book format and specifically DC comic books. And over the year he oversaw DC, he was the singular driving force behind what you picked up on the stands, for better or worse. Call it passion…call it micro-managing.

It was a tumultuous, drama filled journey – but one that forged the kind of relationships that only drama can create. If the outpouring of emotion of DiDio’s departure on twitter showed anything, it was that he truly had forged a bond of friendship with a lot of creators, and championed a lot of today’s biggest stars – and not always the ones you would have expected.
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No matter how many times DiDio was promoted, he continued to micro-manage the DCU. I don’t think you’re going to be too shocked to learn that behind the scenes, planning for the 5G reboot/retcon/ultimate hypertime was incredibly stressful. DiDio started his own teaser roll outlast year with sneak peeks at wall charts, and hints on panels and leaks, familiar methods DiDio had used to tease previous crises. For the editorial staff, however, this was a series of constantly changing ideas, reassignments, and what turned into a hostile work environment. Although retailers may have fingered Scott Snyder as part of the coup, I’m told this was formal internal complaints that had reached a boiling point.

In recent months, morale had plummeted even more amid frequent shake ups in responsibilites. were the increasingly frequent departures. Editor Pat McCallum, who had just been made head of the whole DCU, quit in a rather sudden fashion. (I’m told he went away for Thanksgiving and then just gave notice.) Most recently, Alex Antone quit, taking a job at Skybound.

It appears that the 5G chaos was finally enough to seal DiDio’s fate. The idea of swapping out new heroes for the older ones got a lot of pushback – especially as DC’s movie slate is gearing back up with Wonder Woman 84 and a new Batman. In addition, the whole Bat Penis Crisis left DiDIo with a black mark with Warner/AT&T’s new executive structure.

No one appears to know why the move was so sudden. As of earlier this week, Dan DiDio and Jim Lee were offered to press outlets as interview subjects at next week’s C2E2 and were slated to spear on a Meet the Publishers Panel there (now it will just be Lee.)

The timing during the ComicsPRO meeting was also awkward. Unlike last year’s dramatic presentation by DiDio, there were only two DC folks at the show, Vince Letterio and Adam Philips. DC’s planned hour presentation was cancelled, and Letterio and Phillips learned of DiDio’s departure by reading it online at the event. The reaction among retailers, I’m told, was “shock and awe.”

However, one also gets the feeling that this was a desperate, last minute surgical strike: the rollout to retailers of the complete 5G plan would have made these plans much more solid, and much more difficult to alter.

Will there even be a 5G now? And what will it be? No one I’ve talked to knows yet.

Will DiDio be replaced? No one at DC has any idea. For now, Jim Lee remains the sole Publisher. Bob Harras also remains as Editor in Chief, a position most people forget about since he keeps such a low public profile. That may change in the days ahead.

This shock is still fresh. The narrative of the last few months at DC will emerge to the public in some fashion in the days to come. For now, its safe to say that aside from the big bang of Ultimates, no one had as much effect on the course of periodical comics over the last two decades as Dan DiDio. He was an innovator and a trailblazer – one whose decisions often upset many people, both colleagues and readers. But he had a vision. The vision included harboring known sexual harassers and thinking it was fine if an entire gender was barred from working with certain editors, and a lot of other troubling things that will be assessed in the years to come. But he was the difference maker.

Last edited by Hypo; 02-24-2020 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 02-24-2020, 04:28 PM   #65
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Comics writers who bitch about being "micromanaged," as Steven Grant does, are usually smug people who have inflated opinions of their talents and want to shift the blame to higher-ups for their greatness not being obvious to all.
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Old 02-24-2020, 04:31 PM   #66
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Given recent attitudes of comic book writers, artists and editors I wouldn't be surprised if it was done this to send a message that they are not above the industry and that are easily replaceable.
I'm sure they had sufficient reason to dismiss him. But yes, a lot of funny-book pros have massive egos and would be shocked to learn that their going away wouldn't destroy the industry.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:23 PM   #67
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I feel Bad for Dan. I was at a megacon talking to a artist,and he had something he wanted to say to him. Dan spent the next 20 minutes apologizing to me for interrupting our conversation for 2 seconds. Dan was a class act.

He was not without his flaws. He wanted a solid continuity. This is a huge mistake. When you have Timeless characters,you don't worry about how old they are.

Of course the SJW stuff didn't help. I am not enthused about Lee taking over. IT looks like it is about over for DC.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:28 PM   #68
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The way I kind of look at it, with Dan gone there is at least the CHANCE that the DC comics will improve. With him still there, there was only the guaratnee that they would not.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:34 PM   #69
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The way I kind of look at it, with Dan gone there is at least the CHANCE that the DC comics will improve. With him still there, there was only the guaratnee that they would not.
Apparently many people at DC thought 5G would destroy the comics. From what's been teased about it, they seem to have been right.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:56 PM   #70
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I wasn't interested in it. I don't know any one who was. After "all new all different Marvel" This is not the route I would have gone. Unless it was to use replacement heroes for a while to make people miss the classics.
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:49 AM   #71
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Old 02-25-2020, 05:09 AM   #72
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Yeah, judging by those tweets, that seems to be what’s really getting at a lot of the creators—-not that he shouldn’t have been moved on but that it could have been done in a much classier way.
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Given recent attitudes of comic book writers, artists and editors I wouldn't be surprised if it was done this to send a message that they are not above the industry and that are easily replaceable.
Creative people are going to butt heads, especially when deadlines and money are factored into the environment. Perhaps it was time to give someone else more influence over DC's creative direction, but one of the worst things that can happen to a work environment is for employees to feel threatened and unappreciated. There had to be another way to go about this like giving Didio another role or giving him the chance to finish up, then celebrate his time at DC. I'm assuming that someone at AT&T made this call, and it could backfire if top talents start to get the impression that DC is a toxic place where people are instantly disposable.
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Old 02-29-2020, 05:42 PM   #73
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C2E2 '20: JIM LEE Spotlight Panel
Quote:
"Hello, everybody," Lee said. "Hear any good rumors lately that I should address?"

Lee: TO address some of the stuff that is out there, there's rumors.. speculation. I wouldn't put any credence into it. DC has been around for 85 years, and we'll be around for another 85 years. I hope to be doing this panel in 85 years."

Lee: We're a huge important. We've been with Warner Bros. for decades. The actual strategy for DC is to put publishing at center of what we do. It's the engine of all the movies, tv, cartoons, we do. And so its my intent going forward as THe Publisher, to lean into collective years of my team.

Lee: There's a ton of people. We all work together. The collective years of experience is around 120 to 150, and we know business inside and out. Rest asured, company is in great hands.

Lee: It's hard to talk about things we haen't announced. Intention not to do a line-wide reboot. Is our focus in talking to editorial team, is to continue what we've done best: Character-driven stories, pairing right creators on right characters, and developing charaters that are inclusive and diverse

Lee: When I started at CCO about 18 months ago, I was introduced to a big person who ran another WB division. I thought I had to mind what I say, and had all this pressure running around my head. This person basically looked at me and said 'Welcome to the team. We're going to have a lot fun.' That's the perfect thing to say to someone, and it really reminded me of our true mission. We're telling stories about characters who can fly, and go to cool dimensions. This should be fun.

Lee; So I want to share that with all of you guys. If you are new to DC, I want to welcome you to the team and we're going to have a lot of fun
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Old 02-29-2020, 07:26 PM   #74
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That must have been SO awkward for him to deliver that bullshit speech in front of all those people. None of them believed a word of it if they had half a brain in their heads.
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Old 03-01-2020, 02:54 AM   #75
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"The actual strategy for DC is to put publishing at center of what we do."

Since when? They've had the movies leading the comics for YEARS now.
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