With story after story last week proclaiming doom for DC Comics, many readers feared that the company might abandon its commitment toward diversity, eschewing "Batgirling" for the "meat and potatoes" of its 2011 Nu52 line-wide reboot. Despite the fact that DC's shift from an entire publishing strategy seemingly devised by Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns playing with his action figures to one that takes risks, explores new territory, and attempts to expand the readership rather than catering to the same dwindling fanbase has not helped the company close the gap on competitor Marvel in sales, the company remains focused on its goal, and Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan Didio see a bright future in store for DC Comics.
Lee described the creative process since moving to Burbank as positive, largely thanks to all the meetings. "So much of what we do is done between meetings or walking to a meeting or in impromptu gatherings where we pull people together because we have an idea," said Lee, describing three slightly different kinds of meetings. "Now that we're all together, there's a great deal of collaboration and synergy that's happening due to having everyone under one roof."
Didio reaffirmed the company's commitment to DC You, a publishing initiative in which DC attempts to target diverse audiences by putting out a wide range of comics, many of which court audiences other than the company's previous target of forty-year old men. "If you're trying to build a fan base, a new audience, you've got to nurture it. You've got to take your time. You've got to take your losses," DiDio said. When he's not around to nurture the fan base personally, Didio uses a breast pump to produce and store comic fan base nourishment, which he keeps in the office fridge. "One time, Bob Harras found his way into my supply of comics nourishment, and he was sick for a week."
"Okay, more than one time," Didio admitted. But as for DC You, Didio has faith that if he throws enough of it at the wall, something will eventually stick. "Sooner or later, it's going to take hold and hopefully be a leader in the business. Right now, our goal is to try and feed out as much product that's as different as possible to try and attract the widest audience possible."
While Didio views comic book publishing in an oddly food-focused manner, Lee has a more pragmatic approach, likely developed over the course of many meetings of several varieties. "We had some hits, we have some things that are under-performing," Lee admitted, brushing Didio aside when Didio tried to cut in with a metaphor about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. "What we (did) in June is definitely step one towards this sort of transformation of the (comics) line. And I think that story is still being written."
"That's good," Didio interjected. "I've got some last minute changes."
"Can we talk about it over a meeting," Lee asked?
"A lunch meeting," Didio agreed. "For some reason, I'm really hungry."