DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan Didio held court at the Sunday Conversations With Dan Didio panel at New York Comic Con today, and the executive addressed the issues that have been plaguing DC Comics lately: creator walkoffs, treatment of female and minority characters, and marriage in comics.
Asked about the company's many public creator walkoffs and creative team changes, Didio dismissed the idea that the walkoffs were uncommon, and again pushed blame on social media. From Bleeding Cool:
There are always going to be creators who walk off… With social media, it’s easier to get that news out… We put out 70 to 80 books a month… So there’s gonna be changes… We don’t only make good decisions, we make some bad ones, but every change we make is based on the book. Is it going to be better for the book? … We try to behave properly, but not everyone does. It’s not done maliciously. We went through a lot of changes these last few months but I am very happy with everyone working at DC right now.
Asked about Sue Dibny's rape scene in Identity Crisis, Didio called the scene powerful but respectful, forcing us to wonder what the other options were. From Newsarama:
There wasn't anybody at DC Comics that wasn't nervous about it. We wanted to do a story that was big and impactful... we feel we told that story in the way that was the most powerful way, but also the most respectful.
Later on, when it was suggested that DC's event shockers seem to always affect female, disabled, or minority characters, Didio dodged the question by saying that DC has the most female leads of any publisher.
Didio also addressed the company's stance on marriage in their books. From Newsarama:
There are rules and there are exceptions. When we speak, we have to speak in generalities... we're telling superhero stories. When comics were at their biggest peak, the personal lives of the characters were at their smallest. I don't want to read a book about a marriage. What I want to read is how people are trying to balance all the aspects of their lives. There has to be a sacrifice to being a hero - if not, why isn't everyone in this room going out and saving somebody from a burning building?
Didio went on to ask why fans wanted to rush things, suggesting that some characters might get married later. This may indicate a loosening of DC's hardline stance on marriage, with Bob Harras saying earlier this weekend (from Bleeding Cool):
We want surprises. We want things to happen that may be unexpected with romances, relationships. What we ask in general is that we don’t want any of our characters rushing into stable relationships. The only character we have married is Buddy Baker, Animal Man, and that was part and parcel of the character.
After careful consideration, we're gonna give DC a C- on their answers here. They get credit for addressing the tough questions, but blaming creator walkoffs on fans knowing about them or deflecting questions about the treatment of minority characters is the easy way out.
Oh, fuck it. It was Didio's birthday today, after all. We'll give him a C.