What Lee and DiDio were really saying

201008241351 What Lee and DiDio were really saying
ICv2 has its first comprehensive interview with DC co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio since the publisher restructured in February. The interview runs in three parts. There’s a hint that some of the CMX titles that weren’t finished may get picked up by a different publisher, perhaps Dark Horse, and an acknowledgment of the need to keep prices down from DiDio:

Only 25% of our line is over $2.99.  For the amount of books that we put out, the amount of product we have out there, to be over $2.99 for just 25% I think is a good, strong indication of how we’re dedicated to try to keep the prices down. In the 4th quarter we’re going to be doing a number of reprint books at a higher price but I wouldn’t compare them to the periodicals.  I say a “halfway trade” in order to get more product in the market that people are looking for and find ways to do it.  We’re trying to hold the price as much as possible. 


There’s also this bit of character development:

One observation that we’ve heard is that a co-publisher arrangement is unusual and might be… 
Didio:  Well I’ve never been in one before!  (laughter)
 
Lee:  This is my third, and Image Comics was six co-publishers!


And finally,

Lee is enthused about the upcoming DC Universe Online MMORPG as a means of getting new readers:

Lee:  On the videogame side, I’d say DC Universe Online scheduled for November 2nd release through Sony Online Entertainment.  We plan on supporting it with a bi-weekly comic book that basically ties into the storyline that’s crafted for the game itself. 
 
You couldn’t ask for a better demographic of people that to choose from to convert to comic book readers.  These are people that are gamers and they’re going to be exposed to not just Justice League, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, they’re going to be exposed to hundreds of secondary and tertiary DC heroes and villains and probably get to know our universe better in certain ways than the comic book readers, because they’ll be going through the universe at a much quicker pace.  It would be great to be able to convert some of those gamers into readers.  Being able to sell comics digitally and also co-market through the user interface when you log into the game, these are opportunities that look particularly ripe for us. 


Finally, the BIG question of whether DC is moving to the West Coast gets evaded skillfully:

Are you going to move the New York office to California?
Didio: Me personally, no. (Laughter) I don’t pack boxes really well.

There’s a lot being explored and I can be perfectly honest about it, there is no answer on that just yet. We’re trying to find the right fit, where the right place for the company’s going to be. Again, like you said, we were just talking about Consumer Products and other divisions. Where things make the most sense is where we need to be, but we don’t want to rush any of those decisions. We want to make sure we keep everybody’s best interests in mind.


Lots more to read and parse in the links!

Comments

  1. Larry Shuput says:

    it was an interesting contrast to Paul Levitz’s interviews in years previous. Everything was very vague and softball. Not very surprising was how little Vertigo is mentioned. All they get is a very non-specific “renissance going on”. That doesn’t even qualify as a sound bite. Would not be surprised if we see a massive shake-up regarding Vertigo in the coming months.

  2. Hmmm… MMORPG…
    I look forward to the “Superman Red vs. Superman Blue” machinima!

    (Or someone making a machinima adaptation of Kevin Smith’s Superman script.)

  3. I think Didio totally shot himself in the foot when he distanced himself from the online comics arena. Cloaked in that stale “Ha, ha, I don’t even know how to set the clock on my VCR” type of luddite-lite happy talk:

    Didio (asked about how he and Lee split up their job responsibilities): “There are two things I always point to: again, like I said, I have gravitated more to the print side and Jim’s gravitated more to the digital side. I can honestly say it’s not that it doesn’t excite me, but I don’t have the level of understanding that Jim has on the digital side. He was online at seven o’clock in the morning at WonderCon to buy the iPad. I wouldn’t even think of doing that. I want no part of that!”

    Granted, if you don’t have a deep knowledge of something, you shouldn’t flat-out lie about it…but at the same time, Didio probably shouldn’t be flaunting his lack of tech-savvy…dissing the iPad, of all things. You know, that miracle machine (and its imitators) that’s supposed to bring comics back from the brink?

    Probably something that made Diane Nelson wince a little bit when she read it.

  4. Mikael says:

    He didn’t diss the iPad. He dissed the maniacs that MUST HAVE! and wait in line for hours. And if anyone is waiting for the iPad to bring comics back from the brink, you’re going to miss out on what’s going on around you.

    I only wish Joey Q and Blowvoort were scrutinized to this degree.

  5. Brenticles says:

    Mark, I disagree with the tech criticism of DiDio and find it overly harsh. DiDio and Lee have split their responsibilities to reflect their strengths, that’s the smart thing to do. They are both up front and, to me, come across as honest about how they operate; I find that refreshing. I highly doubt if his comments made anyone wince, out side of died-in-the-wool-hardcore Apple fans, that is.

  6. Good to know that I’m not the only one who noticed that little blurb about some CMX Mangas being picked up by other companies.
    http://sundaycomicsdebt.blogspot.com/2010/08/cmx-resuscitation.html

  7. “They are both up front and, to me, come across as honest about how they operate.”

    I think, as co-publisher, Didio should not give such a “hands off” impression of his involvement with the digital arena. A publisher should be expected to be knowledgeable about all aspects of their retail channels…especially a paradigm-shifting channel like digital. I dunno….from my reading, Didio came across as needlessly flip about it….mileage may vary, I guess.

  8. To me, Didio just seems like he is saying “I don’t know how the iPad stuff works, therefore I’m not going to be in that areana.”

    Besides, its not his department. Isn’t that how business works, different bosses run their different departments?

    On another topic, I hope DC moves to LA simply because I think it would help shape things up a bit.

  9. Joe Kerr says:

    “I hope DC moves to LA simply because I think it would help shape things up a bit.”

    I’m sure the employees at DC whose jobs would be lost and their lives disrupted would beg to differ.

  10. “I hope DC moves to LA simply because I think it would help shape things up a bit.”

    “I’m sure the employees at DC whose jobs would be lost and their lives disrupted would beg to differ.”

    Ditto on that, and also I think it may change the whole feel of DC which has always been it’s differencial from Disn…sorry…Marvel.

    Intangible but there for me.

  11. thequestion says:

    happy about the 2.99 bit. the majority of their 3.99 books are extrasized which takes almost all the sting away (though with some of their new launches, they appear to be regressing on this point, which is distressing.)

    disappointed not to read anything about any big new creator signings. how long can geoff johns and grant morrison do all the heavy lifting?

  12. brenticles says:

    ““I hope DC moves to LA simply because I think it would help shape things up a bit.”

    “I’m sure the employees at DC whose jobs would be lost and their lives disrupted would beg to differ.”

    Ditto on that, and also I think it may change the whole feel of DC which has always been it’s differencial from Disn…sorry…Marvel.

    Intangible but there for me.”

    The move would be a zero sum game. There are plenty of people out of work in Cali that their lives would be made much better to be working for DC. DC will be making the decision based on what’s best for the company as a whole in the long term, not how is disrupts, or benefits, employees in the short term.

    And no matter where DC is located they (company & comics) will always have a whole different feel than Marvel.

  13. With parent Companies WB and DISNEY situated in California, doesn’t it make business sense to draw in their latest acquisitions to the existing corporate campus?

    In DC/WB’s case: the fact that Lee, Johns and Nelson are ALREADY West Coasters (with Didio the odd New Yorker), such a move seemingly is in the bag… not a matter of “if”, but “when”?

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