Publishers Press Breakfast
Amidst tables full of Rubik’s cubes, coffee, bacon and eggs, DC Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee officially kicked off San Diego Comic-Con with their annual “State of the Union" press breakfast, hosted by DC All Access' Tiffany Smith. Dan and Jim spoke to Tiffany about DC’s successful start to the year, citing publishing highlights such as DARK NIGHTS: METAL, Geoff Johns’ DOOMSDAY CLOCK, Tom King’s unparalleled success on BATMAN and MISTER MIRACLE, and the debut of Brian Michael Bendis on ACTION COMICS and SUPERMAN.
The theme of the press breakfast was “Solving the Puzzle: A Book for Every Reader,” and the Publishers described to Tiffany their strategy of building on their current publishing successes by creating new stories to keep the core audience engaged, such as September’s HEROES IN CRISIS, the JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK/WONDER WOMAN event THE WITCHING HOUR in October and November’s ELECTRIC WARRIORS miniseries. The Publishers also confirmed that November will see the debut of Grant Morrison’s THE GREEN LANTERN, with art by Liam Sharp.
New Storytellers are also part of mix and the Publishers spoke about the recent announcement of celebrated writer G. Willow Wilson joining artist Cary Nord as the new creative team on WONDER WOMAN this November. Dan and Jim also announced that Kelly Sue DeConnick would be joining artist Robson Rocha on AQUAMAN beginning in December. Revitalizing imprints like DC Vertigo, led by Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman Universe and developing new imprints like DC Black Label, with daring, intense and provocative stories like BATMAN: DAMNED by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo.
Taking DC to where new readers are is a big part of the future, according to the Publishers, whether it’s the recently announced DC UNIVERSE Digital Subscription Service to the successful launch of the 100-Page “GIANT” comic books sold in more than 3,000 Walmart stores nationwide, to the development of DC Ink and DC Zoom, two new imprints that join DC’s storied characters with some of the best writers in middle grade and young adult literature.
The breakfast concluded with a special ceremony, recognizing the major milestone of ACTION COMICS. This past April, DC published the 1000th issue of the comic that introduced the world to Superman, becoming the longest running comic book series in history. GWR adjudicator Michael Furnari was on hand to present an official certificate of achievement to the Publishers.
Meet the Publishers Panel
Later that morning, the Publishers appeared to a packed house to talk to fans, echoing this morning's sentiments to fans about giving the core fans content that will keep them engaged, as well as talking about new imprints, new stories and new storytellers. Fans quickly received a special treat when they were shown a sizzle trailer for the new DC Black Label imprint. Focusing on daring and provocative storytelling, this new imprint will be lead by well-known storytellers, including Brian Azzarello, writer of BATMAN: DAMNED with artist Lee Bermejo. Azzarello was on hand to talk about working with Bermejo and teased some early details about what fans can expect when the three issue series debuts on September 19.
The Batman “theme” continued when writer/artist Marc Silvestri appeared on the panel to talk about a project that he’s had in the works for several years, BATMAN/THE JOKER: THE DEADLY DUO. Silvestri talked a little about the challenges of writing a Batman book that teams him up with his most dangerous foe. BATMAN wasn’t alone on the panel, Dan and Jim gave fans some early information on incoming AQUAMAN writer Kelly Sue DeConnick plans when she takes on the title in December.
Dan shared with fans (Scottish accent included) his joy over talking with writer Grant Morrison about coming in as new writer of THE GREEN LANTERN in November, but there was a bonus surprise for the guests as artist Liam Sharp came onto the panel to talk about what it’s like to work with Grant on these new adventures of Hal Jordan.