Monday, August 26, 2013

Dan DiDio at Lehigh Valley Comic-Con

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Shrine Correspondent Joe Slab had the opportunity to chat with DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio over the weekend at the Lehigh Valley Comic-Con. Here's his write-up of his time with the always-engaging Mr. DiDio!

It was a huge pleasure speaking with DC's Dan DiDio on Saturday without having to travel hours to do so! Located in Schnecksville PA, the LVCC is a small event with a just few hundred people in attendance and is mob-free when compared to the more famous 'cons around. Dan arrived sans entourage, mingling unassumingly throughout the vendors for quite a while before taking a seat at his meet & greet table on the show floor. Upon finding him available to talk, I knelt down on one knee in front of his table so as to be at eye-level and my first question to Dan was "Why are you here and not in Canada (at Fan Expo '13)?" Dan chuckled and shared that he loves to attend smaller venues like LVCC too in order to interact with fans locally and also that he planned to make an additional stop to meet with a local comics retailer in Allentown later in the day. Very cool Dan, very cool.

I proceeded to re-introduce myself and reminded Dan about the Aquaman Shrine (we had talked a few years ago at a NYCC) as well as informing him of our ever-growing readership to which he replied "I am well aware [of the Shrine]" and began to share that there's a big storyline planned for Aquaman after the "Death Of A King" arc, one which will detail major developments for the Sea King within the larger DC Universe! Dan was visibly excited while talking and with his next breath, caught himself saying "I want to tell you, but I can't. It will cause some fans anxiety...and others will be concerned..." We both laughed and I assured him that Aqua-fans are a resilient bunch, all the while thinking to myself "Is this all about the return of the beard?" Clearly it is not, and as long as they don't do a mind-swap between Aquaman and Black Manta I get the sense that we'll all be challenged & exited by what's ahead for Arthur and his cast...
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Moving on, I asked DD if he had brought any of DC's Villains Month lenticular motion cover issues to show off to the crowd? He had not, indicating that he'd thought about doing so but joked that he was worried about security issues. For those of you not following the comics news headlines, DC's 3-D editions of its September's titles are sold out at the distributor level and highly allocated well below what retailers usually receive for corresponding monthly titles, effectively guaranteeing them immediate collector's item status. My own LCS has informed me they won't have any shelf copies of the motion covers as they're not even able to fill their subscriber pull-lists due to the limited print run. Dan explained that the print run was determined by the purchased ammount of raw material (the covers are plastic not paper stock) and that while they're truly spectacular to view, DC unfortunately cannot increase the first print runs further. *Retailers should have plenty of the non-motion cover versions of the titles on hand as DC has made them readily available as well as returnable.

Following up, I proudly mentioned to Dan that the Shrine has lined up Aquaman #23.2 Ocean Master #1 artist Geraldo Borges for an upcoming interview and upon hearing this he commented that one of the coolest thing about Villains Month is the showcasing of guest-artists without regular books. I concurred and offered that from what I've seen, DC may have another Ivan Reis on its hands with regards to Borges' amazing pencils adding that we're super-excited to hear what he's got to say in the coming weeks about drawing Ocean Master!
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Geraldo is also drawing Aquaman Annual #1 due in October and I questioned Dan about the long-rumored The Others title series to which he replied "Its getting closer..." confirming that fans would be seeing "much" more of The Others after the annual, although I am guessing not until 2014 as the November solicits have already been published and I don't see DC launching new titles at the end of the calendar year.

My final question to Mr. DiDio was if DC Entertainment plans to do an Aquaman: We Can Be Heroes fund-raising month as it has recently done with Superman and Batman through the crowd-sourcing site indiegogo? Dan replied that the idea is there and if they decide to do so it will coincide with a promotional spotlight of the character in the comics as well. Let's hope we get the chance to show our support for the WCBH cause in such a awesome manner!

I thanked Dan for his time and he reminded me that he'll be both at Baltimore Comic-Con in September and of course NYCC again in October. DC has been the target of much rumbling in the press & on the internet lately with Dan often at the epicenter, but you'd never know it from talking to the man. He comes across as incredibly personable, genuinely interested in what fans have to say, and with a palpable enthusiasm for DC's pantheon of characters that is both encouraging and inspiring.

If you are reading this Dan - thanks again for chatting, we hope to do it again soon, and as we say at the Shrine: Semper Aqua!


1 comment:

Anj said...

Great stuff.

Glad Didio both knew about the Shrine and talked so extensively.

I'm jealous on all counts because I couldn't find Didio at all in Boston.