Last night on the Drink And Draw YouTube channel, Dan DiDio and Joe Quesada joined Dan Panosian, Jeff Johnson, Dave Johnson and Ben Defeo to drink and draw. The conversation was naturally dominated by Joe and Dan, and they talked about the last time they met socially, and the challenges publishing mainstream superhero comic books. It brought up everything from continuity, consistency and leading the charge. DiDio repeatedly praised Marvel Comics for getting things right, and how he tried to draw from Marvel when he was publisher of DC. There's a lot to enjoy.
DiDio talked about how, as a publisher, they did not spend the same amount of energy on Year Two of the New 52 reboot than for Year One. The New 52 launched in 2011 and rebooted the entire DC Universe. It reduced everything that had previously happened into five years, junking characters and storylines, removing marriages, and redesigning characters. It was a new start for many, with some notable runs including Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo on Batman, JH Williams on Batwoman and Grant Morrison on Action Comics. But not everything went as smoothly. DiDio talks it out.
"We spent a good six to eight months on Year One, rethinking designs, characters, villains, so it all made sense. As things progressed, moving quicker, we spent less time on development. By the time we get into the third year, we're just dusting things off and dropping them in, not making sense, You feel the wheels coming off the cart. We get to Rebirth, we reinstitute some of the things we felt were missing, but also put in things that made you want to revamp the line in the first place, and things got stagnant again."
That fans always asked "does this book matter" but that "the only way they matter is if they are doing something that makes a change, moves away from the core" and that can upset people. This is, however, why you need stops and starts to refocus. There's an hour-and-a-half of this stuff, and it takes an hour before they get to talking about Tiger King. Enjoy…