Zona Negativa interviews Dan Didio


    This is the original interview we made to Dan Didio, we think it would be interesting for american readers to leave it also in English, we apologize if you don’t understand some question, as you can read English is not our natural languages and we have made some mistakes writting it.

    We also want to thanks to Dan Didio for answer patienly all the questions we sent to him.

    Now we leave you with the interview.

    Zona Negativa.- You have a background in TV. What have you brought with you from your experiences there to incorporate in your work with DC Comics?

    Dan Didio.- DC’s Publisher Paul Levitz likes to say that I bring a Television programming mentality to the way I approach the DC Universe, in that I work the entire line a books to tell one grand story that continues to unfold over time. I like to think I also bring a sense of teamwork in regards to how the editors, writers and artists interact. It is not dissimilar how a group of writers would work together on a television series.

    ZN.- And what specific characteristics have you discovered in the comic-book medium?

    DD.- The alchemy of mixing the right writer with the right artist with the right character and creating gold.

    ZN.- The diversity of genres in the USA “comic” world has been lost since Dr. Werham present his theories. Now, it seems that the success of manga is related to its thematic variety. Would you try with new genres?

    DD.- while my primary focus is on action adventure “super-hero” storytelling, DC Comic’s other imprints Vertigo and Wildstorm continue to explore other styles of storytelling and find ways to push the envelope in regards to content and format.

    ZN.- Do you think that exclusivity agreements are beneficial for the comic-book industry?

    DD.- I do think they are good for all involved in the industry. It allows the company to build a strong talent base allowing consistency in quality, and it gives the talent a sense of stability and security. That being said, I don’t think all the talent working for DC should be exclusive, a steady influx of new writers and artists allows you freshen things up and the flexibility to makes changes in the creative teams when necessary.

    ZN.- Who are your favorite authors and characters? Which are your favorite Superman, Batman and WW’s eras?

    DD.- Growing up you could trace my favorite authors from Jules Verne, to HG Wells to present day with Stephen King. I also have several comic authors I would consider favorites too, some of which we am working with today.
    As for favorites era’s in comics, I started reading comics regularly in 1972, and like most things, it’s those firsts you remember most and enjoy best.

    ZN.- The new “Crisis” has awaken enormous expectations in the public. A lot of readers want to congratulate you on your promotion campaign involving limited series and related events.

    People are more than ever keen to read DC comic-books. Some people compare this excitement waiting for this “Crisis” with the month prior to the release of Star Wars: Episode I. From there, a mountain of questions arise:
    The introduction of the word “Crisis” creates the feeling of deep changes in the DCU structure. If this is the case, are they so essential?

    DD.- DC has a long and wonderful history with the word Crisis. The word creates great expectations and it’s my job to make sure that those expectations are met.

    ZN.- If the intention is to repair something, where’s the problem? Unresolved incoherence during the first “Crisis” or the development of post-crisis DCU itself?

    DD.- You can only repair something if it is broken, there is nothing broken about the DC Universe.

    ZN.- Now are you consciously laying down foundations for something long-lasting? Are you creating a “guide book” for the authors to come regarding what can and cannot be done or on the contrary do you believe that recreation always form part of the superheroes cycle.

    DD.- The greater the story the greater the chance it has for long term ramifications, it is my hope that with INFINITE CRISIS we create the basis for the DC Universe for the foreseeable future. It is also my hope that we create a greater cohesiveness to the universe so that it truly feels like one whole universe.

    ZN.- Are you going to return to the Multiverse?

    DD.- Did I mention how I like the feel of one whole universe?

    ZN.- Which things about Infinite Crisis existed in the beginning and which are improvised?

    DD.- That’s a question I can answer when the story is over because we always want to have the option to change directions if the story starts to take us in a new course.

    ZN.- How did something such as OMAC/SACRIFICE occur if everything was well planned from the beginning?

    DD.- That part of the story was mostly driven by Greg Rucka, and Greg is a meticulous planner and storyteller. And since the controversial climax of the story involved one of our most iconic characters, we had to take the time to make sure the story was told properly.

    ZN.- Why don’t characters like Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, Tim Hunter and others participate in IC? Do they live within DCU although they are published by Vertigo? “American Gothic” was the best first Crisis’ “spin-off”. Will IC have consequences for Constantine and the rest of Vertigo characters that are DCU origin?

    DD.- Simply put, once those characters moved completely to Vertigo, and were printed under a mature label, we could not, as responsible publishers, cross them over into unlabeled series.

    ZN.- Looking back retrospectively would you have changed anything about IC to improve?

    DD.- Sometimes I wish we had more time to get the books done so I didn’t have to put everyone under some level on insane pressure. However, the quality of the material has exceeded all my expectations.

    ZN.- Is JLA-Avengers crossover related to this New Crisis?

    DD.- JLA/Avengers is a special event that stands unto itself.

    ZN.- Will Wally West die? Will Bart Allen be the new Flash? A lot of people think that it’d be the wrong decision.

    DD.- Any change, and I’m not saying anything changes, yet, brings a level of concern. I have to hope that the fans are enjoying what we are doing and will stick with us for the long and exciting ride ahead.

    ZN.- What would you tell to the people that think that it is a lack of respect to kill and resurrect characters?

    DD.- Character deaths and their returns from the dead have long been a staple of comic book storytelling, I see no reason to change that. But it is our job to make sure that those stories are told in the best manner possible so that these moments matter.

    ZN.- What plans exist under the Batman license and which approach will you take with him? The best detective in the world? Something more similar to the Nolan movie?

    DD.- The last couple of years we have spent de-constructing the world in which Batman operates, coming out Crisis you’ll see a Batman with a renewed focus to the primary goals of his mission.

    ZN.- It has been said that the secret identities will be more prominent in this new post-crisis DCU. What do you think about Christian Bale’s statements when he said that Wayne is Batman’s disguise?

    DD.- You argue that Bruce Wayne “died” along with his parents in Crime Alley but I don’t believe either character can function without the other. They are two halves of a whole working toward a single purpose, the elimination of crime in Gotham City.

    ZN.- Is there room for a sidekick alongside someone so dark?

    DD.- Sure, especially when the Batmobile is a two-seater.

    ZN.- What certainty is there in the rumors surrounding Dick Grayson taking the mantle of Batman?

    DD.- Yes, I agree, there are certainly rumors surrounding the thought that Dick will replace Bruce as Batman.

    ZN.- Now that it is known that will appear a new comic book of Batwoman, will continue appearing Batgirl or will you cancelled it? In case you continue it, will be Cassandra Cain behind the mask of Batgirl?

    DD.- A Batwoman book? Never announced that. You know something we don’t know?

    ZN.- Could you explain which will be the ultimate origin of Superman, Byrne’s one or Mark Waid’s? Could we have X-Men without Xavier? Could we have a Legion without Superboy?

    DD.- There are several derivations of the Superman origin with the Byrne and Waid ones being the most recent. Coming out of Crisis we will be leaning towards “Birthright” since we will have re-established that our Superman is the Silver Age incarnation.

    ZN.- Will the relaunched Wonder Woman be Diana or Donna? Would Diana’s more aggressive attitude be her doom?

    DD- I can only answer, keep reading.

    ZN.- Will we see top authors and characters running for long periods in the series?

    DD.- I believe that creators should stay with characters as long as they have good stories to tell.

    ZN.- JLA is by definition the team that unites the most famous DC heroes. In the phases in which this was forgotten – JLDetroit or JLI post-Giffen – sales dropped away. Now, in issue 119, the JLA split and many readers fear that a League of second rate characters will return with little success. What would you say to reassure them?

    DD.- Justice League of America is DC Comics premier super-team, it deserves premier talent and a number one re-launch to re-establish that this is the collection of the greatest heroes ever.

    ZN.- We think that Alan Davis went to Marvel, partly because DC no longer has interest in more “The Nail Elseworlds”. There are some characters in “Another nail” based on a project that Davis presented to DC a long time ago, Warpforce. A series about time travel and paradoxes with Amazo and Calendar Man. Davis seems to have some passion for this project. But it wasn’t possible because the DC Universe had just gone through the Crisis on Infinite Earths and time travel had been officially ruled as no longer possible. Perhaps the timing would be better now and DC could recover Davis, please?

    DD.- Alan is under contract to Marvel currently but his talent and storytelling ability is always welcome at DC Comics.

    ZN.- Ostrander’s Martian Manhunter was an incredible series. Now J’onn has disappeared. Could Ostrander go to find him?

    DD.- The mystery surrounding the disappearance of the Martian Manhunter will be resolved shortly in the pages of Infinite Crisis.

    ZN.- Will there be an Infinite Supergirls Crisis? There are a lot of characters with that name, could you put that little piece of your universe in order?

    DD.- I believe this has all been resolved and in the current DC Universe there is only one Supergirl, Kara Zor-El.

    ZN.- Projects for the Suicide Squad?

    DD.- There just may be a need for a Suicide Squad in a post Crisis DC Universe.

    ZN.- Will there be a Justice League Elite season two?

    DD.- NO plans for the team but you will see those characters popping up throughout the DCU.

    ZN.- Will there be a Breach tpb? This series is great!! Harras and Martín did fantastic work!

    DD.- While we agree that the series succeeded creatively, unfortunately, it never achieved the sales success that would allow us to consider putting out a trade.

    ZN.- Will Captain Atom return to the DCU?

    DD.- We fully expect Captain Atom to return to the DC Universe, but how he might be changes by his experiences at Wildstorm are still a mystery.

    ZN.- Could we see more about L.E.G.I.O.N or Omega Men after Rann/Thanagar War and Infinite Crisis? Where?

    DD.- All I can say is “look to the skies.”

    ZN.- Will there be another Giffen, DeMatteis and Maguire’s League?

    DD.- If the boys have another story in them we would always be interested in telling it.

    ZN.- Will there be more ALL STARS series after Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman?.

    DD.- Books like ALL STAR WONDER WOMAN are under consideration but I do not want to expand this line without having the best teams possible on board.

    ZN.- Are there any projects for a Teen Titans spin-off? Some readers say that they wouldn’t like Rob Liefeld on board.

    DD.- Given the success of the series, we are always looking at potential spin offs for TITANS. As for Rob, while we had a slight delay, there is no arguing that he loves these characters and brought his trademark energy to the pages of the book.

    ZN.- Does Guy Gardner deserve his own series or will GL Corps be his only piece of the DCU. Any projects for Kyle Ryner?

    Guy will be an important part of the new GREEN LANTERN CORPS series planned and you will be able to catch Kyle in that book and in the new ION series.

    ZN.- Could you tell us why the 90% of the dc’s characters use underwear above the cloth? (this is not a stupid question even though it seems). Isn’t time yet for more modern costumes?

    DD.- These are iconic characters not only in what they represent but also in how they appear.

    ZN.- Any projects for new Elseworlds?

    DD.- Nothing planned at this time.

    ZN.- Will you do more crossovers with Marvel?

    DD.- I think that both companies are running on all cylinders, I don’t see any need to cross things over at this time.

    ZN.- What’s your opinion about Marvel nowadays?

    DD.- They are the number one company, ‘nuff said.

    ZN.- What should Marvel offer to you to contract your services?

    DD.- I don’t see any reason why they should, they have a great management and staff, besides I have enough to keep me busy for quite a while.

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    Naci en Sabadell (Barcelona) en 1978 aunque siempre he vivido en Barbera del Vallés. Mi afición por los cómics de superhéroes se comenzó a gestar en el momento en que mi profesor de EGB, Joan, me dejó algunos números de Clásicos Marvel que contenían las historias: La muerte del Capitán Stacy, La muerte de Gwen Stacy y La última cacería de Kraven. Desde ese momento me convertí en fan absoluto de Spiderman y por extensión de Marvel Comics. Con el paso de los años aprendí a paladear el buen cómic sea cual sea la editorial, el personaje o autor. En 1999 fundé Zona Negativa como el rincón donde hablar de aquello que me apasionaba, el resto es historia.
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