As the 41st San Diego Comic-Con officially kicks off today, DC Comics Co-Publisher DAN DiDIO will begin to flash his own type of superpower: Omnipresence. Judging by the schedule and his commitments, he will seemingly be everywhere at once.
In several hours, DiDio will co-host the "DC Nation Convention Kickoff." He'll also be at the 75th anniversary panel, DC Nation's "State of the Union" address and DC's "Town Hall Meeting," when not on the showroom floor or otherwise making himself available to fans.
"I just love the fan interaction," DiDio tells Comic Riffs. "With my new role at DC, I just don't get to do conventions as much, and I kinda miss the meet-and-greet part of the show. There is an energy in the room you can't help but feed off of, and just makes you want to work harder and make the books the best they can be."
DiDio, of course, is part of the mighty DC triumvirate appointed back in February, when DiDio and veteran creator Jim Lee were named co-publishers while the fanboy-beloved Geoff Johns was named chief creative officer of DC Entertainment.
So we caught up with DiDio to bring up Superman's road-tripping "reconnect-to-his-roots" storyline "Grounded"; Wonder Woman's headline-grabbing costume change; and a little film called "The Green Lantern."
MICHAEL CAVNA: Since Comic Riffs last spoke with you, you've obviously assumed the new position amid many big changes. Can you shed light on how the still-new leadership triumvirate works, and how Jim Lee, Geoff Johns and yourself are able to complement each other's talents and strengths?
DAN DiDIO: Besides working closely with two of the most talented men in the industry, it is really quite nice how all our skill sets complement each other. On the creative side Jim, Geoff and myself approach the process at artist, writer and editor, respectively. since we've all worked together in that capacity it's a very easy fit. On the executive side, Jim has be focused on expanding our business in the digital market, while Geoff is making incredibly inroads with our characters in film and television, as for me, my main focus has been keeping the print business strong and vibrant. Again a nice fit all around.
MC: Last year, you told Comic Riffs that the "World of New Krypton" storyline was one of the biggest in Superman's history. So what you do think of the brand-new Superman storyline, with the road trip to reconnect to his roots -- do you envision that as just as vital a storyline in making Superman a "must-read"?
DD: "Grounded" is the flip side of last year's "World of New Krypton" story. With "New Krypton" Superman confronted his birthright and alien heritage, and with "Grounded" he reconnects with his adopted world and country. He also comes face to face with all the people he has sworn to protect and sees firsthand how he has inspired them. It's a must-read because the story touches upon the man and the icon, and i hope it's a story that resonates in all of us.
MC: So can you tell us how the journey across the Heartland is going so far, since you whistle-stopped out of Philadelphia? Are you getting a healthy response from readers who write to tell you why Superman should come to their town?
DD: We ran a write-in contest for the people in the cities Superman is planning to visit, and given the short amount of time the contest was open, we got a great response.
MC: With J. Michael "Joe" Straczynski's story helping to spark the recent recostuming of Wonder Woman, do you think fans are re-energized about Diana Prince's place in the DC universe -- and if "Wonder Woman" comes to the big screen in several years, can you tease us with you might personally like to see don the Amazon's outfit?
DD: I am going to take a page from Joe's book on this one. We knew we wanted to change Wonder Woman's costume, but Joe gave us a story reason to change it to what you now see. I would expect a movie to do the same thing, to make a change, if necessary to make the story they want to tell best. There are certain aspects of the costume that must remain, but everything else should be open to interpretation.
MC: For the DC Nation kickoff at 'Con, you have promised an "unforgettable convention experience." Is there anything you can tease our readers with -- perhaps give us just a hint of what will make this so unforgettable?
DD: Well, I know it will be unforgettable for me. We have so much great stuff going on at DC, and this is my first convention following Blackest Night and the changes to Superman and Wonder Woman, I can't wait to here what the fans have to say firsthand.
MC: You've got the Green Lantern film and multiple Superman and Batman and Vertigo and WildStorm sessions, and chatter about T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents. Can you tell us some of the things that you, personally, are most excited about heading into this Con?
DD: Picking up from your last question, I just love the fan interaction, with my new role at DC, I just don't get to do conventions as much, and I kinda miss the meet-and-greet part of the show. There is an energy in the room you can't help but feed off of, and just makes you want to work harder and make the books the best they can be.
MC: Speaking of the Con: Would you like to see Comic-Con stay in San Diego -- or has it gotten so big that it should relocate to Anaheim, Vegas or Los Angeles? Thoughts?
DD: To me, San Diego and Comic-Con are synonymous. Besides, how much bigger does it need to be?
MC: What advice would you give a new Con-goer who wants to catch as much DC action as possible?
DD: The convention is huge with so much going on simultaneously, [it's] best to plan your days in advance. That way you get to see what you really want to see.
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