Thursday, July 22, 2010

SDCC: DC Comics' 75th Anniversary panel

I attended the DC Comics' 75th Anniversary panel, which had amazing, amazing panelists, who got to share fun, unknown anecdotes, and "turning point moments" for the publisher and the industry. (All moderated by Paul Levitz.)

Jerry Robinson has been with DC in one form another for 70 of those 75 years. Stunning. He shared that Citizen Kane had a big creative juices-type influence on the early, intimate staff.

Mr. Robinson talked about the future of the comics from the view of the past, where he recognized foreign cultures more appreciated comic art as fine art, and needed to be preserved, and he started galleries and movements to support that.

Then on to Dennis O'Neill, whose Batman first captured me. Neat nod to Jenette Kahn, and her encouraging the DC staff to own their art form proudly, and to champion it. (He's been doing this 45 years?)

His turning point moment is the long lead recognition of comic hooks becoming mainstream and respectable.

Kahn talked about the growth of pride and craftsmanship in the industry, and Frank Miller, and Ronin.

Then to new co-publisher Jim Lee, and his 1986 excitement with DC books, though he talked in a more meta way about the political creators movement, the maturing of comics.

Lee talked about the upcoming generational shift that will make digital delivery of comics in the future very different from where they are today, and more natural in their consumption.

Dan DiDio (one of the laughy-est human beings I've ever seen) was up next, talking about his ABC days, meeting Kahn, and being more excited about the DC offices than working on things like M.A.S.H.

He talked about the original Crisis story line, and how DC let the tightly spun tale slip a bit, which did not make them as strong in the industry as they could have been if they'd "held the line".

Geoff Johns is the "new guy' from a leadership perspective, and shared his childhood passion about comics.

Johns talked about his time working with Richard Donner, and not able to get even a Green Lantern movie made, and now there are so many quality comic book movies beyond Batman and Superman - including a GL film.

(Sorry for the choppiness, but I'm trying to honor the panelists, and blogging from a phone sucks.)

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