Sunday, March 28, 2010

Episode #118: MegaCon 2010 Day 2: Part I: The DC Nation Panel!

Note: This is the second of three blog posts about MegaCon, 2010, but the audio podcast on MegaCon will be a single episode. I attended MegaCon, as I said in the Day 1 post, with Jeffrey Taylor O'Brien. To read his coverage of MegaCon, click on the following links:

To see more of my photos from MegaCon 2010, click on the following link to go to my facebook MegaCon 2010 photo album:

Jeffrey and I got a little bit of a late start Saturday morning. We got to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida near the end of the Marvel panel, which I had originally wanted to attend. According to the MegaCon program, the sceduled panelists were Mike Choi, Sonia Oback, Casey Jones, Mike McKone, Greg Land, Paul Peltier, Nelson DeCastro and Dexter Vines. When we got to the panel, there were only three panelists, one of whom I would later learn was Grag Land, when I walked by his table.
Afterwards, Jeffrey and I went our separate ways in the convention hall. I went searching for a local comic book writer I had friended on facebook, who was in Artist Alley, Wayne Cordova. He is an associate pastor of Crosspoint Church in Spring Hill, Florida. He was at MegaCon to promote two comics, one of which was M.I.M.E.S. (Mobile Initiative for Muting Evil Syndicates). The artist, Harold Jennett, was not there. I bought a copy and Wayne autographed it. We had a nice conversation about comic books, podcasting , school and church. His wife coaches math teachers at a school around Spring Hill, and my wife is a secretary with the Exceptional Student Education department at our local school board. To learn more about M.I.M.E.S. go to

Jeffrey and I met for the DC Nation panel, composed of Dan Didio, Jimmy Palmiotti, Ethan Van Sciver and Tony Bedard. As the discussion got started, Dan Didio invited a couple, dressed as Green Lantern and Black Canary, to join them on the panel. After receiving some congratulations from the audience about his promotion to co-publisher, Didio joked, "Everything you like about DC, give the credit to Jim Lee; everything you don't like about DC, I'm responsible." He then mentioned that this was his first DC Nation panel, and first comic book convention, since August of 2009.

Among the topics Didio mentioned was that Superman would be appearing in his regular titles soon. The breakout Batman characters of the past year was Red Robin /Tim Drake and Damian. Grant Morrison would be writing Batman And Robin for the forseeable future. Dan also mentioned that he thought writer James Robinson pulled off a well written story with Justice League: Cry For Justice. Though the ending was shocking, it was not gratuitous, and would lead to some big changes for Green Lantern.
Ethan Van Sciver said that the conclusion of Flash: Rebirth would lead into future stories and a broader epic for The Flash.

Tony Bedard, writer of the Great 10, said that he developed the characters so that, after the end of their mini-series, other creators would be able to use them elsewhere in the DC Universe.

Jimmy Palmiotti said that what drew him to Power Girl was her voice and personality. He said that he doesn't find that every character has a distinctive voice, but she did. He also said that comic book fans help determine what makes it, what doesn't, what sells.

Dan Didio commented on the Legion Of Super-Heroes. He said that one of the problems with the Legion was the generational aspect of the DC Universe; it fractures the audience. The favorite era for a comic book reader is usually their first exposure to a comic book title. Dan said that one of the goals of DC is to find one strong interpretation and stick with it, without alienating fans of various eras. He also mentioned other characters. Static, from Milestone Comics, will be a member of Teen Titans, and a Batman Beyond series would be upcoming.

Dan had a few comments about J. Michael Strazinski. He loved JMS on Brave And The Bold. Those were great stories with emotional impact. Superman happens to be JMS's favorite character, and Dan said that he has a perspective on the Man Of Steel that is 180 degrees from where he is now, but is still true to the character.

On Birds Of Prey, Dan said that writer Gail Simone and artist Ed Benes wanted to return to the title, and that is why DC is bringing it back.

Tony Bedard said that in order to get new people coming to comic books, as Geoff Johns said, the goal is to make comics the most popular modern myth. Didio expanded that thought further. He said that it was not just DC's job, but the job of all comic book publishers, to raise the public consciousness of comic books.

Someone in the audience asked a question about new cross-company crossovers, which were popular in the 1970's. Didio said it was possible, but at the moment DC was concentrating on its own characters.

Dan Didio then had a series of announcements about various series. David Finch would draw the cover for Batman #700, and would be the regular cover artist for Action Comics. Action's creative team would be writer Mark Guggenheim and artist Pete Woods. Paul Levitz would take over Adventure Comics and Legion Of Super-Heroes. On a related note Dan asked Legion fans to send postcards to DC's offices if they wanted Legion flight rings with the new upcoming Legion Of Super-Heroes #1. DC's Free Comic Book Day issues for 2010 will be War Of The Supermen #0 and Brightest Day #0. Brightest Day will carry a lower price point. Blackest Night #8 will carry the cover price of $3.99, and have a fold-out cover. A new Who's Who will be published, drawn by core DC artists and freelancers. The next DC animated DVD movie, after Crisis On 2 Earths, will be Under The Hood. After that, there has been nothing definite to announce yet.

Ethan Van Sciver announced that his new project would be a creator owned series published through Wildstorm and written by Gail Simone.

An audience member had a question about how the second features would be collected. Dan Didio said that if it was related to the first feature, they would be created together, but if not, it would be collected in a separate edition.

Another question was about superhero novels. Dan Didio said that those were handled by a separate group in the company and licensed out. He closed the panel by answering a question about Grant Morrison's mulitverse, saying it was moving forward. Several Earth-2 stories are forthcoming. If there were to be any Elsworlds stories, this is how they will be handled.

Next: MegaCon 2010 Day 2: Part II!

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