Heroes Con: Day One Report

Van Jensen

Van Jensen is a former crime reporter turned comic book writer. In addition to ComicMix, he contributes to Publishers Weekly and Comic Book Resources. He lives in Atlanta, and his blog can be found at graphicfiction.wordpress.com.

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39 Responses

  1. Tom Fitzpatrick says:

    To be truthfully honest, I'd rather hear about John Byrne doing the next 20 issues of JB's NEXT MEN for IDW.The age of Didiot is over. The king is dead. The king is dead. Who will be the next king?

    • Mike Gold says:

      Why do you think it's over? DiDio showed up at the convention. That took guts; he knew what he'd be subjected to. And if you recall, I've severely criticized the guy for his approach to the DCU in my columns. If he were on his way out, he'd have no reason to show up.Well, let me rephrase that. If he KNEW he was on his way out…

      • Tom Fitzpatrick says:

        Nothing lasts forever.You should know, if memory serves me right, you used to work for First Comics.Besides which, I'm sure someone else will screw up DCU just as bad (or worse) as DiDiot. ;-)

        • Mike Gold says:

          Yep. First Comics, in between my two tenures at DC Comics. In each case, I left on my own to do other things in comics. If Dan's got something else on the burner, more power to him. But his wasn't the only voice in those decisions: there's a publisher, there's at least one marketing person, there's lots of good talent. If he were to disappear under any circumstances, all or most of those other decision-makers would likely still be around.The question is, what is DC's long-term goal? They've been trying to revitalize the DCU for more than 20 years now. Maybe they should stop trying to redefine the universe and…just…do…better…stories. They've been overthinking all this for some time now.

          • Rick Taylor says:

            Ah, just do better stories.Sound like my gripe for a long time.That instead of making a dead Robin the new Batman. Original.You comment about 'at least one marketing person…that's a good place to look for the Chuck Dixon mess.As far as I remember seems like at least 'one marketing person' has ALWAYS had it in for Chuck.BTW, Chuck has always been a really GREAT guy. Their loss.

          • Tom Fitzpatrick says:

            "BTW, Chuck has always been a really GREAT guy."Yes, he is.Some other publisher is gonna luck out by signing him up.

          • Rick Taylor says:

            I think you just hit on it, Mike.DC HAS NO long-term goal.They keep focused on the short-term sales goal, there is clearly no plan for the next decade.The return of their idea of the multiverse was like the project I recently had at work where we were updating some sales materials. We got to end of a seven month long process and was decided to eliminate some of the new pieces we'd created. Where didi that put us? With an updated version of the old materials.It looks like DCs long-term goal is to stay in business.

  2. Rick Taylor says:

    The Didio era is another big dud in the legacy of DC.A slew of ridiculously long maxi-series that did NOTHING to add the DC Universe except a lame attempt to relive the 70's and 80's badly.All accented by a 'big bang' that's more like a loud fart.If he is truly 'out', let's see what sad excuse they come up with for moving themselves 'forward' next.

  3. Elayne Riggs says:

    *sigh* I miss Heroes Con. I'm so totally jealous, Van, it's one of my favorite comic book conventions. I'm hoping to catch it next year. Keep up the great reporting!

  4. Alan Coil says:

    "DiDio…dodged moderator Tom Spurgeon's questions about the past week at DC, marred by Chuck Dixon's acrimonious exit."As well he should. ANYTHING said about a former employee can be used in a lawsuit claiming defamation. A few years ago, I was an assistant manager in fast food. We were advised that if someone called about an ex-employee, the only thing we could tell them was the dates the person worked for us.And we still don't know if DiDio actually fired Dixon, and may never know. It's always possible that the decision was not made by DiDio, or that DiDio did it for evil purposes. Maybe, just maybe, they weren't satisfied with Dixon's work. But DiDio is the titular head, so the buck ends there. He knows and accepts that.

    • Rick Taylor says:

      I don't think Didio is evil.It's just after a couple of years of hollering 'new and improved' we have 'old and rehashed' again.I like more the old school, story driven approach and Chuck was good at that. He was at the center of the Batman stuff for years and his return seemed to be an testimony to that.I guess not.

    • Russ Rogers says:

      I'm trying to find out what happened to Chuck Dixon at DC. I've always considered Chuck Dixon to be one of a handful of writers who could pick up on any title and consistently turn out exciting and interesting stories.I have not been able to find any deep insight, speculation or even gossip on the subject. I did scan Chuck Dixon's Message Board and gleaned tiny bits of information. Chuck's ouster seems unexpected and not entirely voluntary. DC will publish some scripts he has already handed in, but he is no longer actively working on any DCU title. Chuck doesn't consider everybody at DC bastards (which implies that there are some).Here is a story I made up in my head, entirely gossip, not based on much fact at all. I think Dixon was told to rewrite plot lines on some of his comics at DC to tie in with major events coming up, possibly the Outsiders and Batman R.I.P. Dixon refused because he already had plot lines worked out. Dixon claimed (and this is all FICTION on my part) that if a major crossover event was going to happen at DC he should have been informed much earlier and given a chance to write it himself. He was told that the major event had to be kept "hush hush" and only the important people at DC needed to know about the early stages of it. (I am making this ALL UP! But it is satisfying to provided myself with some closure.) Dixon was summarily replace on "Outsiders" for a several issue run, that would tie in with RIP. Dixon took offense at being kept out of the loop for so long and being pushed off a book (even temporarily) that he had been working on developing. Dixon walked away all of his other DC projects in protest. I don't know how I can tie Didio into my little story. He may have taken Chuck's side in this and walked out too. He may have been responsible for the kerfuffle that led to one of DC's best selling and most prolific writers walking away from the DCU.Again, like much of my commentary here on ComicMix, this is completely off the top of my head, has little basis in reality, and thus utter crap. My questions are: What happened to Didio and Dixon? Is there a connection between their ousters? Could somebody at ComicMix ask them directly (like an interview) so I don't have to make up gossip?

      • Russ Rogers says:

        Wait! Am I completely confused. Dixon's out. But Didio's still in, just not talking? Is that right? John Nee is out. What did John Nee do at DC?

        • Alan Coil says:

          Nee resigned. Dixon was (apparently) fired. DiDio refuses to talk about Dixon's leaving DC. That's all we know. That's actually all we need to know.There are strict limits on what an employer can say about a former employee. That is probably why nobody can get a comment from DC.

        • Rick Taylor says:

          Nee handled all of the international rights after Dorothy Crouch retired.He did some other stuff, too.Dunno what it was.Another overpaid veep.

      • Mike Gold says:

        Actually , your story is probably more interesting. As of right now, Dan's in, Chuck's out, and nobody's talking further. We'll see what, if anything, develops

      • Rick Taylor says:

        You're probably not as far off as you think.Chuck has always been a very regimented worker.In the time I worked at DC I don't ever remember him being late.So maybe the concept of him having to rewrite things he'd turned in on time ticking him off makes sense.Especially another stinky multi part crossover.

  5. Len Strazewski says:

    Didio is correct that DC has the same old characters adn there is only

  6. Len Strazewski says:

    …so much you can do with them–if you write stories ONLY about the super-folks. The best comic stories are about people in unusual situations–using the "heroes" as points of entry. Look at the Marvel Man-Thing stories of the 1970s. Those were Gothic horror seen through the eyes of the title character. The problem with comics isn't the nature of the characters, but rather the shallowness of the writing and editing.

    • Tom Fitzpatrick says:

      This is exactly the problem that I have with iconic character.They don't age, they can't be killed, if you do kill them off, someone else brings them back.Look at Kitty Pryde (for example), when she was first introduced in the Uncanny X-men, she was a 14 yr-old girl. Way back in the early '80's. Currently, in the Astonishing X-men, almost 20 odd years later, she's a 17 yr-old.Plus the continuity is just too much.

      • Mike Gold says:

        Dick Giordano, when he was DC's EIC, said "don't let continuity get in the way of a good story." That didn't mean ignore continuity… just don't feel obligated to put it in the story unless it's needed.Great advice.

  7. Speedster34 says:

    If someone else like a marketing person, and whoever else at the top is responsible for this mess(and i mean DC in general not just dixons departure), they need to go as well. I like alot of DC books and am still mad at how things have been handles(Countdown, new gods, killing off bart). All of this was a complete Joke. Fc i thought would start slow, but i just dont like didiot period. He ran a PR firm for SOAP OPERAS. In my opinion he is unqualifed to be EIC and needs to go now. Not tomm or next week. NOW

    • Rick Taylor says:

      Oh, THIS marketing person has needed to go for a LONG TIME!

      • Speedster34 says:

        I just looked You up because your name rang a bell. I read your stuff from comico waaay back. It was really good stuff which says alot since there was alot of crap at the time. If you think this marketing person needs to go, based on the quality of your work I'd say it gives it alot more credence. Get back into comics at Dc AFTER they fire DIDIOT! 8)

        • Rick Taylor says:

          Aww, you are too kind.I worked at FIRST and COMICO.I don't get to make those kind of decisions.Besides, some folks get to slide at DC despite their incompetence.That's da funnybook biz!

          • Mike Gold says:

            Rick's way too modest. I worked with him at First, I worked with him at DC, and I'm proud to see he's a regular commenter here on ComicMix. A good guy with great story instincts; he knows the good stuff.

          • Speedster34 says:

            At least he isnt full of himself. 8) I just hope they fire his ass before his contracts runs out. Or announces he wont be back. I'm Sorry even with bringing back the multiverse, barry allen , and the GREATEST green lantern story ever, his complete lack of control, planning, and again experience(he did PR work for SOAP OPERAS!!!!)he needs to go. I honestly cannot stand him during his interviews, im not saying he is a scumbag at all, but my best friend is a decent human being and he shouldnt run a comicbook company either.

          • Speedster34 says:

            by fire his ass i mean didiot not rick. Mike you did work for DC also i recall but i cant remember exactly which books. mind giving me a rundown(short or long as you like).

          • Mike Gold says:

            OK. Off the top of my head… Wasteland, The Question, The Flash, Legends, Green Arrow, Blackhawk, Breathtaker, The Greatest Stories Ever Told series, Justice Society of America, History of the DC Universe, Shado, The Shadow, Hawkworld, The Warlord, Wild Dog… lots more. I was director of editorial development and group editor, and had a staff of mostly awesome folks.

          • Rick Taylor says:

            You flatter me.My turn to flatter back.I consider my past work with Mike, both with his teams at First and at DC some real career high points.The experience with both those teams not only resulted in some of what I feel were some of my best work as a colorist in books like E-Man, Dynamo Joe, the Elongated Man and the Fly but some real lasting friendships with guys like Joe Staton and the late Mike Parobeck.Being able to blog with some long-time pals like Mike, Martha Thomases and John Ostrander really does take me back and give me the 'warm fuzzies' even when we don't agree.

          • Mike Gold says:

            Mike Parobeck. Man, what a genius. And what a wonderful, sweet person. He died a dozen years ago; I still remember it like it was yesterday.Back in the days of the Chicago Comicon, we used to have a pre-con party at the famed Bucket O'Suds bar, which was the model for Munden's Bar. Except the Bucket was a bit more bizarre. Mike was at what I recall to be our last one; the owner — who kept the bar open at irregular hours at best — died during the following year. It was the last time I saw Mike, and Joe the owner/bartender, and the bar itself. Now I'm about to leave for this year's Wizard World Chicago, which bought out the Comicon 10 years ago.That's something. Mike died at 31; he could have written his own ticket in comics. He was that good.

          • Rick Taylor says:

            Mike was the only artist I ever worked with (well, Joe Staton fits in that category, too) who every time I picked up a page to color, I knew exactly what to do with it.I never met the guy but had many phone conversations with him. There are few 'dream teams' I've worked in comics and Mike was on more than one of them.I miss you, guy. I think of you often.Have a safe flight, Mr. Gold.

  8. Speedster34 says:

    Oh cool I read alot of them. Esp wasteland which was a bizarre books(In a good way), The question and GA were favorites of mine as well. There is a book from Oni press called wasteland, and another that marc guggenheim is doing called Resurrection you might want to look at that are REALLY good books. I remember your work sticking out in my head because it was good, but in some cases like Wasteland just plain distrubing(i recommend therapy because with stories like that in your noggin you have subscriptions not issues …http://smileyicons.net/s/292.gif[/img]

  9. Speedster34 says:


  10. Tom Fitzpatrick says:

    35 comments on this blog.izzat a wreckord for comicmix? ;-)

  11. Andy says:

    All I can say is GOOD. DC's become such a confusing mess I can't even figure out what's going on anymore. The whole universe is dictated each and every year by the next year long crossover event, hindering writers from telling good stories because they're always pigeon holed into reflected that. Characters are changed, killed, brought back to life and unceremoniously erased from existence haphazardly with no memorable story to show for any of it. And what's with bringing back all this pre-crisis junk that they went through 3 world altering cross overs to get rid of? I for one think it's sad when you have to read out of continuity mini-series just to get decent stories. I don't want the characters to age or change or anything but shake things up a bit. Screw how it effects the 40 other books they appear in.

  12. Rick Taylor says:

    And the first CRISIS was supposed to 'streamline' things.Wah-WAH!

  13. Brittany Harbison says:

    I was at heroes con and u failed to mention the awesome Golden Age Flash costume and hot Ms. Marvel costumes!!!