Michael Davis: Dan Didio, Dorothy & The Case For Kool-Aid (Uncut)
I read your piece “The Case Against Dan Didio.”
I’m rarely impressed, but you wrote an impressive article. The attention to detail, footnotes, research and overall thoughtfulness you put into making your case was indeed extraordinary.
I’m a bit taken aback by your use of my article as the motivation to write yours. My article why are we still complaining about Dan Didio had little written about Mr. Didio. It certainly wasn’t a defense of his work nor a damning of it. He and others mentioned were only used to illustrate my outlook.
Much of what you wrote regarding my views and work can do with a bit of clarity. I fear what you’ve constructed in your narrative is somewhat unbalanced and frankly unfair.
For example, placing quotes around a word when no one is speaking gives the distinct impression you don’t believe, care or respect my resume. You choose to describe mentor as “mentor.” For the life of me sir I have no idea why you would cast such an adverse slight at me.
My Bad Boy Studio Mentor program has achieved a fair amount of success. By all means feel free to ask Bernard Chang, John Paul Leon, Shawn Martinborough, Aaron McGruder and Brett Lewis, who mentored them.
There are more whom you are welcome to request confirmation from; I’ve been very fortunate to have had a small hand helping numerous young men and women join our beloved profession.
You could also speak to Chris Claremont or director Bill Duke. Both called me looking for a talented young person to work with them.
That girl I referred to Chris was Ali Morales. Ali went on to become DC Comics and perhaps the industry’s first Latino woman editor. Tatiana El-Khouri started as Bill’s assistant and finished running his company; now she’s running her own.
Thinking of my Bad Boys (and girls) swells my heart and moistens my eyes. I dare say those who came from my Bad Boy program are some of the best of the best. It matters little what else I’ve achieved in life nothing compares with the love and pride I feel for them.
I’m sure you can now appreciate why “mentor” cut me to the quick.
Hopefully, speaking to any of the above will result in a bit of lucidity into my background If you ever see fit to write about my mentorship program again.
You sir, forgive me for saying so, were a bit heavy handed in your use of conjecture. Nonetheless, it’s not surprising you would write about me in such a manner.
Sadly, that’s the industry model these days. I wrote about such in the very article you referenced so often. The venom and hate displayed in comics today and my hope for a reversal of that trend was the point of my column.
Sir, when you have a moment I’d like for you to clear something up for me. I just can’t fathom why you would use my article to go and do the very thing I wrote may damn us and please spell your name phonetically so if we meet I pronounce it correctly.
And it’s all anyone is talking about.
I mentioned I consider you a wee bit unfair in your analysis of my words.
Please consider the following from my article: The movies making the most money are from our house. But we’d rather bitch about Dan Didio still running DC than applaud Eric Stephenson, publisher at Image Comics. Eric gave the greatest comic book speech since Uncle Ben told Peter Parker; with great power, comes great responsibility.
“I’d like to talk about the future, but first, we’re going to do some time travel, back to a time when there was no Internet, no Twitter, no Facebook, no Instagram. A time when there were no comic book stores.”
That was Eric’s spectacular opening and it got better from there.
We should still be talking about it. The industry coverage of that speech?
Almost none. Perhaps if Eric had started his speech with the following, we would still be talking about it.
“I’d like to talk about the future, but first, we’re going to do some time travel, back to a time Dan Didio wasn’t screwing up DC, Marvel didn’t suck, and there was no Dark Horse because there shouldn’t be any damn Dark Horse.”
Yep, we’d still be talking about that.
I dare say with your musings put in the manner you put them, we are.
Mr. Khosla, I don’t know you but from your writings, it does appear you are an educated man. You certainly have a passion concerning comic books and I do believe you have comics’ best interest at heart.
I’m very much at my wits end pondering why you transformed what I wrote into something I did not write with your explanations.
I wrote: I once loved the comics industry with a passion almost incomprehensible even to myself but the industry I loved so is gone. What remains is a fat out of shape ghost of its former self. A snake oil salesman selling a yearly new everything hoping fans will consider it a glorious new tune.
You wrote: This is how we’re starting a defense of Dan DiDio – by having to acknowledge that comic industry under his supervision has become an “out of shape ghost of its former self.”
Uhm. Okay. Great argument.
And the victim of comic fans, according to Mr. Davis?
Mr. Davis, eh? If you insist of addressing me so formally, please afford me the courtesy of doing it correctly. I feel it’s only fair after your “mentor” slights you address me as Dr. Davis as I have a Ph.D., please forgive me for my rudeness if this offends you, it is not my intention.
The following is another example of the slanting of my words.
You wrote Mr. Davis continues by trying to identify the culprit – not Mr. DiDio, but of course, comic fans.
I wrote What slays me and I fear will destroy us all is how we see, speak and represent ourselves. Character assassination over a creative decision. Damning a company, creator or content because someone wrote or drew something someone took issue with, rumors perceived as news, news handled like press releases were all once virtually repudiated as just being silly.
The problem with comics is the fans are not nice enough to the people who make them.
That is patently unjust my friend and even more so given life for me these days have been incredibly unfair. I won’t burden you with my many tales of woe. However, I do think the following incident is somewhat appropriate to share with you.
Within the last year, I’ve lost three dogs. I cannot express to you the pain that caused me. No, you have not caused me any pain sir. That’s not the reason I’m sharing that with you.
After some time, I intend to get another dog. To that end it just so happens your article appeared on the day I was wondering when the next time I’d have to teach another little bitch not to shit in my house.
It seems that day is today and the time is now.
We interrupt this professional rebuttal for a word from the wrong nigga to fuck with:
Motherfucker, where the fuck did you see Dan’s name anywhere near the quote you used? Where did you read I blamed the fans?
Nowhere. It’s not there. You made that up.
I’m simply amazed how you pulled that “response” to my article off. No one points out the level of bullshit that you shovel down their throats. Sure, I’ve seen people disagree with you, but I have yet to see anyone take you to task for the little fact that nothing you contribute to me exists anywhere in the article.
Nowhere. Like the emperor, the little bitch has no clothes.
The industry is eating up what is the comic book equivalent of weapons of mass destruction. Just like Bush, you picked a target to attack because it was convenient and you made a convincing case by writing smoke and mirrored attack on me.
Just like Bush, there was nothing there. It didn’t exist it was all bullshit.
I didn’t defend Dan’s leadership at DC anywhere in my article.
I also didn’t dismiss Dan’s leadership at DC anywhere in my article.
I don’t write in riddles my friend; don’t write leaving room for interpretation and I don’t write in some vague style, so later I can wiggle out of what I said.
Within my writings there is no need for deliberation, you don’t have to ponder shit nor is there any reason to think there is a hidden meaning. I write what I mean; say what I mean. You used me and my work to advance your agenda.
That was a bad idea.
I could give you a list of people and companies who tried that and but for one they all wrote me a check. The one that hasn’t got a pass up to now.
Relax dude; I’m not going to sue you. You’re a hell of a writer. That’s not a backward dig I mean that. Where you need help is in reading comprehension
Help is here, Bitch. Get out a pencil and paper because you’re about to get schooled.
How many words were there between “I once loved the comic industry with a passion almost incomprehensible even to myself but the industry I loved so is gone. What remains is a fat out of shape ghost of its former self. A snake oil salesman selling a yearly new everything hoping fans will consider it a glorious new tune.”
And Dan Didio may be the most hated man in comics and for what?
The answer A. 325.
How the hell did you tie the two together? Oh wait, you used the weapons of mass destruction technique. Attack somebody who had nothing to do with the attack you wanted to make. Like Bush, you thought you could get away with it.
If I may paraphrase the immortal words of Bill Duke, bitch, you know you done fucked up, don’t you?
How many words are there in the entire article?
The answer is A. 2564
You gave every impression I’d devoted all my article to Dan. Apparently the people who backed you did not read what I wrote, or they are drinking the stupid flavored Kool-Aid.
Of the 2564 words how many words were written about Dan?
The answer is C. 190
I’ve heard about it but never tried it. How is the stupid Kool-Aid?
Using the following paragraph below show where Dan first appears.
“I once loved the comic industry with a passion almost incomprehensible even to myself but the industry I loved so is gone. What remains is a fat out of shape ghost of its former self. A snake oil salesman selling a yearly new everything hoping fans will consider it a glorious new tune.”
Where is Dan first located?
- 325 words before
- 325 words after
- In the same paragraph
The answer is B – 325 words after the quote.
Can you get addicted to Kool-Aid?
When did Michael Davis stop working with DC?
- He never stopped working with DC
- The day DC realized he was black
- The day he told a DC executive to suck his dick
- The day he refused to shut up about how fucked up DC was treating him while at Milestone.
- The day a VP at DC tried to prevent him from becoming President & CEO of Motown Animation and Filmworks
- The day the Earth stood still
- The day Abhay Khosla realized Doctor Davis has no goddamn reason to kiss DC’s ass, never has, never will.
The answer is late 1993. That’s 23 years.
Fun fact: E, F, G, and H are all true. You think perhaps there was no love lost between DC and me?
Rich Johnson changed my original title, which was “What’s Love Got To Do With it?” Why are we still complaining about Dan Didio is all Rich and being the Johnson that he is he knew full well someone would take his bait.
I like Richard. He’s an important part of our industry. He’s got his critics, but a man without critics is a man with no success. I let what he does slide because he knows his audience.
But, like anyone else if I have an issue with him I voice it, and I have two. Editing my work, so you get F**K instead of what I wrote and that so-called comics power list.
But I digress. Peter David! Hey! As always I look forward to seeing you at my annual Comic-Con party!
Your article paints me as defending Dan with a passion; I didn’t. In fact, I gave an example of how I stood by him when he was at ABC and he, for whatever reason, has not shown me the same courtesy since being at DC.
That to me is a dick move but if that’s how he wants to be let him be that. I got other shit to do, and I certainly don’t need DC Comics to pay my mortgage. Yeah, I’d like to work with them again and on paper, I should be.
I have a long albeit novel relationship with Dan. I met Diane Nelson when she was still at Warner Consumer products, and we still exchange the occasional email. Lastly, Jim Lee and I have been in business together it was Image who published my Machineworks imprint.
I think fondly of the 3 am meeting I had with Image at the Hyatt during Comic Con way back when. I bare no one at DC any malice, and I’m glad to see each of those people whenever our paths cross.
Fun Fact: DC Comics is still my universe of choice, and I’ve said that regardless of the state my relationship is with them.
But, like I said I got other shit to do.
Why’d you do it? Nothing in my article was interpreted correctly so again, why’d you do it?
The first step is to admit you have a problem. It’s the Kool-Aid isn’t it?
My clearly made point was this; all this negative energy spent on Dan would be best spent trying to create a forward movement for the industry. People have been trying to get Dan fired for well over a decade.
How the fuck is that working out for you?
I’m always amazed when someone’s goal in life is to fuck up someone else’s.
You’re like a guy who desperately wants to date a girl. When she repeatedly says no you set out to impress her even more. Flowers and candy don’t work so you post something sweet on her Facebook page a poem. Danielle is her name and your name for your little limerick.
She blocks you.
You then embark on a campaign to make her pay. Your poem becomes a book-length attack designed to shame, sadden and hurt her.
You post, The case against Dan Didio, I mean Danielle secure in the knowledge this will destroy her.
She laughs it off. She laughs you off.
Soon you realize a cruel irony. Like Baum’s Dorothy who wanted nothing but to find a way home, she realized the way was her.
She became her way home.
The thing most wanted from “Danielle” is what you’ve become.
A little pussy.
The truth that you damn well knew unless you’re a fucking idiot was Dan made a minor part of an extensive article.
Nothing you attribute to me concerning Dan, fans and my point of view is accurate. The article’s use of my work is not just inaccurate Zero is written remotely slightly, somewhat or vaguely like you describe.
I’m a simple guy I don’t write in riddles I don’t write with conjecture as my primary source. I never blamed the fans for anything.
Bottom line. If you want to pick apart something I’ve done, criticize something I wrote, have at it just don’t rewrite it to suit your personal bullshit.
I wrote While many in the industry continue to turn on each other, some even creating another tempest of hatred once the last storm has lost the wind that propelled it Len Wein just writes another story creates another character all done without a hateful word towards his fellow creators.
Did you skip over that?
Pick a side, pussy? Dick? Which one are you? You can’t be both, unless you pronounce your last name Kardashian.
Oh, and one more thing about being a “mentor” you might want to check with Walt Simonson as well. Walt came to my studio to see how I ran my mentorship program after accepting a teaching position at the School Of Visual Arts.
Fun fact: Rosamond Bernier did the same when she decided to add a young adult series to her career. I never assume anything, but I have a feeling you’ve never heard of her.
Google her; that may give you a small window into who you’re dealing with and at what level I operate.
You’re passionate about the industry I get that. I’ll be the first to tell you I’ve made many mistakes, and I own up to them.
Many years ago I labeled Bob Chapman a racist. I was young and hotheaded and saw things through a lens of bigoted pain. Bob isn’t a racist he and his family are the salt of the Earth.
I wrote and published Bob an apology the very next week when I was proved wrong. When next I saw him I did so in person then I found his wife and then so again. I was young and hotheaded, but I was not stupid. I was wrong, and I owned up to it.
You are wrong. Do the right thing.
You may think I’m writing this in anger. I’m not, this is far from reaching my level of rage.
I’m saddened by the amount of work you put into this was used to fuel yet another fruitless attack on for better or worse one of the leaders of our industry. You’ve added another reason comics get no respect. Hollywood should be our partners, but instead, we are their bitch.
Lastly, if you want to get black boys into your van, it’s easy. Simply tell them you’re a little pussy.