ECCC 09: Catching Up With Dan DiDio And Ian Sattler

Here’s the final interview I conducted at Emerald City ComiCon 2009. Just like last year, DC Comics Executive Editor Dan DiDio and Senior Story Editor Ian Sattler were gracious enough to chat with me for a few minutes. Much like they are in the DC Comics panels at conventions, these guys are easy-going and a pleasure to talk to. Enjoy!

PCZ: Last year when we talked I got in trouble for not asking you for more details on Aquaman. Dan, I know you brought up Aquaman yesterday.

DD: Yes I did, but I couldn’t get a straight answer from the panel. If I can’t get a straight answer about Aquaman how are you going to get one?

PCZ: He’s in Blackest Night obviously.

DD: Yes, he is. He’s a Black Lantern.

PCZ: Is there a plan for the character after?

IS: Ok, I’m going to jump all over you for asking that now. Blackest Night starts in July and is easily the biggest event in comics this year and we get questions all the time about what’s going to happen after. Why doesn’t everyone just enjoy the eight months of awesome “dead shall rise”, multi-colored Corps. fighting that we’re going to get in the meantime? Then, when we get to issue seven of Blackest Night then we can start talking about what we’re doing down the road. I think that’s my soapbox statement for the day.

DD: You did a good job with it.

PCZ: So, Blackest Night isn’t just a way to say “Hey we killed all these characters, now we can bring them all back!”

IS: No. This is something Geoff Johns’ been planning for how many years now, Dan?

DD: Almost since he started Green Lantern: Rebirth. He always had this idea of the story of Blackest Night in mind from the start of Rebirth. You’ll actually see little threads that will go all the way back from there to now.

IS: We kid and say it’s a way to get all our dead characters back, but this is the third part of a big trilogy that Geoff’s been doing in Green Lantern. It seems to have been embraced by the fans. I loved Sinestro Corps and Blackest Night is poised to quadruple the action and the stakes.

PCZ: Again, this isn’t an “end point”, this is another story that propels the DC Universe forward.

IS: We have no endpoint.

DD: You shouldn’t or we’re out of jobs!

IS: Yeah, Blackest Night ends and we’re like “Ok, everybody, see ya! Thanks!”

PCZ: So, Wednesday Comics is the new weekly that picks up after Trinity is finished.

DD: Yes it is. For twelve weeks.

PCZ: Will there be a weekly past that or is it time to give them a break?

DD: I think we see weeklies as an extremely viable formula. We’ve built an office to support it and we have more ideas down the road.

PCZ: Ok, let’s hit a couple of characters we haven’t seen in a while. Ray Palmer as the Atom?

IS: Yes, he’ll be in Cry For Justice. That series will answer a lot of questions…and then set up a lot more. See how I did that?

PCZ: Hawkman and Hawkgirl, were they killed in Final Crisis?

DD: No, nope.

PCZ: Ok, so there are plans to follow that up?

IS: Oh yeah! (big laugh) Yeah, that’s a huge story coming up.

PCZ: Other than Blackest Night, what are a couple of books that you are most excited about in the next few months?

IS: I’m going to go nuts here. Final Crisis Aftermath: Run!, Dance, Ink and Escape.

DD: He only likes those because they’re easy to pronounce.

IS: Yeah, single syllable titles are something I can get behind! But seriously, between the creative teams and the storylines on those books, they are so exceptional and so different from what I think people are expect from a normal DCU book. Like I’ve said, they have ramifications, they count, they take the everyday characters from Final Crisis and re-establish them.

Then, we’ve got Cry For Justice, which is as beautiful and as big a deal as you can imagine coming from James Robinson. Nobody knows how big a deal that book is going to be. It’s massive to the DCU. I’m going to say every Batman book, Greg Rucka on Action Comics, James and Greg on World of New Krypton, James on Superman. All the Green Lantern stuff that’s going on. Bill Willingham and Matt Sturges coming up on Justice Society, awesome stuff there, when you see the art on the first issue it’s going to totally blow your mind.

We’ve got a bunch of new characters on Wonder Woman with Achilles and the Olympians and major plans for how that’s going to spin-off into the DCU. We have massive, massive changes coming up for Titans and Teen Titans in the post Deathtrap crosssover. Big plans for Green Arrow/Black Canary, Captain Atom’s coming back, we have co-features in a bunch of books, we have Wednesday Comics. So, you know, you ask me for a couple of things we’re stoked about…Everything! I could not be more thrilled with our line right now and with what we have planned. There’s stuff we’re not even talking about yet.

PCZ: Yeah, it seems like you guys have always had things going on, but in the last year and this year and going forward you seem to have multiple things going on in many areas. There’s something for everyone.

IS: We spent a lot of time focusing on each core franchise in the DCU and figuring out a way to make them as vital and exciting as possible. We have talent that has been with us for a while, like Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka and James Robinson and we have guys who have been with us for less time like Eric Wallace and Matt Sturges, who are really bringing a new and vital energy to what we’re doing. I stand behind every single book we’re doing right now.

PCZ: And when are you making Grant [Morrison] write a multiverse book?

IS: Soon!

PCZ: Great. Well, thank you guys, it was great talking to you again.

DD: Thank you.

IS: You too, thank you.

Thanks to Dan DiDio and Ian Sattler for talkign to me once again.

About Joseph Dilworth Jr.

Joseph Dilworth Jr. has been writing since he could hold a pencil (back then it was one of those big, fat red pencils, the Faber-Castell GOLIATH. Remember those? Now that was a pencil!). As editor-in-chief and instigator of this here website he takes full responsibility for any wacky hi-jinks that ensue. He appreciates you taking the time to read his articles and asks that you direct any feedback, criticisms, questions about life directly to him by clicking here.