The news of major changes in the upper management of DC Comics began to break on the afternoon of Friday February 21st. “Dan DiDio is no longer employed at the company.” All of the standard straight comics news outlets have covered it. We are not here to do that.
The basics details are this. Dan DiDio has been at DC for eighteen years and has served as co-publisher, with Jim Lee, since 2010. As of yesterday he is no longer with DC.
This news was a surprise to everyone I have reached out to. “Comics Twitter” exploded at the news, and many people who worked with him expressed their thanks for his support over the years. A common thread that you will find is that Dan was fiercely supportive of creators and loves comics like nobody’s business. He is also responsible for recruiting and empowering some of the best new voices in comics.
Dan DiDio took big chances in comics because he believed in the importance of innovative storytelling. He let me turn the Flintstones into a dissection of civilization and Snagglepuss into a gay southern gothic playwright. He always had my back and I will forever be grateful.
— Mark Russell (@Manruss) February 21, 2020
I owe Dan DiDio for so much. His enthusiasm was immeasurable. And just so it is said, no one realizes how many older comic creators were helped by him behind the scenes without anyone ever knowing. The man did right by so many. And never took credit. pic.twitter.com/3U2Xn7eJtB
— Brad Meltzer (@bradmeltzer) February 22, 2020
Dan DiDio is personally responsible for recruiting me into @DCComics & for that I will forever be grateful. He was always fair & upfront with me, in an industry that often isn’t. I wish the guy nothing but the best & look forward to his next success, wherever that may be.
— Frank Tieri (@FrankTieri) February 21, 2020
Dan DiDio was a great champion of mine over at DC Comics. I’m forever grateful for his support as I made my way to the DCU and for our conversation they led to Female Furies. I am wishing him luck on his next adventure. It’s definitely the end of an era.
— cecil will be at ECCC NN-15 (@misscecil) February 21, 2020
Working for Dan Didio was working for the ultimate comic nerd, a man who passionately loved the medium and its creators, a publisher who worked tirelessly on their behalf. I’m eternally grateful he gave me quite a few shots. Can’t wait to see what he does with his next one. pic.twitter.com/Fxq1jHqIQq
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) February 22, 2020
Of course, it was also an opportunity for those who didn’t like the man to gloat and guffaw, because, as far as we can tell, the move was not Dan’s choice. While everyone has the right to the feelings that they have, you won’t find us celebrating anyone’s misfortune. My understanding, from talking to creators in the industry, is that working for Dan was not always a picnic, and as you will find in any industry, he was not universally revered. In any case, you will need to go elsewhere to find rejoicing at his ouster.
Personally, I have a lot of feelings about Dan. It is pretty clear that, under his direction, characters and properties that I feel very strongly about were not held in high regard. However, he is responsible for some pretty innovative publishing concepts and projects, as well as some failed ones.
Some of the chances that DiDio took resulted in things like Wednesday Comics, the Earth One books, and the Hanna-Barbera lines of books.
I have met Dan on a couple of occasions and had the opportunity to spend time talking to him about comics, story, and art. He is a good man. While he was incredibly busy, he took time to talk to fans and was incredibly passionate about his industry. He is thoughtful and not arbitrary in the decisions that he makes. I don’t agree with a lot of the decisions that he made, but I have to respect that he had a considered reason for doing them.
His departure will clearly result in a big change in the direction of the comics side of DC, or he would not have been removed. Any speculation on what comes next for DC is purely that, speculation. Until, DC itself releases information, we won’t know. We certainly hope that, whatever the change is, it will result in good stories and a successful future for DC Comics.
In the meantime, I would like to thank Dan DiDio for his heartfelt efforts to lead DC to better future. It was a not an easy job by any means, and I hope whatever comes next for him brings him happiness and success.
Here are links to some news stories that covered the ouster: