This past Saturday featured the return of the In-Store Convention Kick-Off. As I wrote about the 2015 version of this event, local stores continued to struggle with the technology. The volume was again often too low, the images sputtered and a lot of the news wasn’t all that significant, it seemed to me. Still, there were some updates that needs to be shared below, I think, because they could help or hurt comics in the long run!

Things really perked up when Dan DiDio came along. I heard things I wasn’t aware of when his presentation took place. And I actually could hear him, too!

I thought I would share some of what he mentioned since we need to keep up with Rebirth, especially since the first two months of 2016 haven’t been the best for the industry!

WHAT DID HE SAY?

In-Store Convention Kick-Off, Superman, Neal Adams, Muhammad Ali, Harley Quinn, Gwenpool, Batroc the Leaper, Bruce Time, Batman, Animated Series, Civil War, Brian Bendis, Deadpool, Star Wars, Gotham, Jim Zub, Diamond, Previews, Tom King, Nightwing, Grayson, Suicide Squad, Jim Lee, DCYou, New 52, He talked about the DC television shows and how they’re developing a very tight continuity among them. He noted that at that same time, the DCYOU event was leaving continuity behind. He said he felt like the company was abandoning their greatest asset. (Boy, I know several fans who will agree with him right away!)

One of the most interesting things he brought out was that DC will be leaving the Diamond Previews book (what some of us refer to as the “phone book” since it’s so thick) for the month of June this year. Instead, they’ll be providing their own separate Marvel-like Rebirth magazine with information about what fans can order. I wonder – Is this the beginning of the end for Previews? Will every company make their own order book and form? If both Marvel and DC pull out, what then? We’ll see.

There are people on the Internet who are circulating the idea that Tom King, who co-wrote Grayson for DC until recently, will be taking over the bi-monthly Batman title. While DiDio didn’t directly address that issue, he did note that King has signed an exclusive contract with DC. He loved King’s Marvel book Vision, which seemed to inspire him to get King to sign on the dotted line. He also said that King “can basically write what he wants after Grayson.” I’m sure Mr. DiDio, who has made no secret of his interest in moving Dick Grayson away from a Batman-family identity over the years, won’t be as happy as some of us will be when he becomes Nightwing again … and have his own title again, too!

When it came to talking about the Justice Society of America, Blue Beetle and more Green Lantern, well, the phrase “unanswerable at this time” was the response.

He also likes the new title Super Sons the best in Rebirth. Huh! Add to that the new comics based on the classic Hanna Barbara characters, a “pet project” of his. I have to admit that I’m anxious to see how that will turn out as well! Sounds like Jeff Parker will be writing Space Ghost, too!

MORE DC TV COMMENTS

In-Store Convention Kick-Off, Superman, Neal Adams, Muhammad Ali, Harley Quinn, Gwenpool, Batroc the Leaper, Bruce Time, Batman, Animated Series, Civil War, Brian Bendis, Deadpool, Star Wars, Gotham, Jim Zub, Diamond, Previews, Tom King, Nightwing, Grayson, Suicide Squad, Jim Lee, DCYou, New 52, DiDio said that he was happy to bring Gerry Conway back to Firestorm, making him the character he originally intended. That hero, along with Rip Hunter and other Legends of Tomorrow characters, will be seen in the books a lot more, and soon!

He noted that he wants the DC TV folks to bring Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing to the small screen as well. Word has been going around that Len Wein is planning to bring more of DC’s supernatural characters into the ongoing title. Could this be a way to bring Constantine back to TV? Hope so!

DIDIO AND THE STAFF

In-Store Convention Kick-Off, Superman, Neal Adams, Muhammad Ali, Harley Quinn, Gwenpool, Batroc the Leaper, Bruce Time, Batman, Animated Series, Civil War, Brian Bendis, Deadpool, Star Wars, Gotham, Jim Zub, Diamond, Previews, Tom King, Nightwing, Grayson, Suicide Squad, Jim Lee, DCYou, New 52, While I’m sure they popped open a lot of champagne bottles when The New 52 started, the mood was a LOT more subdued with DCYOU kicked off, apparently. Clearly, the criticism was felt by the folks at DC because DiDio said that the staff at DC was a lot harsher with themselves than anyone online could have been. (I don’t think this was a wise thing to say, honestly, because DC is likely about to get a ton of harsh comments once some fans find out he said this!)

As for Rebirth, we know that the entire event will kick off on May 25 with the Rebirth Special, just $2.99 for a whopping 80 pages! I continue to be interested in what DiDio and DC are up to, hoping that it will get the company within Marvel’s lofty range once again! It’s better for fans of DC and the industry as a whole, I believe! Oh, and Jim Lee also mentioned that the content will remain the same even though the price will be only $2.99!

OTHER NEWS ITEMS FROM THE DAY

In-Store Convention Kick-Off, Superman, Neal Adams, Muhammad Ali, Harley Quinn, Gwenpool, Batroc the Leaper, Bruce Time, Batman, Animated Series, Civil War, Brian Bendis, Deadpool, Star Wars, Gotham, Jim Zub, Diamond, Previews, Tom King, Nightwing, Grayson, Suicide Squad, Jim Lee, DCYou, New 52, Diamond Select showed off a video with several new toys, figures and statues coming soon, including a Star Wars R4-G9 vinyl bank, a new Deadpool figure, Civil War goodies, a variety of X-Files figures, Gotham pint glasses and busts, tons of Bruce Timm-inspired Batman: The Animated Series toys and figures. Wow! They do want ALL my money!

Writer Brian Bendis said that the example of the Deadpool movie “could ruin franchises for generations.”  He’s not certain that this is what fans actually want, so he’s concerned. I share that concern since comics are often considered kids’ fare. If that “R” rating hits too many comics-related movies, families might rule out going to see them!

Mike Deodato is staying on Invincible Iron Man for five more issues. Jim Zub will be creating Street Fighter Legends: Cammy with Omar Dogan. Rob Williams is writing Jim Lee’s Suicide Squad while Neal Adams is supposedly redrawing Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali, this time with Harley Quinn. And Marvel’s Gwenpool will feature Batroc the Leaper in a big way!

Here’s hoping the rest of 2016 will pick up the pace and turn this year into a bigger, better one for the comics industry! And that the 2017 In-Store Convention Kick-Off will technologically knock our socks off for a change!


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The Author

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. Each episode also includes reviews, news and previews. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

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