There, you’ve been warned.
I really just wanted to bring a few things to your attention. The first of them being that the new season (well, the second half of the new season that has already begun and gone on hiatus) of Doctor Who is set to premiere on August 27th, on BBC America. Very excited about this, although I really don’t know how they’ll top the last handful of episodes. I say this every season, mind you, some variation of “Wow, that episode was fantastic! There is no way this series can get any better!” only to be proven wrong, season after season.
But really, it won’t happen this season. It’s impossible. The most recent episode alone was one of the best I’ve seen in years. Not to mention the episode Neil Gaiman wrote, which was brilliant (and is now official canon!).
If you want to hear Neil Gaiman talking about his episode of Doctor Who, as well as his appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (along with a very funny bit about John Hodgman and his sinister mustache) click here to download the episode of the Nerdist podcast on which he appeared.
Comic-Con International has come and gone, and I have remained here. Yet again. Someday, I will return to the hallowed halls of my very own geekly mecca, but for now I am too poor to fly and too far to hitchhike. So, here I will stay.
It seems I missed a doozy this year, too. Many very cool sounding panels and a lot of people attending that I would very much like to hang out with (both people I already know and a few I have not yet met). One such panel featured Deepak Chopra and Grant Morrison discussing superheroes and spirituality, but I’ve not spoken to anyone who was actually able to attend it, as the lines for it were extraordinarily long (a part of Comic-Con, nature of the beast, really). Did you attend? Did you take notes or, better yet, video? If so, please tell me all about it in the comments below.
Also at Comic-Con, during a panel celebrating the recent relaunch of all the DC Comics titles, one fan took to the microphone and asked this question:
“Why did you go from 12% in women to 1% on your creative teams?”
Meaning that the number of female creators working at DC Comics has recently taken an eleven percent drop. The question does not seem to have been posed in a snarky tone, the words presented above are direct and do not seem to be argumentative in nature.
Yet Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC, had this response:
“What do those numbers mean to you? What do they mean to you? Who should we be hiring? Tell me right now. Who should we be hiring right now? Tell me.”
That sort of response, especially when in a tone that has been called “aggressive”, is ridiculous and unacceptable. I’ve heard people coming to his defense, saying that he has been getting a lot of flack lately, or that DC’s sales are very low (hence the relaunch, in the first place), or any other manner of excuse for this reaction. But there is no excuse for responding to a fan of your work and the work of the company you help guide and control in such a manner. Not to mention he did so in front of a room full of people.
I understand being on edge, especially during a hectic Comic-Con weekend, it’s a part of the business. But you find yourself, a person of standing within one of the two largest comic book companies in the world, in a situation where you are expected to answer questions (such as a Q&A panel), you should attempt some restraint when it comes to being so harsh with your fans.
It should be said that I do not know Dan DiDio personally. I have not met him, though I have seen him. For all I know, he is a perfectly kind and gentle man, though accounts I have heard from people who have met him would lead me to believe otherwise.
I’m reminded of Todd McFarlane. For years, I have heard horror story after horror story from people who had met him about what a terrible person he had been to them. He had been rude, condescending, and just generally made an ass of himself. Then one year, at Comic-Con, I was finally presented with the opportunity to meet him myself. I stood in line, I waited patiently, but all the while I was a tad bit frightened. A mere few feet from me, there sat a man who I had been lead to believe was going to verbally accost me after asking him to doodle in my sketchbook. In fact, we were told ahead of time that McFarlane would not be doing sketches at all. In front of me, there was a father and his young boy. The boy wore a Spawn baseball cap and when he approached Todd McFarlane with an open sketchbook, I was certain the boy would not escape with his life. But Todd merely smiled at the boy, did a sketch of Spawn in the boy’s book and said “Nice hat” as the boy walked away.
When I approached, I also held a sketchbook. He looked at it and chuckled. “You don’t have to. I didn’t know you weren’t sketching until they told us just a few moments ago.” I said. He shook his head and took the book from me. He doodled the Spawn logo, signed it and said “Good enough?” It was.
I tell that story to people to show that, sometimes it’s as simple as catching someone on a bad day. You shouldn’t judge someone by what you’ve heard, until you have had such an experience for yourself.
So, maybe DiDio is another McFarlane. Maybe everyone I’ve known who has met him have had spectacularly bad luck and ran into him on a bad day or after getting a bit of bad news.
But the more I read about this one fan’s encounter with DiDio during a busy panel at Comic-Con, the more I doubt it.
Anyway, there is a great article all about it over at ComicsAlliance.Com, complete with audio of DiDio’s response.
I feel it necessary to remind you that Chris Hayner’s website, formally entitled BadSequels.Com, now called Revenge of the Sequels (still located at BadSequels.Com, however), is still around and being updated. I still write reviews for them (here is my author page there) and it’s still a blast. Do check it out.
I’ve not yet seen Captain America: The First Avenger, and I’m starting to feel as though I’m the only one who hasn’t. I’m hoping to remedy this at some point over the weekend. Don’t spoil anything for me (not even the bit after the credits).
That’s about all, I suppose.
Edit: Maybe not. Shortly after I published this blog post, I read this, and it adds a sort of perspective to the Dan DiDio issue mentioned above.
Apparently he had been hassled by Batgirl. His frustration is understood (I’m joking).
But it does shed some light on his outburst and it’s interesting that Batgirl’s persistence seems to be paying off. Good for her.