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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

DC Executive Editor on His Way Out the Door?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 12:46 PM

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By Matthew Shaer

i09, Gawker Media's sci-fi/geek culture blog – tagline: "Strung out on science fiction" – is reporting/speculating that Executive Editor Dan DiDio may be on his way out the swinging doors of DC. (Faster than a speeding bullet...)

As the post goes on to acknowledge, this wouldn't be such a big surprise. DC's has long-played second fiddle to Marvel in the sales wars, and the critics haven't exactly lovingly embraced the current roster of titles, including "Final Crisis." It's all sorta like that kid at the pool, who belly-flops wicked loudly, while everyone at the country club looks on in muted horror, while pretending not to look at all.

A shake up of some kind is obviously needed. But is booting DiDio the answer?

A couple of of weeks ago, the Times of London published an interesting report on the Marvel vs. DC big screen battle. "For years," the reporter recalls, "Marvel suffered at the hands of financiers who thought capes were something you sailed your yacht around, while rival company DC, publisher of Superman and Batman, ruled the silver screen. But now DC is trailing: 2006’s Superman Returns was a costly disappointment, taking $390 million worldwide, but having cost a hefty $270 million to make."

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"Final Crisis" cover/Courtesy of DC

Which seems pretty damn salient to me. These days, mainstream comics are made mostly to supplement ticket sales. A measure of a publisher's worth, for better or worse, lies in box office returns: if "Dark Knight" goes gangbusters, DC will likely see an upswing in its fortunes.

If it doesn't, the publisher will have to head back to the drawing board. (Marvel has successfully bolstered its film-making operation, cranking out gads of high-profile, CGI masterworks, and cross-promoting the holy hell out of them in the comics.) In the meantime, I'm guessing DiDio will stay put.

More: Sales numbers from The Beat/ICv2

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Matt Shaer

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