Library of Awesome: Paul Levitz and DC Comics


[ MUSIC ] [ ♫ MUSIC ♫ ] [ ♫ MUSIC ♫ ] [ APPLAUSE ]>>GOOD EVENING, EVERYONE.
I FEEL LIKE I’M THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS’S TOKEN NERD TO DO ALL
THESE WELCOMES WHEN IT COMES TO OUR SUPERHERO EVENTS.
GOOD EVENING, I AM THE CHIEF COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER AND
WELCOME TO THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS.
WE’RE HERE TO CELEBRATE A VERY SPECIAL BIRTHDAY.
THIS MAY, WE ARE CELEBRATING THE 80th ANNIVERSARY OF THE MAN OF STEEL HIMSELF, SUPERMAN.
YEAH. YOU CAN CLAP.
[ APPLAUSE ] IN 80 YEARS, HE HAS RESCUED LOIS
LANE COUNTLESS OF TIMES, SAVED THE UNIVERSE, BRAINIAC AND
DOOMSDAY MORE THAN I CAN REMEMBER.
HAS DIED, RETURNED AND HAS BEEN BORN.
HE’S PART OF THE AMERICAN FABRIC AS MUCH AS APPLE PIE AND
BASEBALL, JUST LOOK AT THE SET. WE’VE OUTDID OURSELVES TONIGHT. I REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME MY
PARENTS BOUGHT ME MY FIRST BATCH OF DC COMIC BOOKS. IT INCLUDED THE BATMAN FAMILY,
AND ACTION COMICS FEATURING SUPERMAN.
AS A KID AS MOST OF YOU KNOW YOU WERE EITHER A DC READER OR A MARVEL READER.
SUPERMAN, BATMAN, WONDER WOMAN, AQUA MAN, GREEN LAN EARN, I
COULD GO ON AND ON BUT AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED, MY LOYALTY WAS
WITH ANYONE SUPERMAN WAS FRIENDS WITH.
I REMEMBER WATCHING RERUNS OF OLD EPISODES OF THE ADVENTURES
OF SUPERMAN STARTING GEORGE REEVES.
I PRACTICALLY MEMBER RIDES EVERY EPISODE OF THE CARTOON ANIMATED
SERIES SUPER FRIENDS SO WHEN THE FIRST EVER SUPERHERO BLOCKBUSTER
MOVIE SUPERMAN STARRING CHRISTOPHER REEVE WAS OUT, I WAS
FLYING HIGH JUST LIKE THE MAN OF STEEL HIMSELF.
SINCE THEN I THINK I’VE SEEN EVERY VERSION OF SUPERMAN ON THE
SMALL AND BIG SCREEN, FROM SMALLVILLE TO SUPERGIRL, FROM CHRISTOPHER REEVE TO HENRY
CAVILL. IT’S SAFE TO SAY I GREW UP WITH
SUPERMAN AND CLEARLY DRANK THE DC COMICS COOL AID.
WORKING HERE HAS BROUGHT ME TO A NEW LEVEL OF MY SIP NERDINESS.
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HAS ONE OF THE LARGEST COMIC BOOK
COLLECTIONS IN THE WORLD, IN THE WORLD.
[ APPLAUSE ] AND JUST TO GIVE YOU A LITTLE
PREVIEW ON YOUR WAY OUT, OUTSIDE THE AUDITORIUM HEAR, YOU’LL SEE
A LITTLE OF THE LIBRARY’S COLLECTION INCLUDING SOME
SUPERMAN COMIC BOOKS THAT DATE BACK TO THE 40s.
I KNOW YOU’LL HAVE FUN WITH THAT.
AND YES, THE LIBRARY HAS THE FIRST DRAFT OF THE DECLARATION
OF INDEPENDENCE, LINCOLN’S DRAFT INAUGURAL ADDRESS.
A LOCK OF BEETHOVEN’S HAIR AND ALEXANDER HAMILTON’S PAPERS BUT
ON MY FIRST THING HERE THE ONLY THING I WANTED TO SEE WAS THE
FIRST EDITION OF BATMAN, SUPERMAN AND WONDER WOMAN.
SO CARLA HAYDEN PROMISED TO MAKE THE COLLECTION MORE ACCESSIBLE
TO THE PUBLIC. LAST YEAR WE HAD OUR FIRST
POP-UP EXHIBIT OF THESE COMIC BOOKS INCLUDING A SPECIAL EVENT
WITH LINDA CARTER IN COLLABORATION WITH AWESOME CON
HERE IN DC. THIS YEAR WE’RE EXCITED TO DO IT
AGAIN, AS WASHINGTON HOSTS AWESOME CON 2018 THIS WEEKEND,
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WANTS TO BRING DC TO DC TO CELEBRATE THE
MAN OF STEEL’S 80th BIRTHDAY. WE HAVE SOME SPECIAL GUESTS FOR
YOU TONIGHT. WE HAVE PAUL LEVITZ, THE FORMER
PUBLISHER AND PRESIDENT OF DC COMICS, WHO LED THE DC COMICS
DIVISION OF TIME WARNER AS ITS SENIOR BUSINESS OFFICER FOR
THREE DECADES. DURING THAT TIME, HE WAS
INTIMATELY INVOLVED IN GROWING THE COMPANY INTO A CULTURAL
FORCE, WITH MEDIA SUCCESSES AS DIVERSE WITH ONE OF THE HIGHEST
GROSSING COMIC BOOK FILMS EVER THE DARK KNIGHT AND THE LONGEST
RUNNING COMIC BOOK TELEVISION SERIES SMALLVILLE.
ALSO JOINING US IS WRITER AND ARTIST DAN JURGENS, THE FORCE
BEHIND A TEN YEAR RUN AS WRITER ARTIST OF SUPERMAN, INCLUDING
THE BEST SELLING DEATH OF SUPERMAN FOR WHICH HE WON THE
NATIONAL SOCIETY AWARD FOR BEST IN COMIC BOOK DIVISION. MODERATING TONIGHT IS DAVID
BENECORT A WRITER FOR THE WASHINGTON POST WHOSE TWITTER HANDLE [email protected] DC FAN BOY.
HE ALSO WRITES ABOUT ALL ASPECTS OF COMIC BOOK CULTURE.
SO LET’S GIVE THEM A BIG DC WELCOME.
AS THEY SAY, IT’S A BIRD, IT’S A PLANE, WE’RE ALL ABOUT SUPERMAN
TONIGHT. PLEASE WELCOME PAUL LEVITZ, DAN JURGENS, AND PAUL BENNY COURT.>>HELLO EVERYONE. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE TONIGHT
AS A NATIVE WASHINGTONIAN AND A HUGE COMIC
BOOK FAN, IT’S A VERY SPECIAL NIGHT FOR ME. MY DAD’S IN THE AUDIENCE, AS
WELL. ESPECIALLY FOR THE CHARACTER
WE’LL TALK ABOUT SUPERMAN, WHO GOES BY MANY NAMES, THE MAN OF STEEL, KALEL, CLARK JOSEPH KENT.
HE GOES BY A LOT OF THINGS BUT THIS IS THE CHARACTER, THIS
CURRENT ERA WE’RE SEEING WHERE COMIC BOOK CULTURE HAS TAKEN
OVER SO MUCH OF THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY, WE FIND
IT IN LIVE ACTION TELEVISION, MOVIES, ANIMATION, YOU NAME IT.
THAT ALL GETS A START BECAUSE OF THE CREATION OF THIS CHARACTER
WE’RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT TODAY. VERY HONORED TO BE HERE BESIDE
PAUL LEVITZ, FORMER EDITOR — I’M SORRY, FORMER PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER OF DC COMICS AND DAN JURGENS, A WRITER AND ARTIST WHO
PROBABLY IS MOST KNOWN FOR BEING THE MAN THAT KILLED SUPERMAN.
I REMEMBER — [ LAUGHTER ]
FONDLY BEING 12 YEARS OLD AND READING THAT ISSUE, THAT LAST PANEL, WHERE LOIS IS HOLDING HIM AND SHE BASICALLY RELIES ON HIS
ARM. IT SEEMS LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY.
IT WAS A LONG TIME AGO. IT’S GREAT TO HAVE YOU GUYS
HERE. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.
>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>PAUL, I WANT TO START WITH
YOU. DO YOU THINK IT SAYS SOMETHING
ABOUT THE CONTINUED RELEVANCE OF SUPERMAN THAT A SERIES CREATED
SO LONG AGO IS NOT ONLY STILL AROUND, BUT HAS MANAGED TO REACH
IN THE COMIC BOOK INDUSTRY IN TERMS OF PUBLISHING A VERY
ICONIC 1000th ISSUE?>>THERE’S VERY LITTLE THAT WAS CULTURALLY RELEVANT IN 1938
THAT’S STILL CULTURALLY RELEVANT TODAY.
THERE A FEW THINGS WE LOOK BACK ON AS SORT OF WONDERFUL
ARTIFACTS OF THE TIME. JUDY GARLAND WIZARD OF OZ MOVIES
IS ABOUT A MINUTE AFTER THAT, BUT HERE’S SOMETHING THAT WAS
CREATED THEN THAT IS STILL A LIVING, GROWING, CHANGING PART OF THE CULTURE.
DAN’S WRITING IT AGAIN, NEW MOVIES ARE BEING MADE, NEW TELEVISION SERIES, KRYPTON
STARTED A WEEK AGO, LOOKING AT A DIFFERENT ASPECT OF THE
CHARACTER’S LIFE. THAT’S AN EXTRAORDINARY THING IN
A CULTURE THAT HAS THE ATTENTION SPAN OF A MAYFLY.
[ LAUGHTER ] AND WE’VE SEEN THROUGH THOSE 80 YEARS THAT WHERE BEING
DISTRACTED CONSTANTLY BY THE NEW, THE EXCITING. YOU HAVE SO MANY THOUSANDS OF
OPPORTUNITIES TO FIND NEW THINGS WHETHER IT’S NEW TELEVISION SHOWS, NEW COMIC SERIES, NEW
LITTLE SELF-PUBLISHED BOOKS THAT TURN INTO 50 SHADES OF GREY, TO
HAVE SOMETHING BE CONSISTENTLY IMPORTANT TO THE CULTURE THROUGH ALL THAT TIME IS JUST ANT
ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE PHENOMENON.>>DAN, WHAT’S IT LIKE FOR YOU
TO BE A PART OF THE ACTION COMICS LEGACY NOW?
A LOT OF US I KNOW FROM MY YOUTH I REMEMBER YOU AND YOUR TIME ON THE SUPERMAN TITLE, BUT YOU’RE
CURRENTLY WRITING ACTION COMICS. YOUR RUN WILL COME TO AN END
WITH THE STAND ALONE STORY IN ISSUE 1,000.
YOU’VE BEEN LEADING THE MARCH TO THE 1000th ISSUE.
BACK WHEN YOU WERE DOING SUPERMAN IN THE 90s, THE DEATH
AND RETURN OF SUPERMAN, THAT’S AROUND THE TIME WHERE ACTION WAS
HOVERING AROUND 700 ISSUES. COULD YOU HAVE IMAGINED BACK
THEN IN THE EARLY ’90s THAT YOU’D BE HERE IN 2018?
>>NO, NO, THERE’S NO WAY. SO MUCH OF IT IS WHEN YOU’RE
INVOLVED WITH TRYING TO PRODUCE STORY, YOU ARE TRYING TO PRODUCE
STORY AND IT’S JUST TRYING TO FASHION A GOOD STORY TO GET IT
DONE, TO SEE IT GET TO THE POINT WHERE IT’S PRINTED AND ON THE
STAND AND AS A WRITER OFTEN YOU BUILD STORY IN TERMS OF ART, SO YOU’RE PLANNING 5, 8, 10 OR 12
ISSUES AHEAD. AT LEAST I’M NOT AND I DON’T
KNOW ANYBODY WHO IS WHO IS THINKING 20 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD
OR 30, AND THE COMIC BOOK NUMBERING SYSTEM IT JUST SEAMS
SO FAR OFF. IT’S LIKE NO, WE NEVER TALKED
ABOUT ACTION 1,000 NOR DID I THINK WE EVER REALLY GAVE IT ANY
THOUGHT.>>I’LL SAY I VERY NERDILY GAVE
IT SOME THOUGHT. I ACTUALLY REMEMBER BUYING
ACTION COMIC 700 AND TRYING TO CALCULATE AND ENDED UP BEING A
WRITER SO MATH WASN’T A STRONG POINT.
I REMEMBER TRYING TO THINK WOW, WHAT YEAR WILL 1,000 COME OUT.
>>ARE YOU CLOSE? DID YOU HAVE IT?>>I WAS OFF BY A LITTLE BIT.
>>AS TOO FORMER PUBLISHER AND PRESIDENT OF DC COMICS WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THE NOTION THAT
SUPERMAN IS TOO HARD OF A STORY? IS THE KEY TO A GOOD STORY A
VILLAIN AS POWERFUL AS DOOMSDAY OR DARK SIDE?
OR IS PART OF WHAT MAKES PEOPLE COME BACK IS THE FACT HE HAS A
HUMAN SIDE, HAVING GROWN UP IN KANSAS, BEING DOWN TO EARTH
DESPITE BEING SO POWERFUL?>>TO TO ME THE STRONGEST PART
OF SUPERMAN HAS BEEN THE EMOTIONAL PART AND HIS
REPRESENTATION AS AN ICONIC MORAL FIGURE THAT THIS IS
SOMEONE WHO HAS THESE INCREDIBLE GIFTS AND IS USING THEM FOR THE
RIGHT CAUSES. SOME YEARS AGO WE HAD A GROUP OF
ARAB EDITORIAL CARTOONISTS COME TO VISIT DC, MOSTLY THEY WANT TO
SEE THE M.A.D. MAGAZINE GUYS AND SAY, THEY DON’T PUT YOU IN JAIL FOR DOING THIS?
BUT THEY MADE THE POINT, THEY SAID, ISN’T THE SUPERHERO IDEA A REFLECTION OF THE AMERICAN BELIEF THAT MIGHT MAKES RIGHT?
AND I THOUGHT ABOUT IT FOR A MOMENT OR TWO AND I SAID I CAN
SEE WHERE YOU SEE THAT IN THE SUPER HEAR ROWS BUT I DON’T
THINK THAT’S THE CASE. I THINK WHAT THE SUPERHEROS AND
CERTAINLY IN PARTICULAR SUPERMAN SAYS TO US IS THAT WE’RE ALL
BORN WITH CERTAIN GIFTS AND IT’S WHAT WE DO WITH THEM, HOW WE
CHOOSE TO USE THEM THAT DETERMINES HOW THE WORLD GROWS,
HOW THE WORLD CHANGES, AND WHO WE ARE.
I THINK THOSE ARE THE GREAT STORIES. YOU SEE SUPERMAN USING HIS POWER
IN A WAY THAT CHANGES AN INDIVIDUAL PERSON’S LIFE.>>DAN, I SAVED A VERY SERIOUS
QUESTION FOR YOU, THE TRUNKS.>>I KNEW THAT WAS COMING.
[ LAUGHTER ]>>AS SOMEONE WHO HAS NOT ONLY
WRITTEN BUT ILLUSTRATED SUPERMAN AS WELL, NOW, I REMEMBER NEW 52,
THE TRUNKS GO AWAY. IT WAS KIND OF ALIGNED WITH HENRY CATTLE’S DEBUT AS THE MAN
OF SPIT. THAT MAKES SENSE BECAUSE YOU MAY
HAVE YOUNG KIDS DISCOVERING THIS CHARACTER FOR THE FIRST TIME AND
IF THEY WANT TO JUMP TO THE COMICS YOU WANT IT TO LOOK AS SIMILAR AS POSSIBLE BUT IT WAS A
CONTROVERSIAL DECISION. ONE OF THE BIG GUEST THINGS
CELEBRATED WITH ACTION 1,000, BOTH THIS 80th ANNIVERSARY
EDITION AND YOUR PERIODICAL EDITION IS THE FACT THE TRUNKS
ARE BACK. AS SOMEONE WHO HAS DRAWN
SUPERMAN, AND YOU’VE BEEN DRAWING HIM TRUNKLESS IN ACTION
LEADING UP TO THIS POINT.>>CAREFUL HOW YOU PHRASE THAT.
[ LAUGHTER ] I MEAN, COME ON.
>>DID YOU EVER HAVE MUSCLE MEMORY MOMENTS WHEN YOU WERE
DRAWING HIM FULLY CLOTHED WITHOUT THE TRUNKS?
>>ALL THE TIME. IF YOU WERE TO SEE THE
UNDERDRAWING THAT WAS THERE, BECAUSE THE WAY I WORK IS FIRST
I SKETCH THINGS OUT. THEY’RE ALWAYS THERE.
THEY WERE ALWAYS THERE, AND IT’S BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE MATE SAY IT’S BECAUSE I DREW SO MUCH OF
SUPERMAN WHEN HE HAS THEM. OTHERS SAY IT FITS WELL, THE
APPEARANCE OF THE CHARACTER. I’VE ALWAYS SAID A COUPLE OF
THINGS. ONE, WE ALWAYS SAW THE TRUNKS AS
PART OF THE UNIFORM AS THOUGH IT WAS ALL ONE PIECE AND NOT
NECESSARILY SOMETHING HE PUT ON THE OUTSIDE BUT THE OTHER PART
IS I THINK IT’S THE YELLOW BELT AND EVEN WHEN THEY WENT WITHOUT
THE TRUNKS WE PLAYED AROUND WITH A YELLOW S SHIELD FOR A BELT
BUCKLE OR A WAY TO GET A LITTLE YELLOW IN THE MID RANGE BECAUSE
THAT HELPED HIGHLIGHT THAT BRILLIANT TRIANGULAR SHE SAID WITH THE S IN IT AND ULTIMATELY
I THINK THAT’S WHY THE TRUNKS ARE NEEDED IS MORE BECAUSE OF
THE YELLOW BELT BECAUSE THAT PULLS THE WHOLE UNIFORM TOGETHER
FOR ME.>>PAUL, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHT
ON THE TRUNKS? WOULD YOU HAVE GONE WITH THAT
DECISION?>>I’M A PRO-TRUNKS GUY IN ALL
OF THIS. [ LAUGHTER ]
PLEASE DULY NOTE TRUNKS DID NOT DISAPPEAR UNTIL AFTER I WAS AWAY
FROM THE EXECUTIVE DESK AND IF WE GO OFF THE MIC LATER I CAN
TELL YOU WHO GOT THE TRUNKS OFF, AND IT’S NOT WHO YOU THINK.
[ LAUGHTER ]>>AND THE TRUNKS ARE BACK.
IT IS HASHTAG THE TRUNKS ARE BACK, RIGHT?
>>THERE YOU GO, IT’S TRENDING FOR SURE.
PAUL, IN THIS EDITION THAT YOU’VE EDITED THE 80th
ANNIVERSARY EDITION YOU WORKED WITH MAR IF WOLFMAN ON THIS
ININDIVIDUALIBLE STORY OF UNPUBLISHED STORY, THE CREATORS
OF SUPERMAN. COULD YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT IT WAS
LIKE, FIRST FINDING OUT ABOUT THAT AND THEN WORKING WITH IT?
>>WELL, THE GUYS AT DC ASKED ME TO PUT TOGETHER THIS CELEBRATORY
HARD COVER, AND GAVE ME SOME TOOLS TO WORK WITH THAT THEY
DON’T USUALLY OFFER EDITORS OF REPRINT TITLES SO I WAS ABLE TO REACH OUT TO A NUMBER OF UNUSUAL
PEOPLE TO ADD THEIR COMMENTS AND THEIR THOUGHTS, WHICH WAS GREAT
FUN. THERE’S A PIECE IN HERE BY LAURA
SIEGEL LARSON, JERRY SIEGEL’S DAUGHTER, TALKING ABOUT HER DAD
AND HIS MEMORIES OF CREATION OF SUPERMAN AND HIS ATTITUDES
TOWARDS IT THAT WAS A REALLY WONDERFUL THING FOR ME, BECAUSE
IT’S NO SECRET THERE WERE MANY YEARS OF LEGAL BATTLES BETWEEN SIEGEL AND SCHUSTER AND AND DC
THAT HAVE GOTTEN RESOLVED AT THIS POINT AND REALLY TO BE ABLE
TO HAVE LAURA IN HERE WAS A WAY OF CLOSURE IN SOME FASHION. JULES PHIFER, WHO’S REALLY AN
AMERICAN TREASURE, ONE OF THE FEW PEOPLE WHO’S WON A PULITZER,
AN OSCAR, AN OBIE, I THINK EVERYTHING BUT THE LOTTERY.
AND HE’S ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE HIS MEMORIES OF ACTION ONE, AS A KID
WHO BOUGHT THEM, AND WENT ON TO BE THIS GREAT CARTOONIST IN HIS
OWN RIGHT. BUT AS I WAS ASSEMBLING THE
BOOK, I REMEMBERED THAT MARV WOLFMAN, WHO’S A DEAR FRIEND OF
MANY, MANY YEARS, HAD SALVAGED A SIEGEL AND SCHUSTER STORY THAT
DC WAS GOING TO THROW OUT UNPUBLISHED WHEN HE WAS A KID.
IN THE OLD DAYS WHEN YOU CAME UP TO DC OFFICES, ORIGINAL ART
WASN’T PERCEIVED TO BE WORTH ANYTHING.
I’M SORRY, DAN. [ LAUGHTER ]
THOUGH THIS IS BEFORE ANY OF IT WAS YOURS.
>>I KNOW, YEAH.>>AND THEY WOULD, YOU KNOW, LIKE IT WAS TRICK OR TREAT.
HERE LITTLE BOY, YOU CAME UP FOR A TOUR.
WOULD YOU LIKE A PAGE OF ART? THE ARTISTS THEMSELVES COULDN’T
GET THE ARTWORK BACK BECAUSE IT WAS PRESUMED THEY WOULD SOMEHOW
GO SELL IT TO SOMEBODY ELSE TO BE PUBLISHED.
I’M NOT QUITE SURE HOW THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO WORK BUT IF YOU WERE
A KID TOURING YOU COULD GET IT, AND MARV ON ONE OCCASION
SALVAGED THIS STORY THAT WAS ABOUT TO BE DESTROYED AND HE’D
HAD IT IN HIS HOUSE, AND I SPOKE TO HIM AND SAID: SO THE STORY
YOU’VE HAD HIDDEN AWAY ALL THESE YEARS, WOULD YOU MIND HAVING IT
PUBLISHED? DO YOU THINK THAT WILL DECREASE
THE VALUE OF IT, OR INCREASE THE VALUE OF IT?
DO YOU WANT TO CHECK THAT WITH AN ART DEALER BEFORE WE GO
AHEAD? AND HE SAID: NO, NO, I’M HAPPY
TO HAVE IT PUBLISHED, HAPPY TO TELL THE STORY OF HOW I SAVED
SUPERMAN, IS HOW HE PHRASED IT IN HIS TEXT PIECE HERE.
IT’S NOT AN EXTRAORDINARY STORY IN BEING, LIKE, THE GREAT
CLASSIC SUPERMAN STORY. THERE’S A REASON THEY WEREN’T
ABOUT TO PUBLISH IT THAT DAY. [ LAUGHTER ]
BUT IT’S A MAGNIFICENT ARTIFACT TO BE ABLE TO SEE SORT OF THE WORK IN PROGRESS, AND IT’S
PRETTY CLOSE TO THE END OF JERRY’S WRITING OF SUPERMAN,
PRETTY CLOSE TO THE END OF WHEN THE SCHUSTER STUDIO WAS CREATING
THE MATERIAL AND YOU REALLY SEE WHAT THE PROCESS WAS LIKE, AND
WE REPRODUCED THAT IN BLACK AND WHITE, SO IT DOESN’T HAVE THE
ADVANTAGES AND THE MASKING OF COLOR ON TOP OF IT SO IT FEELS
MORE LIKE AN ARTIFACT.>>DAN, YOUR RUN ON ACTION
COMICS COMES TO AN END WITH THE 1000th ISSUE. THAT WILL BE OUT IN APRIL.
>>FOR NOW. I’VE COME BACK BEFORE.
>>WAS RETURNING TO SUPERMAN IN THIS NEW ERA OF COMICS WHAT YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE, HOW DID YOU
FEEL WRAPPING UP THIS CURRENT STORY LINE IN ACTION COMICS?
AND MOST OF US KNOW HERE, BRIAN MICHAEL BENNETT WILL BE TAKING
OVER WITH 1001. ARE YOU EXCITED FOR THAT?
>>YEAH, DEFINITELY. I’VE TALKED TO BRIAN A LITTLE
BIT ABOUT WHAT HE HAS IN STORY AND I THINK IT’S GOING TO BE
GOOD. I LOOK FORWARD TO IT AS A
READER. AS FOR WINDING IT UP, I THINK TO
COME BACK TO IT A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO AND BE ABLE TO WRITE
IT AS A BOOK THAT WAS COMING OUT TWICE A MONTH WAS A LOT OF FUN,
BECAUSE AT THAT POINT YOU CAN PLAY AROUND WITH STORYTELLING
TECHNIQUE A LITTLE BIT. NORMALLY WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO IS
PUT AN ISSUE OUT THERE AND ANTICIPATE SOMEONE REMEMBERING
WHAT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT 30 DAYS LATER.
AND WHEN YOU HAD A BOOK THAT CAME OUT TWICE A MONTH, YOU
COULD PLAY AROUND WITH SOME IDEAS A LITTLE MORE AND YOU
COULD DIG A LITTLE DEEPER IN SOME THINGS, JUST KNOWING THAT
THE READERS WOULD HAVE A MORE FRESH MEMORY OF WHAT YOU JUST
DID. SO IT WAS NICE TO BE ABLE TO DO
IT THAT WAY.>>TALKING ABOUT SUPERMAN THIS
WHOLE TIME. LET’S TALK ABOUT CLARK KENT FOR
A SECOND. THERE’S THIS NOTION THAT POPS UP
EVERY NOW AND THEN THAT CLARK KENT IS JUST WHO SUPERMAN
PRETENDS TO BE WHEN HE WANTS TO NOT BE BOTHERED.
OBVIOUSLY THAT’S NOT THE OPINION OF YOUR HARD CORE FAN, WE ALL
KNOW THAT’S NOT THE CASE.>>RIGHT.
>>IN THE COMICS, HE’S CLARK FROM THE MOMENT HE LANDS IN
KANSAS IN THE SHIP. WHEN CRAFTING STORIES FOR
SUPERMAN, THIS IS A QUESTION FOR BOTH OF YOU, IS IT IMPORTANT TO
REMEMBER THE MAN HE WAS, CLARK KENT, WHO WAS AROUND LONG BEFORE
ANYONE EVER STARTED CALLING HIM SUPERMAN?
>>I THINK SO. I MEAN, I HAVE ALWAYS SEEN THAT
AS THE CORE OF WHO SUPERMAN REALLY IS, THAT — THIS GETS
INTO THE WHOLE IDEA OF PEOPLE SOMETIMES ASK: WAS HE SUPERMAN
FIRST? OR WAS HE CLARK KENT FIRST?
I’M NOT SURE YOU DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN THE TWO.
HE IS CLARK KENT, AND IN A LOT OF WAYS, WHAT HE DOES AS CLARK KENT, OR IT’S THE SAME FOR LOIS
LANE, IS THEY’RE TRYING TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE IN WHAT
THEY DO THROUGH THEIR JOBS, THROUGH THEIR CAREERS.
AND I THINK THERE’S A REASON HE CHOSE THAT FOR A CAREER. AND BY THE SAME WAY OF THINKING,
I THINK THEN BEING SUPERMAN IS SORT OF AN EXTENSION OF THAT
INTENT. SO IT’S NO DIFFERENT IN SOME
WAYS THAN IF YOUR NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOR WAS A POLICE OFFICER OR
FIREFIGHTER. THEY’RE NOT TWO DIFFERENT
PEOPLE. IT IS, THIS IS WHAT I DO WHEN
I’M AT HOME, AND THIS IS WHAT I DO WHEN I GO DO THIS OTHER
THING. THAT’S HOW I’VE ALWAYS SEEN IT.
>>AND I THINK THE OTHER PIECE WHERE CLARK IS IMPORTANT IS IN
SOME WAYS CLARK IS REPRESENTATIVE OF US.
WE HAVE THE INSECURITIES OF BEING CLARK, AND WE WISH THAT OUR LOVED ONES WOULD USE THEIR
VISION TO SEE THROUGH THOSE INSECURITIES TO OUR GOOD
QUALITIES. I THINK THAT’S REALLY A FUNDAMENTAL PART OF THE SUPERMAN
MYTH. JERRY VERY MUCH PUT HIMSELF INTO
THE CHARACTER THAT WAY AND HE CAPTURED SOMETHING IN ALL OF US.
WE ALL HAVE THOSE KIND OF INSECURE MOMENTS.
>>WHENEVER I THINK ABOUT THAT, I THINK ABOUT THIS ISSUE RIGHT
HERE OF MAN OF STEEL FANTASTIC MINI SERIES WRITTEN AND DRAWN BY
JOHN BERN. I REMEMBER THERE WAS A SCENE IN
THERE WHERE ONE OF HIS PARENTS, I CAN’T REMEMBER IF IT WAS MA OR
PA, BUT THEY SAID TO SUPERMAN, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT
WEARING A MASK, PEOPLE AREN’T GOING TO THINK YOU HAVE ANYTHING
TO HIDE. SO DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE FACT
THAT, YES, EVEN WHEN YOU PUT THE GLASSES ON, YOU STILL LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME, BECAUSE NO ONE
IS GOING TO BE THINKING SUPERMAN IS TRYING TO HIDE BECAUSE HIS
FACE IS NOT COVERED. I THOUGHT THAT WAS GREAT
SUPERMAN HAS A SON NOW WITH LOIS LANE, JONATHAN KENT, WHO IS CURRENTLY SUPER-BOY.
CHARACTERS LIKE SUPERMAN FOR A LONG TIME CHILDREN WERE NEVER
REALLY IN THE EQUATION WHEN IT COMES TO CONTINUITY.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON SUPERMAN BEING A FATHER, YES, I DO KNOW BATMAN HAS A KID NOW.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON SUPERMAN BEING A FATHER AS
SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN PART OF TELLING JONATHAN’S STORY?
AND AS SOMEONE WHO IS FROM AN ERA WHERE THAT MIGHT NOT HAVE
BEEN TRIED, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?
>>AS THE YEARS GO ON, THE CONTINUITIES GET MORE COMPLEX
AND THERE’S MORE ROOM TO DO DIFFERENT KINDS OF STORIES. THE SUPERMAN OF MY TIME HADN’T
GOTTEN TO THE POINT OF HAVING KIDS.
THERE WERE LOTS OF IMAGINARY STORIES THAT I READ WHEN I WAS A
CHILD THAT IMAGINED WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE WHEN SUPERMAN MIGHT HAVE CHILDREN.
IT WAS REALLY FUN WHEN I WAS 7, 8, 9 YEARS OLD, SO I CAN
CERTAINLY IMAGINE THAT THE STORIES TODAY ARE FUN FOR PEOPLE
TO READ. IT’S NOT MY MOMENT.
WE GET FROZEN IN THE CHARACTERS, AS WE LOVE THEM BEST, AND WHEN I
WANT THE CHARACTER AS I LOVED HIM BEST, I GO BACK TO THE STUFF
I WAS READING WHEN I WAS 10 OR 12.
DOESN’T MAKE IT BETTER THAN WHAT’S BEING DONE NOW.
JUST IT REMINDS ME OF WHAT CANDY STORE I WAS IN WHEN I FOUND THAT ISSUE, OR WHERE I WAS AT CAMP
AND REACTING TO IT. I THINK THAT’S PART OF THE POWER
OF THE COMIC BOOK FORM. SO I’M GOING TO STICK TO SORT OF
MY MEMORIES AS THE HEART AND SOUL OF IT, AND NOT PASS JUDGMENT FOR GOOD OR FOR ILL ON
WHAT’S BEING DONE FOR A LATER GENERATION.>>YEARS AGO, WHEN CLARK AND
LOIS FINALLY GOT ENGAGED, AND THEN GOT MARRIED, WE TALKED A
LITTLE BIT ABOUT: WOULD WE EVER DO STORIES WHERE THEY BECOME
PARENTS? AND WE SAID: WELL, IT TOOK THEM
50 YEARS TO GET MARRIED, SO 50 YEARS FROM NOW, WE’LL GET TO IT.
[ LAUGHTER ] I THINK WITH THIS ONE, THE IDEA
WAS THAT IT ALLOWS US TO TELL A LITTLE BIT OF A DIFFERENT KIND OF A STORY WITH SUPERMAN, THAT IF SUPERMAN IS OUT THERE SERVING
IN TERMS OF A BEACON OF HOPE AND INSPIRATION, AND SUDDENLY TRYING
TO GUIDE THOSE AROUND HIM, WOULD IT BE FUN TO DO STORIES WHERE WE
SEE HIM TRYING TO DO THAT AS A PARENT?
IS THERE SOME KIND OF DUALITY THERE?
BECAUSE IDEALLY AS A PARENT, YOU’RE TRYING TO DO THE EXACT
SAME THING, RIGHT? YOU’RE TRYING TO SET AN EXAMPLE,
SET A STANDARD, AND HOPE THAT PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU.
SO I KNOW WHEN WE FIRST TALKED ABOUT IT, I SAID, IN A WAY THIS
CAN KIND OF REPRESENT SOME OF THAT.
IT CAN KIND OF REPRESENT SOMETHING OF THE FUTURE AND I
THINK THERE ARE NEW STORIES TO TELL WITH IT.
SO THAT’S WHY WE WENT AND HAD IT DONE.
I HAD GREAT FUN WITH IT. I THINK IT’S WORKED WELL.
>>YOU ENJOY WRITING WITH JONATHAN?
>>I ENJOY WRITING FOR JONATHAN BECAUSE I THINK TWO THINGS
HAPPEN. THERE WAS A FEEL THAT SUPERMAN
WOULD INSTANTLY FEEL OLD AND STODGY.
THERE’S ALWAYS THIS FEAR ABOUT SUPERMAN FEELING OLD AND STODGY
ANYWAY. SO I SAID LET’S EMBRACE IT AND
MAKE THE BEST OF IT, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME HAVING THAT FUN
SENSE OF YOUTH WHICH I THINK IS JON.
IT’S JUST A DIFFERENT VERSION OF SUPER BOY IN A WAY.
IT’S A SUPER BOY FOR THE NOW.>>CAN YOU GUYS TALK ABOUT,
THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF ACTION 1,000, THE CELEBRATORY
COMMEMORATIVE EDITION YOU PUT TOGETHER, AND ALSO THE
PERIODICAL WHICH YOU’VE BEEN WRITING THE LAST FEW YEARS.
COULD YOU TALK ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO?
AND WHAT IT WAS LIKE WORKING ON THEM FOR BOTH OF YOU?
>>SURE. I THINK DAN HAD THE MORE CLASSIC
OPPORTUNITY IN THE SENSE THAT HE WAS GETTING TO DO ACTION 1,000.
WHEN THAT ISSUE COMES OUT IT HAS HIS NAME ON IT AND THAT’S
SERIOUSLY COOL. WHAT I GOT TO DO WAS TO BE A
HISTORIAN. BE SOMEONE WHO COULD USE
KNOWLEDGE OF HOW THE CHARACTER HAD EVOLVED, USE KNOWLEDGE OF
WHO THE PEOPLE WERE WHO WOULD HAVE INTERESTING THINGS TO SAY
ABOUT THE CHARACTER, AND BRING THEM TOGETHER FOR THAT
CELEBRATION. I GOT TO THROW THE PARTY TO
CELEBRATE WHAT HE WAS DOING.>>IT WAS A GREAT PARTY.
>>THANK YOU. WE GOT SOME PRETTY COOL PEOPLE
AT THE PARTY AND THEY LOOKED BACK AND THEY PUT THE PIECES
TOGETHER, AND WE EXAMINED THE DIFFERENT ERAS AND REPRESENTED THE DIFFERENT THINGS IN CONTEXT
AND IT’S TERRIFIC TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT KIND OF CELEBRATION.
I’M UTTERLY JEALOUS OF ACTUALLY GETTING TO DO THE STORY ITSELF,
BUT IT’S GREAT JUST TO BE ABLE TO THROW THE PARTY.
>>AND, DAN, FOR YOU, WITH THE 1000th ISSUE, YOURS WRAPS IT
SELF UP WITH ISSUE 999. BUT GETTING TO THAT 1000th
ISSUE WHICH HAS MANY CONTRIBUTORS.
WHAT DID YOU SAY TO YOURSELF? OKAY, I HAVE ONE LITTLE PIECE OF
THIS HISTORIC COMIC. SOMETHING THAT’S NEVER HAPPENED
BEFORE, A COMIC REACHING 1,000 ISSUES.
WHAT DID YOU SAY TO YOURSELF YOU WANTED TO PUT IN YOUR STORY?
>>I THINK I WANTED TO FIND A WAY TO SAY “THANK YOU” IN A WAY.
WAY BACK WHEN, WHEN MAY KIDS WERE REALLY LITTLE, I TAUGHT
THEM TO SAY SOMETHING WHICH BASICALLY WENT THIS WAY, WHAT IS
SUPERMAN’S GREATEST POWER? I’D GET THEM TO SAY: HE PAYS
THE MORTGAGE. [ LAUGHTER ]
SO I HAVE ALWAYS FELT THAT HAVING HAD AN ASSOCIATION WITH A CHARACTER LIKE SUPERMAN THAT
LONG, THAT I STARTED TO THINK ALONG THE LINES OF, YOU KNOW,
HOW DO YOU SAY “THANK YOU”? AND IN MY STORY, IT’S REALLY
WHAT METROPOLIS DOES, IS THEIR WAY OF THANKING SUPERMAN.
YOU CAN’T GO OUT AND BUY HIM A NEW CAR OR GIVE HIM A CARIBBEAN
VACATION. IT’S — I WANTED TO WRITE
SOMETHING FROM THE HEART AND EXPRESS THAT THROUGH THE
CITIZENS OF METROPOLIS AND THAT’S WHAT I WAS GOING FOR, BECAUSE ACTION 1000 IS AN ICONIC
ISSUE AND THE STORIES I’VE READ IN IT ARE TREMENDOUS AND IT’S
BEEN FUN TO SEE IT COME TOGETHER.
I THINK IT REALLY IS A VERY SPECIAL BOOK.
>>WHAT DOES THE NUMBER 1,000 MEAN TO BOTH OF YOU?
WE’RE IN A REALLY DIFFERENT ERA IN THE COMIC BOOK INDUSTRY WHERE
THINGS KEEP REFRESHING AND NUMBER-ONE ISSUE, THAT’S THE BIG
THING NOW TO HAVE A NEW NUMBER-ONE ISSUE, TO START OVER.
I REMEMBER ONCE TALKING TO TODD McFARLAND, WHO, A FORMER DC
MARVEL ARTIST CREATOR OF SPAWN, HE ONCE TOLD ME HE NEVER THOUGHT
THAT HIS SPAWN COMIC WOULD BE ONE OF THE HEYEST NUMBERED
COMICS IN THE INDUSTRY, JUST BECAUSE OF THE WAY THINGS HAVE
CHANGED. WHEN WHEN NEW 52 CAME OUT AND DC
WENT TO NEW NUMBERING. DOES THE NUMBER 1,000 BECAUSE
IT’S NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE IN COMICS, DOES IT HAVE A SPECIAL
SIGNIFICANCE? WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU GUYS?
>>I WAS A COMIC BOOK COLLECTOR BEFORE I WAS A COMIC BOOK
PROFESSIONAL, AND TO BE ABLE TO HAVE A 100 ISSUE RUN OF ANYTHING
WAS AN EXTRAORDINARY THING IN THOSE DAYS. THERE WERE VERY FEW COMICS, A
DOZEN, TWO DOZEN, MAYBE, THAT HAD HAD RUNS WHERE YOU COULD
HAVE 100-ISSUE RUN THAT YOU COULD POSSIBLY COLLECT.
THE IDEA OF SOMETHING YOU COULD HAVE 1,000 ISSUES IN A ROW OF,
JUST IS UTTERLY UNIMAGINABLE TO THAT INNER KID IN ME.
AND I THINK IT’S INCREDIBLY EXCITING.
>>I’D ALSO ADD THAT WHEN I WAS A KID, AND I’D BE AT A GENERAL
NEWS STAND — THIS IS BEFORE COMIC SHOPS, SO IT’S JUST GENERAL NEWSSTAND — AND I COULD HOLD UP AN ISSUE OF SPIDERMAN 63 AND BATMAN I DON’T KNOW 215,
SAY, I JUST FIGURED ANYTHING THAT MADE IT TO 200 ISSUES MUST
BE BETTER. I THOUGHT THE HIGHER NUMBER
MEANT MORE QUALITY, I REALLY DID.
SO 1,000 MUST BE PRETTY GOOD. [ LAUGHTER ]
>>DAN, I HATE TO KEEP BRINGING THIS BACK TO DEATH OF SUPERMAN
BUT THAT’S A HUGE REASON WHY I’M HERE ON THIS STAGE RIGHT NOW IS
BECAUSE IT’S HOW MUCH THAT STORY LINE IMPACTED ME IN TERMS OF NOT
JUST BEING A KID WHO WENT TO 7 ELEVEN AND GRABBED THE COPPIC TO
DRAW STUFF BUT ACTUALLY WANTED TO READ A CONTINUING STORY.
IF YOU WOULD HAVE ASKED ME, THERE’S ONE COMIC BOOK MOMENT
THAT WOULD PROBABLY NEVER BE ADAPTED TO LIVE ACTION FILM, I
WOULD SAY IT WAS KILLING SUPERMAN.
BUT WE ACTUALLY GOT TO SEE IT HAPPEN, AND WHETHER YOU LIKED IT
OR NOT BATMAN VERSUS SUPERMAN, DAWN OF JUSTICE.
NOW, I REMEMBER, BECAUSE I LIKE TO PRIDE MYSELF ON THINKING I
CAN FIGURE OUT WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN IN A MOVIE BECAUSE I READ
THE BOOKS. I KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.
BUT EVEN WHEN THEY SHOWED DOOMSDAY IN THE TRAILER, I SAID
OH, THAT’S COOL, BUT THEY’RE NOT GONNA KILL HIM, AND THEY DID IT. THINK TO YOURSELF AND
SAY: WOW, I WASN’T EXPECTING THAT TO EVER BE ADAPTED INTO A
MOVIE?>>I THINK IN THE BACK OF MY
HEAD, BECAUSE RIGHT AWAY, THERE WERE — THERE WAS BOTH A
NOVELIZATION. THEY ALSO DID AUDIO BOOKS OF IT
THAT I THOUGHT WE WOULD EVENTUALLY GET THERE, ESPECIALLY
BECAUSE IT HAD COME UP EARLIER ANYWAY WITH THE TIM BURTON FILM.
THEN THEY DID IT AS AN ANIMATED MOVIE SO I THOUGHT YEAH, WE MATE JUST GET THERE AT SOME POINT SO
WHAT WAS — IT WAS COOL TO SEE IT DONE BUT I THINK WHAT REALLY
HIT ME AS I WAS SITTING IN THE MOVIE WAS THIS NOTION THAT NOT
ONLY DID THEY USE DOOMSDAY OR THE STORY MATERIAL, OR THE STORY
IDEA, BUT THEY ACTUALLY TRIED TO REPLICATE SOME OF THE STUFF THAT
I HAD DRAWN ON FILM. AND THAT WAS A VERY DIFFERENT
EXPERIENCE, BECAUSE THAT I HADN’T REALLY SEEN BEFORE.
AND TO SEE THEM TRY AND REPRODUCE SOMETHING ON FILM THAT
I HAD DRAWN, ALMOST LIKE VERBATIM A LITTLE BIT, THAT WAS
A THRILL.>>THAT’S GOT TO BE COOL.
>>YEAH.>>FOR THE RECORD THE ONLY THING
I WAS UPSET ABOUT IS THAT HE DIDN’T COME BACK IN THE BLACK
SUIT.>>ME, TOO.
>>BECAUSE HENRY TWEETED OUT THE IMAGE OF THE BLACK SUIT.
IT’S LIKE OH, THEY’RE GOING TO DO BLACK —
>>I’M WITH YOU. I’M YOU.
>>SORRY. [ LAUGHTER ]
>>WAIT FOR THE REMAKE.>>THERE WE GO.
CAN YOU GUYS TELL US ABOUT YOUR FIRST — CAN YOU REMEMBER YOUR
FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH THIS CHARACTER, WHEN YOU FIRST
DISCOVERED HIM?>>I THINK IT WAS WATCHING THE
GEORGE REEVES SHOWS ON THE LITTLE BLACK AND WHITE TV AT
HOME. THE COMIC COMES INTO MY LIFE,
LIKE MOST COMICS, IN BOXES THAT OLDER KIDS ON THE BLOCK HAD OF
THEIR COMICS, AND I’D SEE ALL THE DIFFERENT CHARACTERS, BUT THE FIRST COMIC THAT WAS MINE
WAS ACTION 300, WHICH A BABYSITTER BROUGHT TO SHUT ME UP
ONE NIGHT WHEN I WAS ABOUT 5 YEARS OLD, AND IT HAD A
SUBSCRIPTION AD WHERE FOR A DOLLAR YOU COULD GET A
SUBSCRIPTION FOR A YEAR. AND I SOMEHOW CONNED MY PARENTS
INTO SENDING IN THE DOLLAR FOR IT.
AND I WAS A SUBSCRIBER TO ACTION FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS AFTER
THAT.>>TALK ABOUT A DOLLAR WELL
SPENT. [ LAUGHTER ]
>>IT SORT OF PAID OFF ULTIMATELY.
[ LAUGHTER ]>>YEAH, YEAH.
>>THE FIRST TIME I EVER BOUGHT WAS A SUPERMAN COMIC, IT WAS
SUPERMAN 89. IT HAD SUPERMAN ON THE LEFT SIDE
OF THE COVER AND CRYPTOWAS BARKING AT HIM AND WEARING THE
CAPE. HE DOES NOT HAVE THE CAPE ON.
SUPERMAN IS SAYING OR THINKING, BECAUSE THEY DID THOUGHT
BALLOONS IN THOSE DAYS, SAID EVEN MY DOG CRYPTO DOESN’T
RECOGNIZE ME WHICH IF YOU’RE A KID, ALL RIGHT, I’LL BUY THAT.
LET’S SEE WHAT’S GOING ON. SO MY FIRST COMIC WAS A SUPERMAN
COMIC.>>FOR THE RECORD MY FIRST WAS
WHEN HE REVEALED HIS IDENTITY TO LOIS.
WHICH WAS IN ACTION COMICS.>>THAT WAS A POINT OF SOME
DISCUSSION, BECAUSE WHEN THAT STORY WAS ORIGINALLY PLANNED,
AND WE HAD A GROUP OF WRITERS IN THE ROOM THAT TALKED ABOUT IT
AND SET IT UP, THAT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN.
THEY WERE GOING TO GET ENGAGED AND THEN IN THE MIDDLE OF
PUTTING THE STORY TOGETHER, A COUPLE OF THE GUYS CALLED ME UP
ALONG WITH OUR EDITOR AT THE TIME, MIKE CARLIN AND SAID WE
JUST REALIZED, IF SUPERMAN PROPOSES TO LOIS LANE AND SHE
SAYS YES AND HE DOESN’T ADMIT THAT CLARK KENT ADMIT HE’S
SUPERMAN HE’S LYING TO HER AND THAT WOULD BE WRONG SO WE TALKED
ABOUT IT AT THE TIME AND THAT’S HOW WE KIND OF RECONFIGURED THAT
SCENE, SO IT DID PLAY OUT THAT WAY.
>>WE HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF TIME, ARE WE GOING TO LEAVE TIME FOR
Q & A WITH THE AUDIENCE? OKAY.
OKAY, THERE YOU GO, SIR, AND THEN I’LL GET YOU IN THE BACK.
THE MIC IS COMING. THAT’S WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR.
[ OFF MICROPHONE ]>>SO WHEN I WAS READING COMICS
AS A KID, I THOUGHT THEY WERE GEARED FOR KIDS.
I THOUGHT THEY WERE GEARED FOR THE 7-YEAR-OLD.
THESE COMICS THESE DAYS DON’T SEEM TO BE GEARED FOR THAT
AUDIENCE. HOW DO YOU KEEP KIDS IN IT TO GET MORE PEOPLE TURNING INTO THE INDUSTRY, AS READERS?
>>THAT WAS A GIGANTIC BUSINESS QUESTION IN THE 1980s WHEN THE COMIC SHOP BECAME THE NEW HOME OF THE FIELD WHEN THE NEWS STAND
WAS DRYING UP, BECAUSE PREPARE TO THE 1980s, IN AMERICA, IF
YOU WERE A KID, COMICS WERE THE FIRST THING YOU BOUGHT OTHER
THAN MAYBE CHEWING GUM. AND YOU PROGRESSED FROM READING DISNEY OR LOONY TUNES ON UP TO
GETTING THE SUPER HEROES AND THEN YOU DISCOVERED THE OPPOSITE
SEX OR SPORTS OR SOMETHING, AND YOU GAVE IT UP AND YOU MOVED ON.
THE MODEL CHANGED, AND FOR A FEW YEARS THERE WE WERE PETRIFIED
THAT WE’RE NEVER GOING TO HAVE NEW KIDS, BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE
THE NEWSSTANDS TO RECRUIT THEM WITH.
TURNED OUT THAT, IN FACT, YOU CAN RECRUIT PEOPLE TO START
READING COMICS AT A LATER AGE, AND STARTING IN THE LATE ’80s
AND VERY HEAVILY THROUGH THE ’90s, WE BEGAN TO SEE WAVES OF
KIDS COMING INTO THE MEDIUM IN HIGH SCHOOL AND IN COLLEGE
YEARS, WITH THE MATERIAL THAT WE WERE DOING FOR OLDER PEOPLE.
IN THE LAST 10 YEARS, THERE’S BEEN A WONDERFUL RESURGENCE IN
COMICS FOR KIDS. THE MOST SUCCESSFUL GRAPHIC
NOVEL OF THE LAST FEW YEARS IS THE WORK OF RENA TELGEMEYER,
WHICH CLEARLY REACHES PROBABLY AT ITS HEART 8 TO 10-YEAR-OLDS
AND GOES OUT AT PRINT RUNS LARGER THAN, SADLY, ANY ISSUE OF
SUPERMAN. AND THOSE ARE KIDS WHO ARE
COMING INTO COMICS THROUGH THAT. NOT ALL OF THEM WILL BE
INTERESTED IN SUPERMAN AFTERWARDS.
BUT SOME OF THEM WILL BE. SOME OF THEM WILL MOVE THROUGH
IT. AND I’M REALLY COMFORTABLE AT
THIS POINT THAT WE’RE RECRUITING A LOT OF NEW PEOPLE OF ALL AGES
TO COME INTO THE COMICS, AND THEY’RE JUST COMING IN THROUGH
VERY DIVERSE PATHS, NOT THE SAME EXACT PATH THAT MY GENERATION
CAME IN. IT’S A DIFFERENT TIME.
>>ONE OF THE THINGS I SEE THAT HAS DEFINITELY INCREASED OVER THE YEARS IS, IT’S VERY OFTEN
I’LL HEAR SOMEONE YOUR AGE WILL SAY THIS IS MY FAVORITE COMIC.
SOMEONE WILL PUT DOWN A TRADE PAPERBACK AND SAY THIS WAS MY
FIRST COMIC AND ONE OF THE BARRIERS I THINK WAS ALWAYS
THERE WAS THIS IDEA THEY COULDN’T NECESSARILY GET THAT 7
YEAR-OLD COULDN’T GET THE ENTIRE STORY IN AN ISSUE BECAUSE IT
MIGHT BE PART 3 OF A 6 PART STORY.
NOW WHEN THEY PUT DOWN THE TRADE PAPERBACK THEY HAVE THE WHOLE
STORY AND THAT’S WHAT I SEE MORE AND MORE.
THEY’RE GIVING ME A BOOK.>>DC ALSO HAS A GREAT GATEWAY AND THE TEEN TITANS GIRL CARTOON WHICH IS A PHENOMENAL WAY TO GET
KIDS INTERESTED IN CHARACTERS. NEXT QUESTION?
RIGHT HERE?>>GOOD EVENING.
THERE WE GO. JUST WANT TO START OFF BY SAYING
THANK YOU TO YOU BOTH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO DO THIS.
I THINK IT’S A VERY COOL AND I’M SURE EVERYONE IN THE AUDIENCE
APPRECIATES YOU TOOK THE TIME TO DO IT.
SO THANK YOU TO YOU BOTH. THE QUESTION I HAVE IS ACTUALLY
ABOUT LEX LUTHOR AND IT TIES BACK INTO AN EARLIER QUESTION
BROUGHT UP ABOUT THE THOUGHT PROCESS THAT SUPERMAN IS TOO
POWERFUL, THAT HE’S BORING BECAUSE THERE’S NO THREAT TO HIM
BUT, AND ESPECIALLY WHEN I MAKE THE COMPARISON TO THE MODERN DAY
INTERPRETATION OF LEX VERSUS THE FILMS, WHEN I’M READING OF LEX IN THE MODERN DAY COMIC BOOKS,
HE’S ONE OF THE BEST THAT HUMANITY HAS TO OFFER IN THE
INTELLECT, THE PROWESS, THE WILL AND THAT’S WHY SUPERMAN TAKES
HIM SO SERIOUSLY BECAUSE HE RECOGNIZES THAT AND HE KNOWS
THIS GUY IS COMMITTED TO TAKING HIM DOWN.
BUT THEN WHEN I LOOK AT THE FILM, EVEN GOING BACK TO
SUPERMAN THE MOVIE, THERE’S AN ELEMENT OF KIND OF OVER THE TOPNESS, AND HAMMINESS THAT THE
LEX LUTHOR CHARACTER IS PRO TRAYED AND IT’S HARD THEIRTIVELY
TO PORTRAY THEM TO THE AUDIENCE AND THINK THAT’S A CHARACTER
SUPERMAN WILL TAKE SERIOUSLY AS A THREAT.
UNLIKE THE JOKER WHERE HIS OVER THE TOPNESS PLAYS INTO THE
PSYCHOTIC NATURE AND MAKES IT MORE THREATENING, I THINK THAT
DOESN’T NECESSARILY PLAY WITH THE CHARACTER LEX LUTHOR IN
REGARDS TO HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH SUPERMAN.
SO I’M JUST WONDERING WHY YOU THINK THAT ELEMENT KEEPS MAKING ITS WAY INTO THE FILM, THEN NOT
NECESSARILY TAKING THE CUES FROM THE MODERN DAY INTERPRETATION OF
LEX LUTHOR?>>I THINK IN SOME WAYS, YOU
KNOW, LEX MIGHT HAVE BEEN CHOSEN FOR THE FILM AND PORTRAYED THOSE
WAYS BECAUSE HE WAS FAMILIAR, BUT TO BACKTRACK A LITTLE BIT ON
YOUR QUESTION, WHICH IS, IS IT HARD TO WRITE FOR SUPERMAN
BECAUSE OF THE POWER LEVEL? AND ESPECIALLY WITH REGARDS TO
LEX LUTHOR, BECAUSE HE DOESN’T HAVE THAT LEVEL OF POWER?
I THINK YOU WRITE A GOOD STORY BY TESTING CHARACTER AND THAT’S
WHAT YOU FIND OUT WITH A SUPERMAN STORY AND I DON’T FIND
THAT HARD TO WRITE FOR. YOU TEST SUPERMAN’S CHARACTER SOMEHOW AND IF YOU TAKE SOMEONE
LIKE LEKS LUTHOR, WHO IS SO DEVIOUS AND INTELLIGENT AND
CRAFTY THERE SHOULD BE MANY WAYS FOR HIM TO TEST SUPERMAN
SOMEHOW. EVEN IF HE STANDS INSIDE LEX’S
OFFICE WHERE HE COULD USE HIS X-RAY VISION TO LOOK AT ANY DATA
OR LISTEN TO ANY CONVERSATION THAT NONE OF THAT APPEARS IN THE
OFFICE BECAUSE LEX IS TOO SMART SO THERE ARE ALWAYS GOOD WAYS TO
DO THAT KIND OF A STORY AND I THINK THE FACT THAT LEX DOESN’T
HAVE SUPER-POWERS WHEN PITTED AGAINST SUPERMAN IS PART OF WHAT
MAKES THAT DYNAMIC SO INTERESTING.
>>I RECALL THAT ONE OF THE I THINK MAYBE THE BEST
EXPLANATIONS I EVER SAW WAS I THINK IT WAS A JUSTICE LEAGUE
COMIC, BUT A CHARACTER WITH ACTION SUPERMAN, WHY ARE YOU SO
WORRIED ABOUT HIM? HE SAYS, I CAN’T SEE WHAT HE’S
THINKING AND HE’S ALWAYS THINKING. SO I JUST, THE SERIOUSNESS OF
THAT CHARACTER NOT COMING THROUGH IN THE FILMS, I WONDER
WHY THAT HASN’T HAPPENED.>>I THINK IT’S ALSO, THE GUYS
ASKED ME TO DO A LITTLE SUPERMAN AND LEX STORY THAT’S INCLUDED IN
THE HARDCOVER, WHICH I HAD THE PLEASURE OF HAVING WORKING WITH
KNEEL ADAMS ON. IT’S AMAZING — NEIL ADAMS ON.
IT’S AMAZING. AND THE STORY CENTERS AROUND THE IDEA THAT BECAUSE LEX IS SUCH A
REPRESENTATIVE OF WHAT IS STRONG IN THE HUMAN RACE, AS WELL AS
WHAT WENT WRONG, SUPERMAN DOESN’T WANT TO DEFEAT HIM.
HE WANTS TO WIN HIM OVER ON SOME LEVEL.
AND IT’S JUST A LITTLE STORY OF SUPERMAN GOING TO PLAY CHESS
WITH LEX LUTHOR, BECAUSE HE KEEPS HOPING THAT IF HE JUST
SITS DOWN AND SHOWS LEX THE RIGHT WAY TO THINK, THAT THERE
WILL BE SOME WAY TO GET THROUGH TO HIM, CONVINCE HIM THAT SUPERMAN IS NOT A BAD THING FOR
THE WORLD, BUT ALSO HAVE LEX BE A GOOD PART OF THE WORLD, AND
LIKE SUPERMAN, MAKE THE CHOICE TO USE HIS PERSONAL GIFTS, HIS
PERSONAL ABILITIES, FOR THE RIGHT CAUSES.
>>THANK YOU.>>DOESN’T NECESSARILY WORK OUT AS SUPERMAN INTENDED.
>>EXCUSE ME. THANKS A LOT.
I REALLY CAN’T SAY HOW MUCH I’VE ENJOYED BOTH OF YOUR WORK OVER
THE YEARS. AND IN PARTICULAR, MR. LEVITZ,
THE GREAT DARKNESS SAGA. I’M GEEING OUT.
I WAS IN COLLEGE AT THE TIME. IT WAS SOMETHING TO BE ABLE TO
TAKE 20 MINUTES AND GET A BREAK FROM COLLEGE TO GO INTO A WHOLE
OTHER DIFFERENT WORLD. THAT SAID, I GUESS IN A FEW DAYS
IS THE 60th ANNIVERSARY OF THE LEGION OF SUPERHEROS AND I’M
JUST CURIOUS, ONE OF THE WAYS I’VE ALWAYS ENJOYED SUPERMAN IS
THE INTERACTION WITH OTHER CHARACTERS AND I DON’T KNOW IF
EITHER OF YOU HAVE SOMETHING YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT THAT.
>>I THINK IT’S ALWAYS FUN. PART OF IT IS THAT WHENEVER WE
PUT CHARACTERS LIKE THAT TOGETHER, WE FIND OUT WHAT MAKES
THEM GIVEN FROM ONE ANOTHER AND IT’S ALWAYS FUN TO SEE THAT
CHARACTER MIX. AND SOME OF THEM CAN BE QUITE
SPECIAL. OBVIOUSLY THERE’S ALWAYS BEEN
THE SUPERMAN-BATMAN DYNAMIC. MORE RECENTLY THE
SUPERMAN-WONDER WOMAN DYNAMIC. CERTAINLY WITH THE LEGION, WHERE
SUPERBOY WAS FLAT-OUT INSPIRATION FOR THEM TO EXIST,
THAT’S SORT OF LIKE THE ULTIMATE COMBINATION OF CHARACTERS THERE.
>>THAT’S THE FIRST STUFF WE GOT TO DO TOGETHER.
>>YEAH.>>TOWARDS THE BEGINNING OF YOUR
CAREER AS AN ARTIST, RIGHT?>>MM-HMM, YEP.
>>I AGREE COMPLETELY WITH WHAT DAN SAID.
THE OTHER THING I THINK THAT’S KEY ON THAT IS WHEN YOU PUT
SUPERMAN AMONG THE OTHER HEROES, YOU REALLY SEE HIS ICONIC NATURE, BECAUSE HE’S
FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE REST OF THEM.
THERE ARE MANY OTHER HEROES THAT HAVE INCREDIBLE POWERS, BUT IN
THIS MYTHOLOGY, HE’S THE PRIMAL FIGURE, AND YOU SEE PEOPLE
REACTING TO HIM THAT WAY, AND IT’S KIND OF, IF THOMAS
JEFFERSON SHOWED UP HERE AND WANTED TO GO DIGGING THROUGH
SOME OF THE BOOKS IN THE LIBRARY, IT WOULD BE A VERY
DIFFERENT REACTION THAN THE MOST IMPRESSIVE POLITICIAN THAT YOU
COULD POSSIBLY FIND IN WASHINGTON TODAY SHOWING UP AND WANTING TO DO THAT RESEARCH.
>>YEAH.>>I THANK YOU BOTH.
THIS HAS BEEN A REALLY AWESOME EVENT.
I LOVE SUPERMAN A LOT AND IT’S AWESOME TO TALK ABOUT THE MAN OF
STEEL. I ACTUALLY WANT TO DIG A LITTLE DEEPER INTO THE BATMAN-SUPERMAN
RELATIONSHIP SPECIFICALLY. THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF
DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS BASED ON, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN FIND
SOMETHING WHERE THEY’RE FLAT-OUT ENEMIES.
YOU CAN FIND THINGS WHERE THEY’RE FRENEMIES, YOU CAN FIND
THINGS WHERE THEY’RE THE BEST OF FRIENDS, THERE’S A TRUST BUT
VERIFY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE TWO OF THEM.
I’M INTERESTED, HOW DO YOU BOTH VIEW THAT RELATIONSHIP?
SHOULD THERE BE SOME ANTAGONISM, SHOULD THERE BE SOME TENSION?
OR IS THAT SOMETHING THAT’S ALMOST LIKE A RELIC AND SHOULD
THAT BE DISPOSED OF TO TELL NEW STORIES ABOUT BATMAN AND
SUPERMAN IN THAT RELATIONSHIP?>>I HAVE NEVER APPROACHED IT AS
THOUGH THEY’RE THE BEST OF BUDDIES. I THINK THERE IS AN INCREDIBLE
AMOUNT OF MUTUAL RESPECT ON BOTH SIDES, BUT FUNDAMENTALLY, I
THINK THEY OPERATE IN VERY DIFFERENT WAYS.
AND BECAUSE THEY OPERATE IN VERY DIFFERENT WAYS, IT’S NOT AS THOUGH SUPERMAN CATEGORICALLY
APPROVES. DOESN’T MEAN HE DISAPPROVES.
BUT I THINK THERE’S ALWAYS — I THINK IT’S BETTER WHEN THERE’S
SOME TENSION THERE. YOU KNOW, BATMAN IS A CREATURE
OF THE NIGHT. SUPERMAN IS OF THE SUN.
BATMAN WEARS THE MASK. SUPERMAN DOES NOT. ALL THAT STUFF, IT’S THERE AS A
DIFFERENCE, BUT THOSE DIFFERENCES MEAN SOMETHING, AND
I ALWAYS THINK IT’S BEEN A LITTLE FORCED JUST TO SAY
BECAUSE THEY WERE IN A TITLE FOR SO LONG THAT WAS IN THE WORLD’S
FINEST COMICS THAT THEY HAVE TO BE THE BEST OF BUDDIES.
THEY SEEM TOO DIFFERENT THAN THAT TO ME.
AND YEAH, OPPOSITES ATTRACT BUT I STILL THINK THEY’RE TOO
DIFFERENT FROM ONE ANOTHER.>>I AGREE WITH WHAT YOU’RE
SAYING, DAN. I JUST DON’T THINK THEY’D BE
COMFORTABLE WITH EACH OTHER.>>RIGHT.
>>THERE’S GOT TO BE A PART OF BATMAN THAT LOOKS AND SAYS:
JESUS, IF I HAD THOSE POWERS, I WOULD JUST DESTROY EVERY GUN IN
GOTHAM CITY IN ONE NIGHT. I’D RUN FROM BUILDING TO
BUILDING TO BUILDING DOING THIS. THE THINGS I WOULD BE ABLE TO
ACCOMPLISH WITH IT. AND SUPERMAN AT THE SAME TIME
WOULD LOOK AT THE METHODOLOGY BATMAN USES, THE EMPHASIS ON
FEAR, AND BE TURNED OFF. IT WOULD BE SOMETHING HE’D JUST
BE TOTALLY UNCOMFORTABLE WITH ON SOME VERY BASIC LEVEL.
IT’S CHALLENGING WRITING ANYTHING LIKE JUSTICE LEAGUE,
BECAUSE YOU BRING TOGETHER CHARACTERS WHO HAVE SUCH
FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW.
ON ONE LEVEL, IT’S GREAT BECAUSE YOU REALLY AS DAN WAS SAYING,
YOU GET TO SHOW THE CONFLICT POINTS BETWEEN THEM THAT
HEIGHTEN THE RELATIONSHIPS. AND WE RECOGNIZE IT AS PEOPLE.
IT’S NO DIFFERENT THAN THE RELATIONSHIPS WE SEE IN MEMBERS
OF A SPORTS TEAM WHO ARE BROUGHT TOGETHER FOR THE SAME GOAL, BUT
ONE OF THEM’S A SHOW-OFF AND THE OTHER ONE IS A GREAT TEAM PLAYER
AND ONE OF THEM’S ALWAYS THINKING ABOUT WHAT THE NEXT
PLAY MIGHT BE AND TALKING TO THE COACH AND OUTTHINKING THEM.
SO IT’S VERY HUMAN AND RECOGNIZABLE.
BUT IT’S VERY CHALLENGING TO PUT THAT TOGETHER AND SAY: WOULD
THEY STAY TOGETHER? WOULD THEY PLAY NICELY TOGETHER?>>HEY, PROFESSOR.
HOW ARE YOU? IT’S BEEN A WHILE.
IT’S ANDREW DAVIS.>>HELLO THERE.
>>SO MY QUESTION IS PIGGYBACKING OFF THE BATMAN
QUESTION THAT WAS JUST ASKED, SO NIGHTFALL CAME OUT AND SUPERMAN
CAME OUT RELATIVELY CLOSE TO EACH OTHER.
HOW WERE YOU TWO FEELING WHEN THOSE TWO BOOKS CAME OUT?
AND WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR HEAD ON THEM COMPETING WITH EACH
OTHER, OR NOT COMPETING WITH EACH OTHER?
>>MY THOUGHT WAS, OH, MY GOD, WE’RE SELLING SO MANY COMICS.
[ LAUGHTER ]>>THOSE WERE GOOD DAYS.
>>THERE WAS A PERIOD THERE OF ABOUT 6 MONTHS OR A YEAR WHERE
WE WERE HAVING WEEKLY MEETINGS TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO KEEP SOME
OF THESE THINGS IN PRINT, BECAUSE IT WAS JUST MOVING
THROUGH SO QUICKLY. AND IT WAS A PHENOMENAL MOMENT.
YOU KNOW, THE SUCCESS OF DEATH OF SUPERMAN, WHICH WAS REALLY
THE EXTRAORDINARY THING, NIGHTFALL WAS SUCCESSFUL, BUT
NOWHERE NEAR IN THE SAME LEAGUE, WAS NOT ANYTHING WE WERE
ANTICIPATING. WE’D KILLED SUPERMAN BEFORE.
WE’D KILLED HIM A COUPLE DIFFERENT WAYS.
WE KILLED HIM DIFFERENT TIMES. THEY WERE NICE STORIES.
YOU CAN ARGUE THAT THE JERRY SIEGEL VERSION OF KILLING
SUPERMAN IN THE ’60s WAS ONE OF THE BEST SUPERMAN STORIES OF
THE 1960s, BUT ULTIMATELY IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS
NOBODY CARED. THE RUN THAT DAN WORKED ON WITH
MIKE CARLIN AND THE WHOLE REST OF THE TEAM, WHETHER IT WAS
BECAUSE IT FIRST HIT — THE NEWS OF IT FIRST HIT ON A SLOW NEWS
DAY OR THE ZEITGEIST OF THE WORLD HAD CHANGED, A BUNCH OF
THINGS CAME TOGETHER, AND WE WERE JUST STANDING THERE WITH A
BASKET CATCHING MANNA FROM HEAVEN FOR A WHILE.
THIS WAS A VERY EARLY DAYS OF DOING ANY KIND OF GRAPHIC NOVEL
FORMAT TRADE PAPERBACK OR ANYTHING, AND WE WANTED TO DO A
ONE-VOLUME EDITION OF THE FIRST DEATH STORY.
WE HAD SOLD SO MANY COPIES OF THE INDIVIDUAL, SO MANY
PRINTINGS, I REMEMBER VERY VIVIDLY, THE GUYS WHO HANDLED
THE NEWS STAND SIDE OF OUR BUSINESS, THE MASS MARKET
DISTRIBUTION, COMING IN AND THEY WANTED COPIES OF THIS ONE-VOLUME
TRADE PAPERBACK WE WERE DOING. WELL, THAT WAS A RETURNABLE
BUSINESS, SO THE MORE COPIES YOU PRINTED FOR IT, THE MORE RISK
YOU WERE TAKING. AND THE NORMAL PRINT RUN THAT
YOU WOULD DO FOR SENDING SOMETHING TO THE NEWSSTAND IN
COMICS AT THAT POINT MIGHT HAVE BEEN 50,000 OR 100,000 COPIES,
AT MOST, OF SOMETHING. AND USUALLY IT WAS A COMIC BOOK THAT WAS A PROBABLY AT THAT TIME A DOLLAR COMIC OR A 75-CENT COMIC, SO THE COST TO PRINT
WASN’T VERY MUCH. IT WASN’T AN ENORMOUS RISK TO
PUT IT OUT THERE. WE SAID ALL RIGHT, LOOK AND SEE
HOW MANY YOU THINK WE CAN MOVE THROUGH THE NEWSSTANDS.
THEY CAME BACK AND SAID: OKAY, WE NEED 650,000.
AND THIS WAS $3.95 I THINK FOR THE FIRST VERSION.
>>$4.95. AND RIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS TOO,
RIGHT?>>SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT.
>>THAT’S WHAT WAS REALLY A MIRACLE IS THE SPEED WITH WHICH
YOU PULLED IT TOGETHER.>>NORMALLY SPEAKING, YOU’D
EXPECT IF YOU WERE SUCCESSFUL FOR SOMETHING LIKE THAT TO SELL
HALF OF THE COPIES YOU SHIPPED, MAYBE 1/3 OF THE COPIES AND THE
REST WOULD COME BACK AND BE DEAD TREES.
AND — BUT YOU ALSO MIGHT GET ALL OF THEM BACK AND WE HADN’T
SENT OUT 600,000 OF ANYTHING TO THE NEWSSTAND FOR, GOD, 20 YEARS
AT THAT POINT. BUT WE HAD MADE ENOUGH MONEY OFF
THE PERIODICAL COPIES THAT WE SAID: OKAY, WE CAN AFFORD TO
GAMBLE THIS THIS YEAR AND WE PRINTED THE 650,000, OR WHATEVER
IT WAS, AND WE SENT IT OUT. AND THEY ALL SOLD.
IT WAS AN AMAZING YEAR.>>GOT TIME FOR ONE MORE
QUESTION. IT’S GOT TO BE REALLY GOOD.
[ LAUGHTER ]>>DO YOU GET TO PICK DOOMSDAY WHO GOT THE DEATH TO SUPERMAN? OR DID DC PICK?
>>HELP ME OUT. WHAT ABOUT PICKING THE DEATH OF
SUPERMAN? DID WE…
>>DID YOU GET TO PICK DOOMSDAY? OR DID DC PICK DOOMSDAY?
>>WELL, WE DECIDED TO DO THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN, RIGHT? AND ACTUALLY, I HAD TWO STORIES
WRITTEN — OR TWO IDEAS WRITTEN ON A YELLOW LEGAL PAD.
ONE WAS DEATH OF SUPERMAN. AND THE OTHER ONE WAS MONSTER
TRASHES METROPOLIS. ON ANOTHER SHEET RIGHT UNDER
THAT ONE I HAD A SKETCH OF A MONSTER WITH SOME BONES SORT OF
STICKING OUT OF HIM. THIS WAS ON A YELLOW LEGAL PAD.
WE STARTED TALKING ABOUT A STORY CALLED THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN.
WE WERE SEVERAL WRITERS AND ARTISTS AND OUR EDITORIAL TEAM
ALL IN THE ROOM TOGETHER, AND WE STARTED TO FOCUS ON IT AND
THOUGHT THAT WOULD WORK OUT. BUT WE STILL DIDN’T HAVE A NAME
FOR THE MONSTER OR ANYTHING ELSE, AND OUR EDITOR WROTE:
DOOMSDAY FOR SUPERMAN AT THE TOP OF THE BOARD.
AND WE THEN SAID: WAIT! BECAUSE BACK THEN EVERYBODY HAD
CRAZY NAMES. IT WAS BLOOD THIS AND BLOOD THAT
IN A LOT OF WAYS. AND I THINK IT WAS ME BUT I’M
NOT 100% SURE SAID: IS THERE ANYBODY CALLED DOOMSDAY?
AND WE ALL START, DOOMSDAY? NO, THERE’S NOT SO THAT’S HOW HE
GOT THE NAME DOOMSDAY AND I HAD A LITTLE SKETCH RIGHT THERE, SO
WE SORT OF PICKED IT BUT THEN BECAUSE WE HAD AN EDITOR IN THE
ROOM, DC WENT FOR IT. [ LAUGHTER ] [ APPLAUSE ]
>>WAS THAT HARRY?>>NO, THAT CAME LATER.
THAT WAS A MEETING OR TWO LATER I THINK.
>>THE TWO OF YOU WERE NICE ENOUGH, TO AWACHTLY HAVE ONE OF
THE FIRST COPIES OF THE CELEBRATION OF 80 YEARS ACTION
COMICS. THIS ISN’T THE PERIODICAL, THIS
IS ACTUALLY THE COLLECTION THAT PAUL EDITED AND PUT TOGETHER,
BECAUSE REMEMBER, THERE ARE TWO VERSIONS COMING OUT.
YOU GUYS HAVE SIGNED THIS COPY FOR THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, SO
THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [ APPLAUSE ] SO OPEN BEHALF OF EVERYONE HERE,
AND PAUL AND DAN, WE’D LIKE TO THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING OUT TO
THIS VERY FUN CONVERSATION. GENTLEMEN, THANK YOU.
>>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU!
[ APPLAUSE ] AND THANK YOU ALL.
[ APPLAUSE ] YEAR

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