I know I mentioned this in today’s Runaround. But it has stuck in the head. In a recent interview at CBR talking to Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, the question of criticism of DC’s handling of racial matters in its books was broached.
Now I like Dan DiDio. Find him charming, witty, very entertaining and on at least one point went to war with Nikki Finke over him when she insisted he was about to be fired two years ago. But sometimes he just says something and you’re left thinking “Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan….”
As part of his explanation, Dan DiDio was quoted as saying;
We’re always going to be exploring different ways to go. One of the things I think Grant Morrison did extraordinarily well with “52” and “Final Crisis” was to really show that it’s not just that the heroes are U.S.-centric. The introduction of the Great Ten and the introduction of the Super Young Team are things that Grant brought that we constantly build out from. When Dwayne McDuffie was writing “Justice League of America,” we had an incredibly diverse cast of characters as we worked the Milestone characters into the DC Universe. So again, we’re taking great steps to show that we as a company reflect the audience that’s out there for our books. When we go to conventions, we look at the audience, and we see that it’s an incredible blend in terms of race and gender. Men and women read our books. We have a wide breadth of books and things going on, and to focus on one thing is inappropriate, in my opinion. It’s a mistake, because if you look at one book, you have to realize that DC Comics puts out nearly a hundred books each month, and to focus on one book, one issue, is doing a true disservice to the company, the comics and to the industry.
The interviewer then changed the subject rather than saying “Dwayne McDuffie on JLA, the man who you wooed with promised of integrating the Milestone characters into DC continuity, only to drop them all, and give him the JLA for as long as he wanted – until you fired him for talking about the writing process on your own companies boards which you were happy to keep up for nine months until other people noticed? The same Dwayne McDuffie who saw his Milestone Forever books micro-edited for legal concerns over using quotes which a) weren’t a legal concern and b) you owned one of the quotes? And the JLA who, as soon as Dwayne had been fired off the book, saw minorities all but ethnically cleansed from the team?”
“And Great Ten, the book that received more criticism for sterotypical portrayals of foreign citizens than Banshee in the X-Men? And the series that you cancelled early anyway?”
“Those are the examples you use to proclaim DC’s committent to diversity? Books DC no longer want to publish?”
Instead the interviewer moved onto talking about Vertigo. Which is a whole other kettle of worms…