Excerpt from a Janelle Asselin Interview About Her Time At DC Comics Under Didio

Cicada 5

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In an interview with The Comics Journal, editor and writer Janelle Asselin talks about her experience at DC while serving under Dan Didio:

I do think the culture at DC when I was there was toxic in a lot of ways. Didio would get so angry he would throw things and shout and slam doors – the door frame to his co-publisher office had a crack around it because he’d slammed it so many times. I once saw him throw lettering copy at an associate editor in a rage. He threw his office phone to the ground once and then was so angry about it being broken that you could hear him bellowing for his assistant down the hall to get him a new phone.

One of my favorite personal Didio stories is that we were doing Batman and Detective Comics annuals and Mike Marts, my boss, had allowed me to edit a two page story in each featuring the first published version of Dustin Nguyen’s Lil Gotham stuff. Nguyen had been doing those drawings on his own for a while and we really liked them but never had a place for them, until these annuals came along.

Anyway, Didio found out we were putting “kiddy shit” in mainstream Batman comics, and he lost his mind. Someone, I don’t remember who, popped into my office and told me that Dan was furious upon seeing the lettering and that he was going to come down to scream at me. Marts told me to leave for the day (it was already like 5 anyway) and that he would handle it, so I scampered. Marts got the brunt of the ranting and screaming that was meant for me. I felt guilty but also relieved, you know? I don’t hold up well under screaming.

And of course, a few years later, they published longer form Lil Gotham stuff to great critical praise which made me laugh.

My other favorite personal Didio story is the time I tried to hire Jamal Igle to draw Birds of Prey while Gail Simone was writing it. Igle had done some fantastic character sketches and Simone and I were super excited to work with him on it. I’d gone through the proper channels to get the hiring approved, including Marts clearing it with Didio, but apparently it hadn’t registered until someone had a problem with the hiring that they took to Didio.

Didio called me to his office to tell me I needed to fire Igle and hire someone with a different style. To explain what he wanted, he started miming with his hands large breasts in front of his chest. I said to him, Dan, please stop making those gestures, to which he responded “what?! I’m Italian!” as if that made it okay?
 

XsjadoBlayde

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Ah, the classic "What? ...I'm (insert any deflection of responsibility)" line. Seen so many examples of those type of males deploying variations of it throughout life journeys, such as "What? I'm just being honest!" Or "What? I'm just a red blooded man!" Or "What? "I've had a drink (or two)" Or "What? My wife/girlfriend/fiance just left me" (can't imagine why). Basically, any out you allow them to dodge actual responsibility for being a pervy assholes they'll latch onto like a starved baby near an unguarded nipple.
 
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Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
I read Didio as dildo and... am now disappointed
Seems like having a dildo as a boss rather than Didio would have made for a more pleasant work environment.
 

Trunkage

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So, got through the first page. I can sympathize. While there has never been sexual harassment at my workplace, I've seen far too many people fail upward and any criticism is met with firing for this not to feel too real for me. If work has taught me anything, dont bother putting in a good effort, only worry about sucking up to the boss
 

Bob_McMillan

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As someone who is a huge fan of comics, this is exactly the kind of shit I expect from the comics industry. A cringey manchild sexist at the helm of the company. Thankfully, he has never written anything I enjoyed, so there's no sense of regret from me.

Actually, now that I think about it, how did this dude end up becoming a prominent figure in DC? I don't recognize anything from his bibliography, it doesn't seem he's ever made anything noteworthy.
 
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Cicada 5

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As someone who is a huge fan of comics, this is exactly the kind of shit I expect from the comics industry. A cringey manchild sexist at the helm of the company. Thankfully, he has never written anything I enjoyed, so there's no sense of regret from me.

Actually, now that I think about it, how did this dude end up becoming a prominent figure in DC? I don't recognize anything from his bibliography, it doesn't seem he's ever made anything noteworthy.
Prior to working at DC, DiDio worked in t.v. as a writer and story editor for shows like ReBoot and Shadow Raiders. Marvel and DC have occasionally tried to bring in people from outside comics to increase sales and I guess DiDio was one of the earlier examples of this. Unfortunately, he failed to bring in newer fans while alienating older ones.
 

Buyetyen

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What a classless dogfucker. I still owe him 4 kicks to the sack for that Harley Quinn Suicide Prevention Week bullshit.
 

Thaluikhain

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What a classless dogfucker. I still owe him 4 kicks to the sack for that Harley Quinn Suicide Prevention Week bullshit.
The what?

*googles*

Oh, yeah, I remember that now. And, yeah, you probably do owe him that.
 

Gordon_4

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What a classless dogfucker. I still owe him 4 kicks to the sack for that Harley Quinn Suicide Prevention Week bullshit.
Fucking what? I mean fucking what? You have an art contest for Suicide Prevention Week - a good idea in itself - but you involve Harley Quinn. Harley. Fucking. Quinn. The Joker’s abused and psychotic girlfriend who is herself a failed psychologist. Not Superman. Not Batman. Not Wonder Woman or literally any other actually heroic character DC owns. Nope, gotta be the Joker’s bit of clown crumpet.

What a fucking tool.
 

BrawlMan

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DiDio worked in t.v. as a writer and story editor for shows like ReBoot
Everything is relative. I never would have known. Then again, I was not that in to Reboot. I watched it on occasion, but I vaguely remember anything.

May this bastard never find work again and rot in his own suffering.
 

Cicada 5

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Everything is relative. I never would have known. Then again, I was not that in to Reboot. I watched it on occasion, but I vaguely remember anything.

May this bastard never find work again and rot in his own suffering.
He recently got a job with Image Comics.