An AFI Round Table Interview: A Conversation With The Man In Charge Of DC Direct
Georg Brewer, Tim Bruckner, Shawn Knapp
Mike: Hola, amigos! Welcome to
another edition of Open Mike. Once again, George Brewer, Vice
President of Design and DC Direct at DC Comics, has graciously taken
time out of his hectic schedule to answer some Pre-Toy Fair questions
for us. Without further ado, the interview:
Georg: Gee Mike, you really loaded
this down. I will try to give you as much info as I can, but please
understand where I might want to hold some things back that we have
plans to announce at specific times. Let me know if you have any follow
up questions. GB
Mike: The Superman Through The Ages
gift set is really cool. Any plans to do the same for Batman and Wonder
Georg: Nothing specific at this point,
but if it does well we would certainly consider it.
Mike: There’s been a great deal
of buzz on the ‘net about the 13” line. Most people want to know
how the line is doing in terms of sales and how long it’s going to
run. Do you see it continuing into the foreseeable future? And when
might we see our first female in the line?
Georg: The line has been well received
and we are really happy with the way it is performing. We have already
planned out through ‘07 and adding female characters to the line is
a mighty fine suggestion. Stay tuned....
Mike: There’s also a tremendous
amount of interest on the boards in the Crisis On Infinite Earth’s
and First Appearance lines. I’ve had many people ask me to ask you
if we’ll see more of those.
Georg: I have always envisioned these
lines running for a long time, as this is a great platform for a variety
of characters. First Appearance is
a little trickier to find enough popular distinct characters to include,
but we certainly are looking to continue lines that do well.
Mike: I love the Alex Ross Justice
line. Tim Bruckner and Karen Palinko are doing the best work of
their careers on these figures. I believe you’ve stated that
you’d like to see 30 figures in the Ross line all told. Is there
any chance that you could go beyond that? Maybe include the Silver Age
Teen Titans? And wouldn’t an Alex Ross based Ma Hunkel figure
be a cool convention or internet exclusive?
Georg: I knew there would be a Ma H.
question somewhere in here! I have seen this 30 figure number attributed
to me before, though cannot remember specifying. We have more waves
coming, and once complete I like the suggestion of branching further
out beyond the book. Thanks I’ll keep that one.
Mike: I’m told I’ll die a slow,
agonizing death if I don’t ask you about the Silver Age Legion. Are
there any plans to bring that line back from hiatus? If not, what are
the odds that some Legion figures may appear in future Crisis, First
Appearance or Silver Age Superman waves?
Georg: Sorry no plans at this time,
but it is never far from my mind when fishing around for ideas...
Mike: In San Diego, you said that
you and the crew had discussed doing a Giffen/DeMatteis JLI assortment.
Are we any closer to that?
Georg: Time will tell...
Mike: Are there any plans to standardize
the articulation across the DCD line? In other words, have every
figure in the line come with at least X amount of articulation?
Georg: We do have standard that ranges
between nine and thirteen points. However when the needs of the character
dictate more, or sometimes less we will make exceptions.
Mike: Any plans for figures or merchandise
based on Superman Returns and Joss Whedon’s Wonder Woman?
Georg: Yes and too early to say...
Mike: I get sooooo many requests from
folks asking me to ask you about the Marvel family. Any possibility
of a Marvel family wave of Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, Captain Marvel
Jr. and Black Adam?
Georg: Another mighty fine idea....
Mike: I love the Ed McGuiness figures.
Will there be more of those?
Georg: I love this line too, and we
have a few ideas in the pipeline based on his style.
Mike: Villains are pretty popular
these days. And Gail Simone’s Villains United series kicked
butt. Is there any chance for a Villains United or Secret Society
of Super Villains wave?
Georg: No plans yet, but certainly
on our short-list.
Mike: Any more Green Lantern waves
in the offing? I’m always asked about Abin Sur, Jade, and more
villains like Hector Hammond and the Tattooed Man?
Georg: Anything is possible, as the
titles around this character heat up we will keep a close watch on it.
Mike: The rumor du jour is that your
agreement with Mattel only allows you to make artist specific or story
specific figures, and anything more generic is off-limits. I really
don’t believe that’s the case. I think it’s just simply
that themed waves sell better. Would you care to address this?
Georg: The current agreement with Mattel
does not change our ability to produce figures in the same range of
styles we have traditionally created.
Mike: It’s no secret that the DCU
is undergoing some significant changes. You have George Perez
redoing the style guides and Mark Waid and Grant Morrison revamping
scores of old characters. How is that going to impact DCD?
Georg: More fun toys, if the fans want
Mike: Along the same lines, how are
the One Year Later and 52 stories affecting your products? Will
you be producing merchandise promoting these huge events?
Georg: It is a fairly complicated story
structure, but we are working closely with Editorial to see if there
are product opportunities.
Mike: With an Aquaman TV series in
the works, might it be possible to see some figures based on the comics?
Mera, Tempest, Ocean Master, ect? Also, will you ramp up production
on the Wonder Woman merchandise the year that Whedon’s WW film gets
Georg: Too early to tell.
Mike: Any possibility of second Long
Halloween and New Frontier assortments?
Georg: They were originally planned
as multi figure lines, so if the first series does well....
Mike: There is a very vocal group
on the message board who have indicated that they’re feeling increasingly
alienated by wave after wave of the same few artist specific characters.
These folks are nostalgic for the “old days” of varied and esoteric
character choices, realistic but non-specific sculpts and plenty of
Silver and Golden Age waves. How has the DCD business philosophy
changed since the early days of the company? Are we simply seeing
market forces at work? Does the modern age artist specific merchandise
sell better than, say, a classic heroes wave of Uncle Sam, Phantom Lady,
the Question and Blue Beetle?
Georg: Yes as a rule the more modern
artist style stuff does seem to sell better, with retailers, and I have
to think the majority of consumers. I am keenly aware that there is
a large following of our classic & eclectic characters. I believe
the plans we have for the coming months will make as many people happy
Mike: I’m always asked about the
Teen Titans. Is there any chance of seeing more Wolfman/Perez
era or modern era Titans?
Georg: Always a chance.
Mike: Will the Justice Society line
continue with the four modern / one golden age character per wave formula?
Georg: As long as it does well, that
is what I would like to see happen.
Mike: Speaking of JSA, the Golden
Age Atom two-pack was such an inspired idea! Thank you so much
for that! Any chance you could do that for Stargirl and the original
Star Spangled Kid since they’re both little peeps, as well?
Georg: Gee, another good idea. I was
hoping to make the fans go “Wow, what a cool thing, I never would
have expected that!” which I hope to do in a few different ways in
our ‘07 line.
Mike: The Long Halloween figures
rocked! You guys stepped it up a notch with the accessories and
articulation. Will we continue to see more accessories?
Georg: As much as we can cost out,
Mike: I really like the “logos
as stands” idea that you’ve used in some of the packaging.
Will you continue that theme?
Georg: Yes our plan is to have a base
with every figure, which we have been doing for some time.
Mike: Any plans of starting a new
line of highly articulated, 4” figures ala Marvel’s Superhero Showdown?
Georg: No, we have an even better idea
in the works....
Mike: Again, speaking of Marvel,
any plans for a “Build-A-Figure” pack-in like they've done in
recent Marvel Legends waves? Atom Smasher as a Build-A-Figure
in a future JSA assortment would be so cool.
Georg: I loved this stunt, which I
wish we had done first. We have looked at it, and ways to provide additional
value, but making it our own, but nothing definite yet.
My thanks to Mr. Brewer for another
great interview, and to David Hyde of DC’s publicity department for
helping make it happen.
Stay tuned to AFI all this week
for some fantastic Toy Fair coverage from Julius Marx and the Toy Otter.
It’s going to be a lot of fun!
Until next time!
Got a comment? Send me a line at Sdcomics@actionfigureinsider.com!