So while I can’t answer too many questions — confidentiality issues, general decency, and limits on the number of hours in the day I can spend here — I’ll try to answer questions that seem of general interest as often as I can.

General caution: please don’t ask me to review portfolios, scripts, or help you get work (time just doesn’t permit).

I was recently reading about original art of older stories being destroyed at DC during the 60’s, and your name keeps popping up in my research. Is there anything you can tell me that may help me in my quest to find some of it? 14. December 2020

That was before my time on staff. A somewhat older group of fans like Marv Wolfman, Len Wein, Steve Mitchell and others were on the tours where they gave original art away and sometimes chopped it before their eyes.

hi paul! mary alice wilson, dark star books, here. suddenly thought of you as someone i could contact who could maybe help. twice i have downloaded to my kindle gene yung’s THE TERRIFICS, 2 different issues, and there is no READ HERE link. what can i do to read them? maw 20. July 2020

Hi, Mary Alice, so good to connect again. Hope all’s well with you.

I’m not much use of tech questions, Dc-related or otherwise…too much of a luddite to have learned enough to be helpful, sorry.

Dear Paul. I am in the process of translating The Great Darkness Saga for a foreign publisher and I must admit that the ending baffles me. I have trouble understanding where Daxam is, where Apokolips is, where Darkseid and pseudo-Orion are, and who or what gets switched by the White Witch’s spell. At the end, Daxam should be back under a yellow sun, I guess. But I don’t understand how it could work if the White Witch exchanges only the individuals on both planet’s surface, instead of the worlds themselves. Or is it something that’s adressed in subsequent issues? Thank you for your help and congrats on your fabulous career! – J. 12. July 2020

It’s been a long time since I reread the book, and I do recall the world switching as something that was challenging. Sorry my memory isn’t clear enough to help. Thanks!

My question is coming, but first: My career has been as a marketing person in broadcasting. Lots of writing involved for public consumption and much of it in :60 and :30 mandatory lengths. While I can really appreciate great art from the Jacks, Gils,Carmines, Neils, Steve’s, etc. I have always been more interested in great writing. As you probably have, I have a list in my mind of favorite writers and when wandering the aisles I look for their names on the covers or splash pages. You probably can guess their names. When I see one of these names listed and I haven’t been following that title I immediately pick up the title and always enjoy it. Yours was always one of those names. Some great stories… particularly liked Justice Society and Starman tales…. Bravo! Thanks for hours of good reading. But one day I noticed your name in the indica of DC comics, but missing from title pages…. “hmmph, probably kicked upstairs. Waste of a great writer.” You and I met once and you were pleasant and businesslike and enthusiastic. But I never paid much attention to anything you did… until your interview with Mark. I know Mark a bit, a nice guy in all manners but he doesn’t suffer fools! He has spoken highly of you in the past and your discussion with him last week provided a few, but probably not all, of the reasons. Most of them not generally known information outside the industry. Some pros like John Byrne get praise for being a “dulie”; a great writer and artist. You are absolutely unique in that you are both an outstanding writer AND one of the very best and influential upper management people, too. I would guess if you hadn’t been around lots of exciting and creative and FAIR things wouldn’t have happened. And lots of talented fabulous creators would have left the industry and never created the great material they did. Thank you sir for lurking behind the scenes for so many years and working your magic. Now my question. We’re the same age by the way. The comics I’ve seen from the 40’s were pretty simplistic. Short simple four or eight pages of story that got by on uniq 20. May 2020

Your comment got cut off before you got to the question (I have no idea why…I guess there’s a word count limit). Thanks for the kind words, and please post again to finish your question.

Hi Paul — I’ve been trying to find out when the term ‘DC universe’ came into general use, and who coined it. Was it you? On one of the Facebook groups I posed the question on, John Wells, one of the authors of the wonderful American Comic Book Chronicles series, had this to say: “The first person I can find who used the term “DC Universe” was Paul Levitz in his DC continuity articles in AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS #8 (Sept.-Oct. 1975) and #12 (July 1976). In between, Carl Gafford used it in the AWODCC SPECIAL EDITION (Feb. 1976). Marv Wolfman probably did more than anyone to popularize the phrase though, first using it in the letter column of GREEN LANTERN #143 (on sale in May 1981).” 15. May 2020

Wow…I suppose it’s possible I coined it, but I wouldn’t claim that. Could also be Mark Gruenwald, who did so much ‘universe’ organizing in his early fanzines.

Hello Paul , I just did order a copy of the more compact version of your book 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking at Barnes and Noble and I look forward to reading it soon. What is the difference between the original XL release and the new compact version of the book? Thanks and keep up the super great work. From Kenny Kraly Jr. 30. April 2020

The smaller but still enormous volume is all the same material. There are differences in the degree of fancy printing (no gold foil pages and the like, fewer if any fold outs).

Hello Paul , What are your thoughts on the current DC Comics live action movies and tv shows from Warner Bros Pictures and The CW? Which of the 2 do you like the most The DCEU DC Films Universe or The CW Arrowverse DCTV Shows? I like both but DCTV is amazing. From Kenny Kraly Jr. 30. April 2020

I haven’t been following the tv shows, though I’m a great admirer of what Greg Berlanti & co. have managed to build. Of the movies, I think Wonder Woman was far and away my favorite of the ones done after I left the desk. She’s a tough character, and they brought her to life beautifully.

Hi Paul, big fan of your work. There was a story you did right after Infinite Crisis starting with JSA #83. I beleive if I remember it correctly the Lightning Bolt reserected dead members of the JSA. All of them except one were known deceased characters, at that time, except Batman that was among them. JJ, I think that was his name, even pointed this out but the L.B. just states it’s complicated. What was Batman being there trying to imply? 30. April 2020

Well, since I wrote a story killing the Golden Are Batman in ADVENTURE COMICS, I’m sure that was what I was referring to…

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