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…
I think it’s high time there was a Paul Levitz At DC Comics autobiography. Any chance you’ve been working on one for decades, and that it will soon see print?
30. April 2020
Haven’t ever started on one. Maybe one day.
As someone whose job for decades was seeing to it that DC survived into its next era, how do you feel about the company’s new deal with Walmart? As a Canadian I as in favour of the idea until I realised that Canadian Walmarts, for reasons surpassing understanding, would not be stocking them. As someone who has been collecting since 1977, from the local corner store to the comic book specialty shop I have to drive an hour to visit, I’m a bit put out that there’s no way for me to get the Walmart-only material Bendis, King and Derington are slated to contribute in the coming months without paying scalpers prices on the internet. I guess my question is this: if DC wanted to get into Walmart, why didn’t they strike a deal with Archie, the way Marvel did? The Marvel/Archie digests are not exactly ideal, but at least they get into Walmarts AND specialty shops. For that matter, Archie has a line of fat paperbacks that Walmart stocks in their book section rather than in their cards and collectibles ghetto, which would seem to me to be a much better option for reprinting runs of current comics that inevitably run to five or six issues per completed story. I just don’t see how DC denying loyal collectors access to new material by their highest profile creators so that Walmart U.S. (and Walmart U.S. alone) can hide them in the toy aisle where most people who might actually want to buy them will never find them.
30. April 2020
The short answer is “It’s their turn, they have to do what they think is best.” And I’ll keep the long answer to myself.