Paul Levitz gives us a history lesson on DC Comics

Today Kenric and John are joined by comics legend Paul Levitz to chat about his history with DC Comics, the Legion of Super-Heroes and so much more! A BIG thank you to Dan over at Funny Book Forensics for questions to ask Mr. Levitz on this episode!

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Paul Levits – Interview

 

[00:00:00] Kenric: all right, guys. Welcome back to the show. And today, this is really cool because we get to sit down and talk with somebody who has been president of DC comics. he’s a comic writer and editor and responsible for a lot of the people that, you know, in the, in the comic book realm, especially back in the eighties and nineties, Paul Levitz.

Thank you so much for coming on.

Paul Levitz: Happy to be here.

Kenric: So Paul, what’s going on going on with this fine year of 20, 20. Are you being okay. Staying away from the COVID and, and, being able to quarantine yourself?

Paul Levitz: No play good. Thank God. Yeah, I’ll sell the year back for Oh. About the price of a subway token back when we use subway tokens,

Kenric: how much was a subway token back then?

Paul Levitz: Hmm. When I started using them, they were 20 cents. I think the last of [00:01:00] them probably were up to about two bucks.

Kenric: Oh, wow. I don’t even know how long ago did they stop using them? Do you know?

Paul Levitz: I’m going to say it’s over 10 years.

Kenric: Oh, wow. So comic books, you have been a purveyor and a reader and a creator of comics. Now since 1970. Was it before that?

Paul Levitz: I don’t know how you want to count. It I’ve been a reader longer than that, but. Been involved sort of visibly in the field since about 71.

Kenric: Wow. What drew you to comic books?

Paul Levitz: You know, it was universal for my generation to at least. Read them when you were a kid, back in the sixties, every kid in America [00:02:00] had a box of comics, whether it was R T comics or superhero comics, Casper, the friendly ghost, whatever uncle Scrooge, if you had really good taste,

And some of us just stuck longer and I loved the imagination in them. I was an avid reader in general. I read as much of anything as I could get my hands on. And there were always new things in comics and always new ideas. And it was fun.

Kenric: What did you think when you look back of that time, when you were reading comics before you were creating comics?

Was there a genre that you liked more than others? Or were you just like anything? I can get my hands on. I’m going to read

Paul Levitz: well, I’m in at the beginning. It’s anything it get your hands on, but ultimately the stuff I loved best with the superhero teams, the dynamics of the teams, [00:03:00] the interaction of them was the stuff that, that I found most magical in it.

Legion of superheroes, which was my favorite when I was a kid and I. Later ended up writing for quite a number of years. but also the Avenger, the Avengers from Marvel, justice Lee, anything with a lot of stuff going on.

Kenric: Yeah. Yeah. Couldn’t be too much stuff.

Paul Levitz: I could usually keep track of it.

Kenric: That’s nice. How old were you when you first started working for DC? Cause it seems like the sixties and early seventies, Like Jerry Conway, we had, we had him on and he was like 15 or 14 when he got his first job with DC. And I’m curious, it seems to be a theme. There’s quite a few of you guys that were young.

Paul Levitz: I think Jerry was a little older than that when he’s made his first sale to DC, but not, not much older. I was 16. I think they [00:04:00] just had no idea that they were labor laws.

Kenric: It’s comics, you know, who’s going to be, who’s going to freak out over comics.

Paul Levitz: So whatever, I wasn’t gonna worry about it.

Kenric: So right before you turn 20 in, correct me if I’m wrong, but you became the editor of a venture comics. And what did that mean for you? To be that young and to be doing such an iconic book, iconic book.

Paul Levitz: Well, in particular, that was, you know, that was the book that I had collected most passionately because the Legion had been in it when I was a kid.

that was a very cool thing to inherit that particular assignment, but it was just very cool to be editing comics and be one of the youngest editors. At that point in the history of mainstream American comics, Stan, Stan had been younger damn him, [00:05:00] but I think he, I think he may have, may have been the only one.

Kenric: Yeah. You’ve hired some, some of the greats. When you look at somebody that’s going to write for you or. Draw for you or color. Is there something that’s that just sparks in you that says this, this guy can do this, but this person can do this, or are you looking at the breadth of their work and then making a decision out of your gut?

Or how does, how does it even come about that you hire somebody like that? Marv Wolfman?

Paul Levitz: Well, I didn’t know.

Kenric: I got to email this website then. Yeah,

Paul Levitz: don’t, don’t pay much attention to Wikipedia. I mean, Mo Mars, a dear friend, he was working in comics before I was, I, I had a role in getting him over to DC from Marvel, [00:06:00] but that’s, you know, that that’s not a brilliant judgment.

He was already a well-established writer. He had been editor in chief of Marvel for. A minute and a half or an editor in chief of there they’re black and whites at least. you know, we were poker buddies for many years. you know, I think the answer to your original question in that rather than the specific of March, it varies with the field.

You know, artists, artists would come and show you a portfolio and it really. It, isn’t hard to look at an art portfolio and know whether that artist has some potential to work on your comics. You’re looking for very specific mix of skills, storytelling, composition, expression, acting ability, ability to draw reasonably well.

you can look at an artist portfolio and in five minutes. [00:07:00] No, whether that guy or gal is ready to do it, writers takes longer. You have to read scripts and that’s a pain in the neck. when I was predominantly doing that, it was when we still had anthology books. And you had a giant slush pile of well who had sent in story ideas or scripts.

And you just look through and okay, this one’s got some potential. this is this person’s worth a meeting and a conversation. All of these people should be in the return mail with, please consider plumbing as a career

bladder glider one than that.

Kenric: But yeah. Yeah. Did you hire Jerry Ordway? Was that you?

Paul Levitz: So Jerry is a good story. Actually. That’s

Kenric: a great story. And I’m hoping that you were involved.

Paul Levitz: Yeah, no, this was Chicago con probably the early 1980s. [00:08:00] And we were doing portfolio review and guy comes up, dumps his portfolio.

I’m looking and I take one look, and I say, we’ve been looking for you because Jerry had been drawing our characters for Western publishing for their magic slates. And. Frame Trey puzzles and other nonsense. and he, it was very clear. They had found a really good artist, but we had no idea who it was.

And so, you know, wasn’t one look at the portfolio. His style was recognizable enough. I just, I think I hauled them over to Joe Orlando or Dick Giordano, whoever was the, the lead editor that week. And said, Hey, we found him let’s, let’s get this guy. Let’s get this guy on the payroll.

Kenric: He told us that he would, he goes home and he goes back to work and he’s at work.

And you guys call him at his work and say, we really want you to come into too soon to do some work for us. [00:09:00] After that, that meeting. If he was like, I don’t know, how’d you guys get this number? And I guess it was you or somebody called them and said, well, we called your mom. And she told us where you were working.

He gave us the number for where you were working at.

Paul Levitz: I don’t recall it being named, but it’s possible.

Kenric: Yeah. Yeah. That was great. I got to tell you though, all the people that we’ve talked to you, your name comes up a lot and. It’s always with, this Paul really helped us out in our career, told us the straight and narrow as opposed to building something up.

That wasn’t true. So

Paul Levitz: I gotta tell you, Paul it’s

Kenric: it’s, it’s really cool to sit here and talk with you after, you know, hearing your name so many times. I, I’m 46. So I started reading. Comic books in the early eighties though. That’s my, you know, and I was a Marvel guy

Paul Levitz: if it’s to my mortgage.

Kenric: Yeah. And, it w it wasn’t until I was a little older, like I think around 13, [00:10:00] 14 that I started reading more of the DC stuff.

it seemed a little bit more adult than, than Marvel, even though Marvel did do a good job of, doing a little bit, a lot of social commentary.

Paul Levitz: In the, in the years you’re talking about the sea was shifting to the comic shop market faster than Marvel was in Marvel. Marvel was doing better on the newsstand longer than anybody else.

So they were a little less desperate to find a new place to sell comics and. No, we were the, we were the underdogs we had to, we had to do better. Can

Kenric: you, you, you, you brought up the newsstand versus the comp bookstore. Can you explain to me what the difference is for people? Because I grew up in the comic book realm.

I like, by the time I started buying comic books, They weren’t really, you know, there wasn’t no newsstands in [00:11:00] Bremerton, Washington in 1985, you know, I had the paperback exchange and I had Kitsap comics.

Paul Levitz: That’s where I could go if a lot of places by 1985. So in the 1940s, through the 1970s, the predominant way that comics were sold in America.

Was on what’s broadly referred to as newsstand, but the reality is it was either a newsstand convenience store, like a seven 11 kind of rack. might’ve been a drug store, soda fountain, depending on what kind of city and culture you were in the middle of. And the difference was in marketing terms. You were selling an impulse purchase.

Nobody was going into those stores or not many of us were going into those stores intending to buy adventure comics that day you were going in. And we were sitting the spinner rack and Oh, this Superman and a gorilla that looks like [00:12:00] fun. And they were inexpensive. They were ubiquitously available. And the predominant audience for it was presumed to be kids.

From anywhere from starting to read until they hit puberty when they had other things to do. when the comic shops began to evolve, which mercifully was in the years when the newsstand was weakening as a place to sell mattress comics, but magazines as well. But it was, the comics were being damaged more quickly because we were the bottom of the food chain on the newsstand.

Yeah. The comic shop was a destination. You went there intending to buy stuff. You had your shopping list already made out in your head. You cared whether the story was written by Harvey Wolfman or Paul Levitz might look like either of us, but you knew the difference. And [00:13:00] that meant that the companies could charge you more.

And take some of the money, extra money that they were charging you and put it into better quality printing, better quality color separation. in some cases pay the talent more, or at least create royalty structures so that the talent that could sell more comics could get rewarded better because you were buying specifically based on a talent, very different, very different business.

It’s a. There’s a marketing concept called product life cycle. And you basically, they’re basically entirely separate product life cycles. The comic and the comic comic shop is a wholly different thing than what the comic on the newsstand was. It just happened to share some physical dimensions.

Kenric: That’s interesting.

How do you feel with the direction of comic books today and the influence of the movie industry that’s having?

[00:14:00] Paul Levitz: There’s a wider range of creativity going on in comics today in America than ever before, which is thrilling comics through the graphic novel, former selling better than they have in many years. And at a time when not a lot of businesses are growing, not a lot of products are growing in sales. That product category is growing pretty rapidly for the last batch of years and does not seem to have been.

Murdered by the virus, craziness. the movies are up all the way to get the characters out. Yeah. It’s in some ways it’s a good news, bad news joke because more people get to love Spiderman or Batman because they watched the movies. Cause many more people in America are willing to watch a movie or a TV show that are willing to read a book or a magazine.

The bad news may be that the movies at this point [00:15:00] may be doing such a good job with the characters that lots of people are getting their fill of superhero adventures through the movies or TV shows, and don’t feel the need to pick up a magazine. we don’t really know whether that’s true or not, but it’s, it’s one of the, one of the questions we’ve got in mind.

Kenric: That’s interesting. In the past, you mentioned that you’re not the biggest fan of your own creations, but you believe you are the great repurposing characters from you’re great at repurposing characters from other creators, and the great darkness saga you resurrected Jack Kirby’s dark side for the great darkness.

How did your dark side differ from him?

Paul Levitz: I don’t know that he did. I guess I added the idea that he could still still exist a thousand years from now. That was not explicit in Jack’s [00:16:00] work, but I think implicit, you know, if he defined these as the new gods and gods tend to have either immortal lives or at least extraordinarily long lives, As long as there’s a system of belief that sustains them.

I think, I think I took what Jack had there and just worked with in a different story.

Kenric: That’s nice though. You, you also introduced, Helen and Wayne in DC, right? Superstars number 17. I think.

Paul Levitz: Yep. Yeah, well probably my most lasting contribution to the DC

Kenric: and she just, they just reprinted that. And is there anything you would like the fans to know about the original Huntress?

Paul Levitz: I was really young when I wrote it. And then if you read those original stories, be charitable, was very early in my career. And [00:17:00] in terms of life experience, My experience with ladies was not phenomenal. I had not had a girlfriend yet in my life. I don’t have a sister. my one female cousin is significantly older than I am, and we didn’t spend that much time hanging out.

so I’m really happy when people come up to me and still enjoy those stories and say they related to it and they identified with her. Oh, that’s nice. Am impressed that somehow or other, I figured out how to do that without any real knowledge of the subject.

Kenric: Right. Try to put yourself in that situation.

And it sounds like you did a good job. So were you happy with the different we have with the different iterations of the character post crisis on infinite earth,

Paul Levitz: happy that you stayed around now, when you make the decision? Have the opportunity, whatever way you want to [00:18:00] put it to write something that’s set in a mythology like the DC universe.

Yeah. You’re working layering, your thoughts and your ideas on top of so many people before, and you really don’t have any right after that, in my view, morally. To sit there and say, I don’t agree with what the next guy does because you didn’t ask the guy before you, if it was okay. you know, the Baton got passed.

That’s a good point. Okay. You know, some of those were stories. I really liked some less so, but you know, they, they did their best.

Kenric: What’d you think of her representation in the, the new Harley Quinn movie?

Paul Levitz: It just felt so nice to see her up on the screen. Yeah. And the actress that played her, did a good job.

Very talented woman. Yeah, absolutely.

Kenric: I [00:19:00] got some Legion questions for you and I’m hoping you can tell us a little bit about the Legion of superheroes and why you wanted to write the book, starting back in, like, I think 1977.

Paul Levitz: I grew up reading it. I loved it, perhaps because it had more characters in it than any other comic at the time. also because with the exception of super boy, it really wasn’t a dominant character. You know, you could, you could fall in love with one character after another, and as the writer. It was wonderful to write a book where you had so many different characters whose lives you could play around with.

So marry these guys off. You can have a romance here. You can break up a romance there. You can kill somebody over here or maim somebody over there. You know, when you’re, to my mind, when you’re writing Superman, [00:20:00] your real challenge is everybody expects Superman and Lois to be alive at the end of the issue.

Jimmy will be alive at the end of the issue. The daily planet will continue to be published. Right. So how do you create suspense with the Legion? You didn’t know if you didn’t know who was going to be left Darkseid, might’ve finished them off.

Kenric: This is true, but what do you think. You had a long run on that when you did like 80 books somewhere on there. And I think during the eighties, when you were writing that you were like the number two bestselling book in DC, and I’m curious, what do you think, how did you relate to the readers? How do you think you got, you brought them in because it’s hard to do, you

Paul Levitz: know, you write stories that you think you’d enjoy.

If you were the reader, you keep trying to think. Develop new [00:21:00] ideas and new storylines and keeping an energy level going. When I came back to the Legion in the eighties, I hadn’t been happy with my work on the first run. I was a period where I was new, new to really getting a lot of writing. And I was suffering from what I call the magpie syndrome, where.

Oh, that’s a bright, shiny thing. Let me, let me write that for a moment. So competed with myself

and collaborative stories. So when I came back was no, I, you know, I I’m going to do this all myself. There’s not going to be any fill-ins. And I think I ended up doing something like a hundred issues in a row. Wow. and. Yeah, it wasn’t always DC second best-selling. Cause there were always stunts like dark Knight returns or things like that, but it was the second.

It was the second best-selling of the regular titles in the line. Titans was ahead of it. [00:22:00] And then a Legion right behind, you know, outselling, Batman or Superman or anything like that on a regular basis.

Kenric: That’s that’s impressive though. I mean, It makes me want to go back and read a lot of those, you know,

Paul Levitz: let me know how they, how they hold up.

Kenric: I will, I will. I, you worked not me. You, you worked with Jeanette Kahn and she was, is super influential in the comic industry. what was that like?

Paul Levitz: A lot of fun. We had a lot of fun together. She’s so smart and so brave. And we had a lot of fun working together as a team because our skills were, and our interests were very complimentary, you know, she’s yeah.

Dives deeply into projects and has a lot of conceptual ideas sometimes more than we could handle in the place. and I’m [00:23:00] a nuts and bolts operating guy. So the division of labor worked very naturally. And she was terrific in terms of helping me develop my career and giving, giving me credit and giving me visibility in it.

And we worked together and ran the shop together for about 25 years.

Kenric: Amazing. Her, her constant making sure that you got the credit you deserved. Was that a big reason that you became a proponent of creator rights?

Paul Levitz: No, I mean, I think. You know, I, I grew up

and the creative community in New York of comics through the fanzines. And I was very conscious of the frustration in the seventies, particularly

that creators had out not getting decent deals, not getting [00:24:00] recognition, not getting proper credit. Long long list. Yeah. Jeanette came from outside the field and she’s an incredibly moral and philosophical person. And as she saw this and understood all of it, it became very important to her. But, you know, we came to it from two different bodies of experience.

but we both agreed. There should be ways there should be ways to do this better. How do we, how do we get from here to there?

Kenric: Yeah. When it, when you think about it now, what do you think was the most important fight on helping creators get royalties?

Paul Levitz: Well, I think, I think the royalties were the key change because that, that really aligned the interest before royalties where the standard of the industry. In 81, if I’m remembering my history. [00:25:00] Right? yeah, the creative community was saying, this guy was saying, well, I’ll write this, I’ll write Superman, but I won’t come up with any new villains. I’m not going to give them many new characters. Right. Or I’m only gonna, you know, I only get paid. Whatever it is $500 for writing an issue. I can only afford to spend a week doing it.

let me see if I can get it down to four days. And knock it off faster so that I can do one more, one more title and make more money. Right? Royalties created a situation where people had a real incentive to try to do their best work. It also created an incentive for the people who were good at the stuff to stay longer.

You know, Chris, Claremont’s amazing run on X-Men fueled the industry. It was the best selling title in the business for. Much of his 17 year rugs.

Kenric: Oh, [00:26:00] crazy.

Paul Levitz: If we didn’t have royalties, there’s no way Chris would have stayed that long. He would have said, all right, I’ve done, you know, 50 issues of X-Men. Let me do fantastic for next or do something next because it’ll pay the same. And I can try my hand at something fresh or he would have left comics entirely as so many talented people did to try and do something that had more of an upside to it.

But because he was making a lot of money doing X-Men deservedly was selling so well, Marvel was able to keep them on the assignment for an extraordinary length of time. And everybody won, including the readers.

Kenric: Yeah. Do what, what, what was, what were you guys over at DC thinking, watching Claremont, just kill it with X-Men month after

Paul Levitz: month, you try to learn from some of the things that he did take some of his money [00:27:00] for every now and then,

Kenric: you know, we’re, we’re talking about royalties and we’re talking about creators. I have to ask you, what are your thoughts on Alan Moore and the killing joke?

Paul Levitz: It’s a wonderfully successful creative work. I know Alan has expressed frustration with it, looking back, not being happy with the work. you know, lots of us look back on a story that we did with frustration.

but it.

Kenric: Sorry. I think the killing joke is one and then, but also he’s, he’s got some real risks elevations on the Watchman and I think he feels like he’s been. And I don’t know how else to put it, but to be blunt cheated out of it. And I’m always curious what, what your thoughts were when we had Jerry on, when we had Conway on he, he expected, he, he, he actually brought it up talking about Alan Moore and the fact that he will, he, he read the contract, he wrote it, he read it, he signed it and then he did the work.

[00:28:00] So he doesn’t quite understand where he’s coming from on the, on the argument. But at the same time, I’m curious how somebody that like you, that has. Been a proponent of, of creator rights. what your thoughts were on that whole thing, unless, you know, you don’t, if you’re uncomfortable talking about it, that’s completely okay too.

Paul Levitz: I, I’m not gonna S I’m not going to speak for Allen. Yeah. The Dave, I think is very happy and he signed the identical contract. I think these, I think DC honor has honored every aspect of that contract. That’s on tracks.

Kenric: Yeah. I mean, cause he got back on and it’s, you know, Watchmen is become, I thought the movie was great.

I liked the movie, Zack Snyder’s vision of Watchmen. I thought it was good. I mean, obviously it wasn’t exact or anything like that, but nothing ever is it’s a new medium, you know, it’s going to be different. but I thought the. Show on HBO did a good, good job on it.

[00:29:00] Has there been changes on your characters that have been that made you? I know you said, Hey, you didn’t ask the person before you. And so I can’t get mad at the person after me working on this stuff. But when you, when you think about your work, has there been times that you’re like, Oh, I wish they would’ve done this, or I wish they would’ve maybe thought about that.

Paul Levitz: No. After I had left the Legion. I made a point of not reading it, cause I was still sitting at the publisher’s desk with authority and I didn’t want to be looking at it, looking at it as a right. The ex writer rather than looking at it as the publisher. Right. We had a system at DC at that point that periodically titles came up for review on a group of the senior editors.

And I. Would go through, I don’t remember what it was a year, a year or two of the title and, discuss it with the editor. And when Legion came up, I offered to recuse [00:30:00] myself from the discussion and not participate, not read the stuff. And the then editor said, no, no, no, no. I really like to hear what you have to say.

And I, in one sitting, you know, sat there and read whatever it was a couple of years of it. And when I came back, I said, came to the meeting. I said, well, you know, I, I don’t think I’ve had a day as painful as that, that I didn’t spend in a hospital.

Kenric: What was the reaction?

Paul Levitz: Oh, I think was probably about what the reaction was.

Kenric: Oh, man. How long, do you have anything in the pipeline now that you can discuss?

Paul Levitz: There’s a graphic novel that’s been in works for way too long. Got screwed up by the virus, from dark horse. That’s coming out. I think in April unfinished business. It’s a priest, a rabbi, and administer walk into a bar [00:31:00] except they’re dead.

And they’re there to find out what their unfinished businesses.

Kenric: Nice. So you took a classic joke and twisted it.

Paul Levitz: Yep. I had started a series called the visitor mini series for Valiant during the last two issues got postponed because of the virus. I think that will be coming out sometime this fall and then the trade should be coming out in the spring.

Those are the, those are the announced pieces of my writing. I’m not, not writing a whole hell of a lot. These days. I spend a lot of my time teaching, and a couple of boards, boom, within the comic industry, Claire, Claire, the Clarion workshop in science fiction, you know, odd projects that can be.

Interesting and helpful. That’s cool.

Kenric: I got to ask you working with Valiant or other publishers. How different is it for you being at DC for so long running DC for, for as long as you did, and then, you know, Fe Twilight in [00:32:00] your DC career and now working like with Valiant and everything else. What does that like?

I mean, cause to me, I am, I know my personality. It would be hard for me, not yeah. To say, well, we did it this way or you’re doing this wrong or you guys should think about this.

Paul Levitz: Nobody’s putting me in charge. I’m on the board of booms. So occasionally I do give them advice of why don’t you try it this other way.

It might feel better not putting the hammer on your head. but they don’t have to listen. Right. I’m an advisor in that and they’re really good guys and talented. They just. Have done phenomenally in the last couple of weeks with this Canada Reeves project that they’ve launched on Kickstarter.

Kenric: I’m excited for that.

Paul Levitz: not anything I had anything to do with that. Yeah. Excellent. Just sitting there and admiring, admiring what Ross and the gang pulled off. Sometimes with bloom, it feels like a time machine. And I’m back in my earlier days of DC. And, Oh, this is, so [00:33:00] this is, I remember what a small comics company is.

Like. I use, I used to run one that’s this is, this is similar in some ways, but it’s a different time in a different world. I’m just a writer. I have a longstanding friendship with Fred who runs the shop. And I’ve always felt comfortable having conversations with him about, no, this is stuff you could try this.

You could try that, but that’s just, you know, two, two guys shooting the breeze.

Kenric: I gotta ask you. I, it’s not very often. We get a chance to talk to somebody that was in the depths of DC. Like you were, what was your thoughts when you saw vertigo in print with you that Karen Berger brought out, come to life.

And what it meant and what it showed the rest of the world, that what memorials of adult type of comic book can mean.

Paul Levitz: You know, it’s one of the, one of the proudest things that I was involved with. Yeah. [00:34:00] I think we, the fact that the oldest publisher in the business could in those years be clearly the most innovative.

Publisher and do something like vertigo, which had such a phenomenal effect, changing the business to build that brand, was incredibly exciting. I mean the creative vision was Karen. I can take zero credit for that, but no, we figured out how to, how to make that work as a business model. And. Both taking the chance on it at the beginning, supporting it and building it and working together.

 

Kenric: what did you think when they closed that line back? Was it 2016?

Paul Levitz: I thought they were stupid.

Kenric: I think a lot of people thought that

Paul Levitz: that’s w you know, the vertigo had a lot of [00:35:00] value. Yeah. By the time, by the time they shut it down, a lot of that value had been diminished because they had not succeeded in keeping the creativity going at the same pace after Karen departed, right.

And times have changed. So, you know, I don’t have access to the numbers. I certainly don’t pay attention to what the sales on individual comic titles are. It may have been a sound business move, but. I thought it was taking, taking a brand that had real brand value and walking away from it. But you know, they’re in charge.

They’ve got to make the best decisions they can. It’s their turn.

Kenric: Yeah. Yeah. I gotta, I gotta ask you one, just the last actual question for you. When the dark series came out near Batman dark, and they’re doing Superman dark. And the whole controversy on that first issue of Batman. And we won’t go into what it, what it was.

And again, everybody here on this [00:36:00] call knows what we’re talking about, but what was your, your reaction to it? Because to me, it was like, you put that on paper. Of course, you’re going to get a ton of people talking about it. Black label, sorry, not dark

Paul Levitz: label. It’s their term, you know, there’s plenty of plenty of stuff we did on my watch that people felt were controversial at the time or felt were stupid.

you know, that’s Dan and Dan and Jim had their hearts in the right place and they were trying, they were trying to do good comics. They did a bunch of the comics. They did a bunch of less good comics. If you pile that piled up, what was published with my name on his publisher, there were a bunch of good comics and a bunch of not so good comics.

you know, sturgeon Sturgeon’s law is pretty powerful. And sometimes you can manage to have a somewhat better batting average than Sturgeon’s locals [00:37:00] for which you’re always fighting against that. I

Kenric: love that. I love that analogy. Well, Paul, I know you’re a busy man. I appreciate you taking time out of your day to join us today.

The one thing I can tell you is I appreciate the work that you did. You’ve put in so far. you’ve made some great characters, some lasting stories, and I generally feel there’s a lot of people that were influenced by you and I can’t thank you enough for bringing some of that stuff to life.

Paul Levitz: You’re welcome.

Thank you for letting me. In fact, I have one of the great jobs on the planet and probably the best job that I was remotely qualified for. And. No. My, my goal was to leave it better than I found it. And I think we did that. And I think we did entertain a lot of people along the way. So I’m very, very proud of my time at time in the game.

Kenric: Well, thank you very much, [00:38:00] sir. I really much appreciate it.

Paul Levitz: Have a good evening. You too. , take care,

 

 

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