Saturday, July 23, 2005


SPECIAL ARTICLE: The Dini/Wikipedia affair, complete and finally online!!!

(Illustration by Jeremy Scott)

(This is a repost of a article which initially appeared here on July 12, 2005. I wanted to repost this for the websurfers who haven’t had a chance at seeing this. For future readers, the article will be linked at the left of my blog and any of you having problems getting this article should e-mail me promptly at I’ll do the best I possibly can at fixing the problem.)

At last, Paul Dini’s biography has been added to and here’s the link. But I will still be going forward with this article.

Wikipedia is famous for being an online encyclopedia which anyone can edit. However, I have never bothered, because the website does not allow you to claim credit for your efforts. If you receive no monetary compensation for writing, the most satisfying consolation prize is a credit for having conceived the piece. Another thing--I have no control over editing the article’s content, so theoretically someone can just come in and royally screw it up (maybe calling Paul Dini a transvestite porn queen with a penchant for eating ham sandwiches, for all I know--you can totally write your own revisionist history for anyone included in Wikipedia, no one is immune to tampering--not that I encourage nor endorse digital vandalism). Therefore, I would much rather spend twenty pages bitching about it.

It should be understood that none of the people who interviewed Paul Dini, who I e-mailed for the article, responded by the self-imposed deadline that I had set for myself. So this article had to be cobbled together from extensive research--interviews, even articles that Mr. Dini himself had written--and rigorous, thorough investigation.

First, some basic facts which everyone who knows Paul Dini should know (and if you don’t, read below):

Paul Dini was born in NYC on 8/7/1957. His favorite activities during early childhood were reading comic strips such as Peanuts, Pogo and Gordo. He also read humor books like Uncle Scrooge, Casper, Sugar & Spike and Fox & Crow. In his teen years he dug Archie, Conan
X-Men, Zippy, The Freak Bros, and Mr. Natural.

Here where we get into the heavy stuff. About 90% of the above paragraph came from a 2000 interview conducted by a young lady named Jennifer Contino. Paragraphs throughout the article (including the ones below this one) will contain Dini’s words from Contino’s article.

“I read just about everything I could get my hands on when I was a kid. . .I read all the basic juvenile mysteries like The Hardy Boys, Happy Hollisters, and Tom Swift, then all the standard kids classics like The Jungle Books, Lord Of The Rings, most of the Dickens and Mark Twain books, and a few years later, the James Bond novels. Around twelve, I really liked a writer named Ernest Thompson Seton, who wrote Wild Animals I Have Known, and several other books. . .all the stories were fascinating though usually tragic portraits of animals Seton had observed in the wild. It was basic boys’ adventure stuff, but it did fuel my desire to go out and photograph animals, which I try to do a couple times a year if I'm not chained to my desk.”

During Dini’s years at boarding school, “I'd write weird letters to family and friends, making up bizarre stories. . .highly fictionalized accounts of what happened to me and assorted friends and enemies. My mother encouraged me to be a writer. Thanks, Mom.”

A reason why Paul Dini initially wanted to be an actor: “ACTRESSES!” Reason why he gave acting up: “Couldn't get any.” ;)

As Emru Townsend wrote at Purple Planet Media in May of 1999, “When Paul Dini joined Warner Bros. in 1989 to work on Tiny Toons, he probably had no idea that he'd end up penning the adventures of his boyhood hero, Batman.”

Some of the shittiest work, by Dini’s own admission, he has ever done was for the ultra-pinch-a-penny-but-make-a-dollar Filmation version of Mighty Mouse back when he was still a sophomore in college in 1980.

“I had the opportunity to come out and do some writing for that animation studio and put school on hold for 10 months while I went out and tried to make it as a TV writer.” (Taken from a transcript of a chat session which occurred at some years ago.)

“In '82, I moved out to California full-time and I jobbed around LA writing for various animation studios, just trying to get my feet wet; I was writing just anything I could. So I wrote a lot of really forgettable, awful cartoons. (Taken from an interview conducted by Jimmy Aquino, as are selected following passages.)

“Do you watch The Simpsons? Did you see the episode about Poochie the Dog? There's every network executive in there. You have creative people sitting in a meeting, and then you got some network executive come in. The executive will say, ‘Let's have the character be a little more with-it, a little more hip, a little more today, a little more contemporary, a little like “Hey dude, hey wow!”’ [These are] executives at other networks, like the Big Three networks, and to a smaller degree, Fox. This is the thing that plagued animation writing when I started, which was the early '80s. You had all this shit on TV -- it was like Smurfs, He-Man, She-Ra. . .these executives [came] in, and they just say, "We want this character more fun, more appealing to girls, more this, more that." In their way of thinking, animation is supposed to be something that's not interesting or fun to look at, or God forbid, you should laugh at. They want it to be comforting for kids, so a kid will watch, smile, and stare happily like a little drone, in between Fruit Roll-Up commercials. That's basically what they look for, for shows like that. . .

“So there was just this wasteland of crap, until the late '80s. And then things began to change just a little bit. . .a little more creativity began getting back to the cartoons. . .the thing that really hurt animation is that the producers doing the stuff over the last 20 years were these stinking cowards who'd go into these meetings, suck up to the programmers, and just do whatever they want. They're people who have no love for cartoons; they don't even like cartoons. They're just in the business of making them.”

About Dini’s first meeting with Bruce Timm: “I first met Bruce Timm when we were both working on an ill-fated Benny & Cecil revival about twelve years ago. . .in the beginning there was a lot of crazy energy going into the show and everyone was really psyched for doing a funny cartoon again. . .it would have been a great series if it had been given half a chance, but the network fucks destroyed it out of fear it might give kids brain seizures for being too cool.”

Back to Dini’s early career.

Paul states in his own words: “I was working for George Lucas. I had spent four years at Skywalker Ranch, working on a couple of animated shows that he did, called Droids and Ewoks. . .Prior to that, I had freelanced a couple of jobs in L.A. for various studios, and I submitted some work to Lucas and they liked it a lot, so I was chosen to go up and work with a number of people including George and the animators on developing the series concept for Ewoks and Droids. Then I went on to write the two seasons of the Ewoks cartoon. . .”

Ewoks was a forgettable 1980’s cartoon, like Droids. It was co-produced by the Canadian animation company Nelvana and broadcast on ABC (thanks from 1985 to 1987. Droids aired roughly around the same time, from September 1985 to November 1986--afterwards rerunning all of the previous episodes to death.

In this RevolutionSF interview written by Jayme Lynn Blaschke, Dini elaborates on how much he was creatively stunted by the network: “. . .we were dealing with a regime at the network that just wanted safe children's programming. Every time we wanted to stretch it a little bit, they would kick up a fuss over it. . .With Ewoks and Droids, we tried to give it as good a look as we could, and tried to make it feel special as part of the Star Wars universe. But. . .you're dealing with the corporate mentality that just wants to do everything safe and sweet. . .Ultimately it became a battle that was just not worth fighting. It became, ‘Okay, let's just try to do the show the best we can. Maybe it'll be good.’”

An interview with Wayne Chinsang has Dini chucking up even more about the claustrophobic atmosphere which he was subjected to while working on Ewoks and Droids: “We were doing something that was shepherded every step of the way by the censor ladies at the network, and it was gone over by the child educators, and that is a ghastly, ghastly way of working.”

On George Lucas’s involvement with Ewoks and Droids: “. . .He'd read over storylines and make comments on the scripts from time to time. Usually it was all pretty supportive. He sort of set out what he wanted. . .then stood back and let the writers and artists run with them.”

We also know that the Paul Dini-penned episodes of Ewoks had titles such as Wicket's Wagon, The Cries of the Trees, Blue Harvest and Asha. Of the four, Asha is quite possibly the lone Ewoks episode with the most powerful and emotionally resonant story line. It has to do with Kneesaa (the younger sister of the title character) learning that her sister is still alive, and was raised by a family of Korrinas. Asha has also become a wild creature. (For more information on this Ewoks episode and others, click
here and here.)

One of the two remarkable facts about Droids is that the show didn’t get cancelled before it did. That none of the insipid and uninspired storytelling (not to mention that Nelvana, having graduated from the Jay Ward School of the Arts by recycling backgrounds, using and reusing stock footage and even importing entire soundtracks from other shows for use in “scoring” some episodes) is Paul Dini’s fault should be immediately evident in the way that the show’s narrative was structured. No doubt, the Stingy McStingster squeezing-a-penny-until-it-melts-in-your-hand practice of producing budget animated shows back in the 80’s can be creatively limiting for any writer working under such conditions.

The second remarkable fact is that, despite all of these hurdles and road blocks there were actually some decent stories to be found in the very, very short collection of Droids episodes (the ones where Paul Dini was involved).

Dini says about his initial experiences working on Tiny Toons, a classic animated series in its own right: “You know, the first season of that was kind of fun -- just working on everything with the different writers and artists. . . It was all a blast and a learning experience because the chains were off as far as the network goes. Fox was very supportive of the show.”

About the content of the episodes: “There were a couple of cartoons that. . .really shine. They're just really, really pretty to look at and they were a lot of fun to work on. . .Sometimes we'd hit a stride and write about certain characters, whether it was Elmyra or Plucky or Buster, and we'd be just coming up with ideas, one after the other. We'd be creating our own cartoons and showing them to the other writers and directors and saying, "Hey, how about this?" or we'd be jamming up stuff together and making each other laugh. . .I think the fact that we were having fun showed through in the individual cartoons. By and large, it was a good experience. It set the stage for everything else.”

On Animaniacs: “I did a little bit of guest writing here and there [but] I never really worked on it to any great degree. I'd come up with a weird idea, ‘How about this? How about that?’ and they'd say, ‘Oh yeah! Can you write up something?’ So I'd write up something funny, a short cartoon, or a bumper or something. . .but other than contributing a little bit. . .I really didn't have much to do with Animaniacs.


Paul Dini’s efforts on the legendary Batman: The Animated Series has been talked and discussed ad nauseum, but usually missing from those exchanges are the little details on the genesis of the series, which Paul Dini sums up in one sentence in an interview with Jennifer Contini: “Jean MacCurdy told us we had eighteen months to get it on the air.”

There’s more to it than that, though.

(The following four or five paragraphs are excerpted from an interview conducted by Jimmy Aquino.) “Bruce [Timm] wanted to do a very dark-looking, edgy show, where he was going to take and refine the look of the characters down to their bare minimum, and Eric [Radomski] wanted to do something that was set in a nightmarish, dark cartoon world - very stylish, very retro, and very Deco-looking. . .Jean [MacCurdy] knew that I loved the classic superheroes, and I really wanted to do a very dark and funny take on Batman. I thought that any other time Batman had been animated before, the elements were just dismal.

“Warners TV Animation, at the time, was kind of exploding, because Tiny Toons had been this hit, and it really surprised us at how successful it was for its time. I remember being called back on a couple of Tiny Toons projects around that time, and I didn’t want to give up on Batman, but everybody was yelling for me to work on different projects at once. . .By the time I finished my commitment to Spielberg on Tiny Toons, I was able to run right back [to] Batman around the 12th or 14th episode and write the Mr. Freeze story ["Heart of Ice"], which was the first one I wrote, and in some cases, the best.”

Dini on crafting the Mad Hatter character: “I try and think of the characters as real. . .I think the villains are really consumed with personal pain, and that pain sort of stimulates a sense of the theatrical and the wicked in them. . .I based [the Mad Hatter's first episode, Mad as a Hatter] on a really tragic story that happened in Silicon Valley about five years ago, about this guy who was a brilliant but shy computer designer and had a fixation on a woman, and he shot everybody in the office. . .When he came up with a way of controlling people, suddenly, they were able to do his will, and he loved it, and he was able to bring his fantasies of Wonderland and living happily ever after to life. But the main reason he did it was he was in love with somebody, and he didn’t want to use that power to control her because he knew that he'd lose her, but ultimately, he had to. That drove him over the edge and drove him crazy, so there's an element of sorrow to that character - unrequited love taken to the nth degree.”

As anyone who has ever written anything longer than a 7-minute short to be aired on TV knows, the BS&P (short for Broadcast Standards & Practices for the uninitiated) can be and continues to be a royal pain in the ass. In reference to Batman: TAS, Dini says they never were a major problem. “Because we do get notes from Broadcast Standards at Kids' WB, but for the most part--and this is [also] true for the folks at Fox--they really did understand the nature of the show we were going to do, and allowed us to proceed without terrible restrictions.” Without terrible restrictions--this probably means that instead of getting 100 calls an hour from the censor folks, Dini & Co. lucked out in getting 99. But, “everybody's been on board with the idea that we're doing an action/adventure show, that we take chances, that we bend and break the rules of what can be done on Saturday morning and daytime television. So it hasn't been that big of a problem, especially not on Batman and Batman Beyond for Kids' WB.”

Indeed, when Batman: TAS finally made its way to Kids’ WB, the notes became nearly non-existent. It was a renaissance in animation, much the same way that the premiere of another animated show that was kindred in spirit, Gargoyles, changed the face of animation. It would be another four years before such a startling event could be matched with the premiere of another landmark series in animation (and the only Batman-related series which Paul Dini was not a major part of), Justice League. There is not a soul who could claim to be a true animation-lover who would deny that Dini’s accomplishments acted as a blueprint for the tone and narrative structure of Justice League and all of its spin-offs, now and forever.

As for creative input on the revamped Batman show for Kids’ WB: “[WB executive] Jamie Kellner [had] suggestions; he [wanted] to see more of Batgirl or Robin on the show. On the other hand, there’s nobody really reading the scripts at the WB saying, ‘Hey, Robin wasn't in the show this week. Rewrite that episode. Stick him back in.’

“The artists have a lot to say about the show, like Bruce Timm, who is very vocal with what he thinks about the scripts. We'll have sessions with him, where he wants stuff rewritten or redone. Glen Murakami. . .has also got his input. The storyboard guys will get together and talk. If there's something that's bothering them, they'll come to me or to Alan, and we'll sit and discuss it.”

As for Superman: “We didn't want to be boring with Superman and just give you plain old Superman. We wanted to give the guy a little bit more depth. We wanted to get into his head just a little bit more, and at the same time, we wanted a show with something that made the character purely heroic.

"Superman is Clark Kent; that's who he is. He's a very human guy, and that extends to every element of him, as Superman and in his off-hours. We never liked playing him stiff. We like showing moments where he can be hurt emotionally, as well as physically. We don't like playing him like a square-jawed monk who just sits around and spouts rhetoric about how people should behave themselves.

“In one episode. . .we have him rescuing a little kid. He stands there with his hands on his hips, and he says, ‘You know, it's alright to play around with your friends, but you shouldn't do things on a dare because that will only lead to trouble. Goodbye, kids.’ He flies off, and one of the kids goes, ‘What a dork!’

About writing Mr. Mxylptlk for Superman: “Mxy was fun to write. We all sort of dreaded using Mxy on the show, and we knew we'd have to do him eventually. . .basically, I just made him a little shit. A mean little creep who just wants to screw around with Superman for the sake of screwing around with him. . .every time he shows up, Superman beats him, and he goes off swearing to the 5th Dimension and plots for three months about how he's going to beat him again, and he goes back, and Superman beats him again.”

A Green Lantern show was pitched to the WB around the same time that Duck Dodgers was in development. “It looked like Duck Dodgers was our best bet to get a series going, but there was some hesitation back and forth on whether they would pick it up or pick up another show. . .I'd done an initial development on the Green Lantern Corps, and Spike [Brandt] and Tony [Cervoni] took those ideas and started doing a lot of designs, which were kind of a looser interpretation of a lot of those characters than had been seen before.

“We wanted to do a story about a young man from Earth who gets his hands on the Green Lantern ring, and about how he is the fish out of water among all these aliens. . .It was not going to be like the Bruce Timm Batman universe. We wanted to open it up a little bit and take a lighter tone, at least visually, with it.

“But then what happened was Cartoon Network saw it and liked it, but they liked Duck Dodgers too. Basically, when it came time to select a show, they went with Dodgers, and that's what we did.”

What has emerged in Paul Dini’s writing, what others have noticed, is that he isn’t over-reliant on words (like some writers are--myself included) to tell a story. “The emotion is conveyed by the animation, the music and the posing of the characters. . .I think those are things that are really important for aspiring animators and writers to look at as a way of telling a story dramatically. So often I'll watch action-adventure shows, and where all of them falter is that every beat of action has to be explained and talked about. . .A hero will say, ‘Look! The bad guy's coming!’ Well, you can see the bad guy's coming. ‘We've got to stop him!’ Yeah, of course you've got to stop him -- you're the hero! All of those things that have become standard clichés of action animation writing. . .I don't know how they really got started. Maybe it was just to overcome cheap animation on TV.”

Dini is, by his own admission, in love with Texas. His comic book (also called a graphic novel by some toon bloggers), Mutant, Texas, reflects Dini’s passion of outrageous western tall tales and western movies--hell, Western Culture in general. “Everybody I know from Texas has this sort of sense of fun and confidence to them, so I tried to infuse the characters [in Mutant, Texas] with as much of that as I could. . .a lot of Texans who read it thought it was a lot of fun.

“A lot of this was just a nod back to rather clichéd but fun western imagery. I mean, how many times have you seen a cactus wearing a cowboy hat? You expect it after a while.”

On his other similarly-themed creation, the mythical figure Jingle Belle: “Jingle Belle means a way for parents to relate to their kids. It's less of a Christmas story than it is a comment on the way I see a lot of contemporary parents' relationships with their children. . .I was thinking, ‘What if Santa had a kid? What would he or she be like?’ I fixed my attention on a girl, and thought if he had a daughter, what if she was a brat, and had just had enough of the Christmas spirit? Like a lot of contemporary children, she'd been spoiled as a kid by her parents and now that she's a teenager, when the question of discipline comes up she rebels against it. I felt a lot of people could relate to that. . .the book Dash Away All was the first long novel I'd done about her. It's the story of what happens when Jingle Belle has to take over delivering the presents one Christmas eve. . .she's gone on the sleigh ride before, and now that she's a teenager, she's bored with it. She'll watch her DVD player or talk to her friends on her cell phone or just sleep while Santa's delivering the gifts. She doesn't really pay attention, and if she goes at all, she's dragged into it. Her mom says: ‘You can either help me clean the house, or go with your father.’ And she's like, ‘I'll go with Daddy and I'll help,’ but all she does is sit there and complain or screw off or something.”

“In this story, she has to go solo and deliver the presents by herself. What's even worse, she doesn't have the reindeer to help her. . .[and] tradition demands that a Claus family member and an animal-driven sleigh drop off the presents. . .she has to train these [substitute team of animals] -- none of whom are really good at this job, or like each other -- to get along together and make this flight.”

Dini on the Jingle Belle motion picture project: “It looks like Revolution Studios will be going ahead with the movie. They're developing it actively right now [but]. . .I can't say. . .exactly when it's coming out, but they are actively pursuing it and everybody over there is very excited about getting it going.”

Dini also has a passion for the little-known profession, cryptozoology: “To me it just strikes a fun, romantic chord. The idea that you could go off to a corner of the earth and discover [an animal] that is big, lurking in a jungle or a cave that no one has ever seen before -- I think that's a tremendous amount of fun. . .it's a chance to forge a connection to something that may or may not exist and bring something new to the world.

“I've gone around the world a couple of times and photographed rare animals and come up against some things people had thought extinct and got a look at them -- or a fleeting glimpse in some cases -- and that's exciting. Some people collect plates. I do that.”

(Excerpt from Jennifer Contino’s article, posted to’s forum board.) As is Dini’s nature, he is none too afraid to tackle the challenge of working with narrative properties which are strange (or at the very least, unfamiliar) to him. “Doing this gives me the chance to put a unique twist on not only Witchblade, but two of the Cow's other great lead characters, Magdalena and the Darkness. . .I like writing strong female characters and Sarah [Pezzini] is one of the most interesting and original heroines in recent history.”

Dini on his experience working with Top Cow, the publisher of the ongoing Witchblade chronicles: “I love it! They are great people who really enjoy the characters they work with and the people who write and draw them.”

An extra on the DVD of Comic Book: the Movie, directed by Mark Hamill (the movie, not the interview) contains a Dini interview in which he talks about characters such as Commander Courage and Laser-Disco Commander from his Codename: Courage screenplay: “You know, I really don’t want to put in Laser Disco Commander Courage, I really don’t want to, but--and if it was up to me, I wouldn’t. . .there’s a potential tie-in with Christina Aguilera, that--the music division of the studio is working on, and I’m--they’re saying there’s potential for a video, and we wanna play ball, sooo--maybe it’ll just be in the video, but certain--but it looks like the Laser-Disco might be a part of the product line--not the first wave, but when they’ll refresh it, like a year down the road. . .”

(For those with a high-speed Internet connection, here’s the
link to the interview--the text is taken from most of the second half of the piece. If you are on dial-up, I‘d say don‘t bother--unless if you‘ve got the hour or so it takes to load it up.)

Another project mentioned earlier in this article was Paul Dini’s Jingle Belle feature. In this excerpt from the Dark Horizons website, Paul tells Garth Franklin the Jingle Belle screenplay is almost done. “[Dini] expects the movie to come together by either the fall of ‘05 or ‘06 depending on [Revolution] studio's time table,” the website says. But Dini’s part of Krypto the Superdog has been completed and he felt it was some of his best work. Episodes of Krypto the Superdog which Paul Dini wrote or co-wrote include A Bug's Strife, Diaper Madness, The Dark Hound Strikes! and Streaky's Super Cat Tale.

Upon its premiere (if you could call it that) on Cartoon Network, reactions to Krypto couldn’t possibly be any more mixed. “I'm going to give it a chance, but it looks like WB's superhero animation is quickly going to hell in a hand basket,” said one rotten blog poster.

According to Dini, Cartoon Network is more corporate now with their successes with Adult Swim. Shows that can be cheaply produced, like Aqua Teen Hunger Force, seem to be new trend at the network. Uh-oh.

(c) Misty Lee.
In a most unusual fashion, on February 12th 2005 Paul Dini proposed to his longtime girlfriend Misty Lee at the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum.

“I decided to do it in the more private confines of the museum garden,” Dini enthuses on the news portion of his Jingle Belle website. “I led Misty to the garden’s beautiful flower-ringed amphitheatre, took out the ring box, got down on one knee, hit the hand holding the ring box on my upraised knee, dropped the ring box, groped for it while mumbling something inarticulate that sounded like the Tasmanian Devil begging for a date, and handed Misty a Necco conversation heart with the words ‘Marry Me’ on it that I had saved for just such an emergency. When she stopped laughing (more out of a nervous ‘Oh my God, he’s really doing it!’ reaction than ridicule, bless her) Misty performed her greatest magic trick ever and turned me into the world’s happiest man by saying ‘Yes.’”

My initial reaction to this bit of news was one of shock and awe. I decided to investigate, to see whether this was one of Dini’s sleight-of-hand tricks, a postponed April fools’ joke for his devoted readers. To state the obvious, what you see below is what I came up with.

I went to Paul’s fiancée’s website--or rather, online journal for the uninitiated--to see if I could verify Dini’s statement. Lo and behold, click

Misty Lee, going under the Internet codename Shimaera, disseminates a lot of interesting information about the relationship she has with Paul Dini--and she also offers readers some unique insight into her own quirky, appealing personality. You won’t see this on Wikipedia. Wait a minute . . .

Yeah, you will. After I wrote the aforementioned sentence, I checked the Dini Wiki article to see if it said anything about Dini’s engagement to Lee. It does, in one very unspecific and short sentence. The more I mine the Internet for info on Dini, the more I come up with.

Misty Lee’s journal is a veritable treasure trove, chock full o’ Dini details and little nuggets of wisdom. That this website is updated more often than Dini’s should come as no surprise to those who follow his schedule. That’s also not saying much, since it seems that Dini updates his Jingle Belle website like three times a year. Maybe four. Misty got him beat by at least eight more updates. (Of course, readers, I’m being facetious.)

(Two hours, fifteen minutes later.) Now, I will have to eat my words. The odyssey of Dini-fact finding continues. Judging from the amount of posts
this gets, hardly anyone seems to know that he maintains such a journal. While I will not want to be the one who outs him, that piece of info was too good to keep under wraps. This is, of course, equal to finding the lost writings of Marlon Brando on some long-defunct website at the farthest corner of cyberspace.

If any of the aforementioned can be believed, Dini also responds to comments made on his postings. I must now make you aware, however, that I am not responsible for the validity of any of the information contained in this article, though I have done my best to do what Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass never did--which was to report the unexpurgated truth as I see it. Since I am not a journalist, I am not encumbered with the obligation to retain total objectivity in my writings. I can be as subjective as I want, which is the fundamental license granted to a blogger, even to the point of being prejudiced on some issues. You may see some political bloggers exercising this very right. I have not done all of this typing to imply that anything you’ve read was a total fabrication, or that I intended to make this article any longer than it is. The information as it is related to Paul Dini’s life has been analyzed and fact-checked for any and all inconsistencies, for my objective is to render an accurate (or semi-accurate) account of Dini’s life and career, such as it is, while endeavoring to entertain and engage the reader. And to make you forget that your eyes are tired and that you may be suffering from advanced muscle fatigue, if you have been following this article from the beginning.


We are rapidly approaching the conclusion of this article. July 8th, Mr. Dini posts an update to his journal entitled San Diego Countdown pt. 1. Here’s an excerpt--

“Well, here we are heading into the middle of July which means it is almost time for that great intergalactic freak show, the San Diego Comic Con. Forgive me, but the name "Comic Con International" always sticks in my craw as phony and pretentious. It has been known as simply "San Diego" for over thirty-five years and will no doubt be referred to as such for another thirty-five.

I have posted my signing schedule for this year over at my site, so I won't be repeating it here just yet. Rather, I'm going to talk about a certain pesky convention mainstay that I and a number of other professionals run into each year. . .”

There’s more, but rather than ruin it for you, just click
here. Then come back and finish the article. Please.

When I first posted the alert of the absence of a Paul Dini biography from Wikipedia, I had amassed a certain amount of information about notable people whose biographies appeared on Wikipedia before Paul Dini. What I uncovered might shock you as much as it has shocked me.

Misty, from Pokemon: How sad is that, a fictional character from an animated series getting a bio before a legendary real-life character? This world is going to hell faster than a speeding bullet. I am overcome with a mixture of bewilderment and extreme concern for the state of the human condition. (Misty Image (c) 4Kids Ent.)

Angel Long, English porn actress.

Anna Ohura, large-breasted Japanese adult model from Hokkaido, Japan, born 1980.

Ariana Jollee, prolific (aren’t they all) adult film actress from Long Island, NY. Born 1982.

Avena Lee, another Asian\Thai porn actress, born 1982 in Las Vegas.

Storm, character in the uncanny X-Men. Okay--maybe she deserves to be profiled.

Dazzler , aka Alison Blaire. Comic book character, member of some otherworlds team of X-Men. Has the ability to convert sound to light. She’s a gal you’d want to invite to a party. I can’t believe this.

Sunpyre, or Leyu Yoshida, fictional character born in Chugoku region, Honshu, Japan to a mother affected by the radiation fallout from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Flight, plasma blasts, ability to view infra-red and radiation immunity are her various powers. Has a brother, Sunfire--also a mutant. Sunpyre had been killed for a while, but now she’s seems to be alive and well in recent comic book issues. Got better coverage than Paul Dini. Also a shame.

Cable, fictional comic book character aka Nathan Christopher Summers--powers include teleportation, telepathy, telekinesis, and astral projection. Fathered by Scott Summers aka Cyclops and a duplicate of Jean Grey. Appeared in a few episodes of the X-Men animated series. And this qualifies him for a single-page treatment in Wikipedia. Give me a friggity-friggin break.

Forge, holy shit, Forge. Mutant ability--invention. Fictional character who gets a lengthy single page profile, even though he’s a character who least deserves it. I can see Rogue, or Wolverine, or Storm--but Forge? Over Paul fuckin’ Dini?

X-23, aka Laura Kinney (rhymes with, and is almost spelled like, Linney), fictional female counterpart to Wolverine, a minor character in every respect--given the single page, full-length Wikipedia treatment, the article having exceeded even the length of other Wiki articles on real-world notable individuals.

Finally, Christopher Sabat, not a comic book character but a voice actor for anime imports, whose Wiki entry is especially insulting given the fact that next to no one knows him. Next to no one. Outside of his parents, his agent, his employers and his co-workers, no one. Yet, he gets a more substantial bio than Paul Dini. Or, for that matter, Bruce Timm.

I have thoroughly made my case now, that Paul Dini has been given the Bill Finger treatment by many online and print-based encyclopedias claiming to contain a vast and comprehensive repository of data on the life of notable individuals. I’m not bloviating here, folks, I’m just telling it like it is. I realize that the monumental amount of effort put into writing this massive piece will likely not change anything, and perhaps will likely be forgotten, but I also realize that no major war against obsolescence (waged by an individual, of course) has been won by accepting the terms outlined herein.

There is some small chance that future readers of my website will come and discover what their own eyes have never seen, and what their minds have wished they saw. And that is one of the most comprehensive yet incomplete biographies of a living national treasure, a life which has contributed so much to the art of animation and comic books and will make yet another lasting contribution to 21st century pop culture with his upcoming feature films and animation projects. Therefore it can be safely said, as I am sure you will agree, Dini’s impact on the psyches of Generations X and Y is inestimable.

I rest my case. For now.


The following articles are the source material for many of the excerpts contained in this article. With grateful acknowledgement to the authors of these entertaining and insightful interviews.,1413,200~20949~2606894,00.html

My apologies to anyone left out. Any grievances can be sent to my e-mail address: I will respond, no matter how graphic the grievance.


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