Paul Dini first hit it big in Hollywood, but he never lost his love for comics.
In the mid-’90s, the veteran animation writer-producer started a side career in comics after he and artist partner Bruce Timm were asked by DC to extend some of their work on the “Batman” series into comics.
“I grew up loving comics as much as animation and being in both, side by side, is just ideal,” Dini says.
He has since worked on a number of titles including “Batman Adventures”; “Zatanna”; and the independently published “Jingle Belle,” which was recently optioned by Revolution Studios.
Comic and animation fans know Dini best, though, for his work on seminal ’90s cartoons like “Tiny Toons” and “Batman,” which he says were groundbreaking for more than just the former’s ironic wit and the latter’s mature tone. “For the first time, a group of writers and artists were allowed to follow a creative vision,” he remembers.
Dini, who is working on a “Duck Dodgers” revival for Cartoon Network, has been coming to the San Diego Comic-Con since 1975, after “begging my parents to let me go.” Over the years, he has seen the event mature from a gathering of buddies into a full-fledged corporate trade show.
“It used to be really clubby and we’d have sketching contests in our hotel rooms,” he recalls. “Now it’s so huge, good luck finding your friends. I get to meet a lot more fans, which is great. But I get approached by Hollywood types looking for products to license who have given me notes on my comics. That’s not so great.”