Bob Harras named DC Editor-in-Chief — UPDATE

robert Harras Bob Harras named DC Editor in Chief    UPDATEFormer Marvel E-i-C Bob Harras has just been named DC Editor-in-Chief. Harras, 50, will be in charge of all DC imprints, including DC Comics, Vertigo, and MAD, reporting to co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio. Since leaving Marvel in 2000, Harras was named a Contributing Editor for WildStorm, before joining DC’s collected editions department several years ago as Group Editor.

The announcement is a little bit of a surprise as Harras had kept a low profile at DC…perhaps all the more reason to be given a promotion. At any rate, it’s sort of a no-brainer since he already has experience running a giant comics publishing company and knows DC’s operations inside out.

UPDATE: Well, if my IMs, DMs and email is any indication, this is a very popular move in the creative community — Harras always had a strong level of support among creators and this is definitely looking like a way to stabilize the line.

PR below:

Robert Harras has been named Editor-in-Chief, VP, DC Comics, it was announced today by DC Comics Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio. Harras will oversee editorial for DC Comics, DC Universe, MAD Magazine and Vertigo and will be based in New York City, reporting directly to the Co-Publishers. Harras becomes the company’s first Editor-in-Chief in nearly 10 years since the position was held by Jenette Kahn from 1981 to 2002.

“Bob Harras’ personal and creative integrity is respected and renowned throughout the comic book industry,” said Jim Lee, DC Comics Co-Publisher. “As an editor, he provides invaluable insight into storytelling and character.”

“We could not be more excited to make this announcement,” said Dan DiDio, DC Comics Co-Publisher. “Bob is a tremendous evaluator of talent, character and story. He is a proven leader who brings a keen understanding of the marketplace to the position.”

Prior to being named Editor-in-Chief, Harras was the Group Editor, Collected Editions at DC Comics.

Before joining DC Comics, Harras was the Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics from 1995 to 2000.

Comments

  1. Wow. That’s interesting to say the least. My recollection of the comics from his run as EIC at Marvel is not so great. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing since most of my recollections of the comics after he was outed are pretty bad. Still, just the fact that he’s a comics lifer makes me feel better than it going to some marketing/movie/toy/merchandising goon. He actually knows how to publish comics. So, that’s something.

  2. Jeffrey says:

    How many people in charge do they have over at DC? Its beginning to sound like that one Land of oz story where the army is made up of all generals except for one soldier who they all tell what to do. Way to get organized DC

  3. Jeffrey says:

    Maybe he will bring back Breach. That would be something at least.

  4. Synsidar says:

    I have good memories of Harras’s tenure as E-i-C at Marvel, as a reader of the comics. He has an appropriate background and seems to have good instincts. He’s notorious for the “Clone Saga” about Spider-Man; that might have been a case of favoring the sci-fi aspects of the storyline and misjudging readers’ (and writers’) reactions.

    SRS

  5. “He’s notorious for the “Clone Saga” about Spider-Man; that might have been a case of favoring the sci-fi aspects of the storyline and misjudging readers’ (and writers’) reactions.”

    Harras had little to do with the Clone Saga. In fact, finally putting it to rest was one of the first major things he did as editor-in-chief, as I recall.

  6. Bob is the perfect choice on a number of levels. Great guy, terriffic with people and understands the books. I think it’s a great choice.

  7. Didn’t see that coming!

  8. So he now goes head-to-head against the guy who replaced him. Wow.

  9. Synsidar says:

    Harras’s involvement with the “Clone Saga” is a bit complicated. Here’s one person’s take on part of it:

    When Bob Harras became Editor in Chief of Marvel and postponed the resolution of the Clone Saga for another six months, that was the final straw for Dan, and he quit the book. In fact, when Harras first told Budiansky to postpone the end of the Clone Saga, Budiansky warned Harras that Jurgens would most likely quit as a result of that new decision. Harras simply shrugged off the warning, figuring that Jurgens could simply be replaced on SENSATIONAL by another writer.

  10. Larry Hama says:

    One of the smartest moves DC has made in years!

  11. Very happy for Bob. One of the classiest acts I’ve ever known in this industry.

    Talk about a taker of the high road…

  12. I hope they don’t let Al Milgrom ink anything during Bob’s new tenure. Al might do something he’d regret. again.

    So. Jim Lee is now his old boss’s boss. Weird!

  13. “So. Jim Lee is now his old boss’s boss. Weird!”

    Harras worked as an editor at WildStorm before he joined DC’s collection department, so working under Lee is nothing new for him.

  14. Brian Wood says:

    Bob’s been nothing but fantastic to me, and to work with in general.

  15. If he can make most of dc’s books like breach then I would be happy. I miss that book.

  16. K-Box says:

    It’s rare that I agree with Mark Waid anymore, but I’ll agree with him here.

    This is a terrible move. Marvel had some of its worst stories EVER under Harras, and some of its worst SALES as well.

  17. @K-Box with you there dude. It was during Harris’ tenure I stopped reading the X-Books and then stopped reading Marvel altogether, let’s hope he keeps his mitts off the bat-books and the JLA, Power Girl and Jonah Hex. Brrrr

  18. Tijmen says:

    Larry Hama, your GI Joe was my gateway drug and the reason I’m reading comics today. I salute you!

    I don’t have many fond memories of the Harras era at Marvel (good books under his tenure seemed to exist more in spite of editorial rather than due to editorial), but I’m not Larry Hama so who cares what I think.

  19. Jerry Smith says:

    Totally willing to give Mr. Harras a chance–DC books couldn’t be worse, could they? I do not have fond memories of his administration at Marvel, which was full of bad Image-type art, foil covers and clichéd stories. Marvel was just not interesting with him at the helm. That was then, this is now–I hope DC improves under his guidance.

  20. How coincidental, as I JUST literally finished reading Breach this weekend! Sadly I’ve had those issues for ages, but never read them (I’m crazy that way.) My friend hates that book, says it’s horrible. I actually thought it was a pretty amazing title cut way to short. I think if it had stayed in its own little world, and not interacted with the DC Universe, it might have helped the overall concept!

    I was bummed Breach apparently died in Countdown: Arena. But then again, apparently the writer “loved the character” (but still killed him?) and wrote a way for him to return, somehow. I would at least LOVE a wrap up one-shot of all the mysteries that were going on in his title, etc. But it was 2006, I can’t imagine we’ll ever see that… (but who knows!)

  21. Greg Nock says:

    Interesting choice, and I wish him well.

    The only thing that strikes me as odd: I recall the explanation for his removal from Marvel partly being that he wasn’t making sure the comics were properly taking advantage of the popularity of their films (X-Men being the prime example). With the whole point of this DC restructure being to tighten up the relationship between the characters and big-budget films, it seems counter-intuitive at first glance.

    However:

    1. I wasn’t there to really know why he was replaced. I’m just remembering (or misremembering) the explanation at the time.

    2. If this WAS the case, there’s no reason to assume he hasn’t learned from that experience.

    3. DC Entertainment is probably more concerned with the comics-to-movies relationship benefiting the MOVIES rather than the COMICS.

  22. Nock Nock says:

    Hatchet man, no?

  23. @Greg Nock

    You made some good points about the fact even though it seems odd to put Bob Harras in the EIC role when the rumor is the reason he was let go from Marvel was he didn’t take advantage of the movies that there are reason why he may still be a good fit, even though DC is now more focused on other media.

    I’ll add the fact DC (and Marvel for that matter) have recently restructured themselves to be all around media companies with the comic companies taking more control of things. This could mean Bob will also have input at what happens outside of his comics and will be in the know about all the stuff going on with DC movie projects that may make it easier for him to take advantage of films then when he was EIC at Marvel.

  24. I don’t understand this argument where because somebody has failed at something, he should be put back in charge of the same sort of thing because maybe, he has learned something.

    I have no clue whether Bob Harras ever failed at anything, but really does anyone expect this argument to be taken seriously — by that logic, all the worst performing people should be put in charge of everything, for they must have learned the most.

  25. Bob Harris as editor in chief of imprints including VERTIGO???

    My head is spinning at that comment. That seems so bizarre and so wrong, somehow. The man who ruined X-Men is now taking the lead with Vertigo. Isn’t leading Vertigo Karen Berger’s job?

    …So worried for Vertigo…

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