Your New DC FAQ

It was a busy day for DC Entertainment’s new executive team, and they were made available to many press outlets. Although a few key themes emerged (digital, digital, digital) various questions were asked in various places. Here are, perhaps some of the ones on everyone’s mind.
So now, how is this all going to work?

Jim Lee: Well, DC will be one company more so than it’s ever been in its history, especially since WildStorm became a part of it. To a certain extent because of the geographic distance, it’s been more difficult in the past, but now that I’m going to be here in New York more often and Dan’s going to be out on the West Coast more often, we’ll be strategizing about the entire publishing line. We’re going to be coming to some great conclusions, and the fans are going to be the ones reaping the benefit from that.

Dan Didio: What I said to Jim and what I’ll reiterate here is that my goal is going to be that at least one week out of every month I’ll spend some time in either the Burbank offices or La Jolla [where WildStorm is located.] There’s incredibly talented people over there who are extremely valuable to the overall success of what DC is, and it’s essential to make them a part of the overall process.

With Dan booted upstairs, who will run the DCU?

DiDio: Right now we’re in a little bit of a transition. At this point we’re not making any firm decisions. I have such strong creative lead coming from Jim and Geoff that we’ll have to see how things develop as we move ahead. Right now we have my executive team of Senior Story Editor Ian Sattler, Coordinating Editor Liz Gehrlein and my Art Director Mark Chiarello leading the way. And we’ll be reviewing how editorial works with the other imprints and looking at all of that in the weeks to come.

What about that WATCHMEN 2?

Diane Nelson: “No, that’s all rumor,” she said. “I’m not sure where it came from. We’ll be looking closely at our whole library and making sure we’re looking for opportunities to mine every property where it makes sense, and with integrity, but that’s just rumor.”

Dan?

DiDio: Honestly we don’t really comment on rumors, but the answer is no, we’re not.

Will Jim Lee and Geoff Johns have time to keep making comics?

Diane Nelson: Again, it’s in our interest to help them have time to create, but they are first and foremost executives running DC, and they are thrilled about the opportunity to do so.


Is DC moving to the West Coast???

Diane Nelson: We have said very openly that we have not made any decision about that. The discussion of how we most effectively integrate DC with Warner Bros. is now going to be one that everyone here at DC participates in, and we’re going to be careful and thoughtful about the right ways to do it.


Dan DiDio, what do you think of that?

DAN DIDIO: One of the things we want to do right now, rather than speaking about structurally what might be changing, is focus on the new creative team we’ve got in place. We’re really excited about the fact that we’ve been brought in by Diane, and charged with forging a relationship between DC Comics and DC Entertainment, and we’d like to keep it focused on that.


What’s going to happen to WildStorm?

JIM LEE: I think it’s going to be exciting for WildStorm. Obviously, it’s one of my passions–we talked to them over the phone as we were announcing this, and the response I heard was laughter–that they were happy, and they were excited, and they know that this means incredible things in the future.


What about that comics store owned by Geoff Johns?

Then there were the issues of conflict of interest. Such as Geoff Johns, new Chief Creative Officer, and his part-owned comic shop, Earth-2 in California. Was the position compatible with co-owning a store – and might Geoff feel forced to sell it so soon? Absolutely not, said Johns. He believes a stake in a store not only educates him as to the needs of the market, but lets the direct market know how important it is to him – and Johns loves the direct market. Nelson added that this issue had been raised at Warner but that the company was supportive of Geoff.


What does Warners production president Jeff Robinov think?

“With this new leadership team, Diane will be able to fully and respectfully integrate DC’s brand and characters, not only as key content drivers in the film division, but across all of the businesses of Warner Bros. and Time Warner,” said Jeff Robinov, prexy of the Warner Bros. Pictures Group.


Is this a newer, more open DC?

Rich Johnston: But only last year DC Comics representatives would not contact me directly – in one case asking retailer Jim Hanley to pass on the message that if I pursued a Collect Hitman In Trades campaign in my column that they would specifically guarantee that Hitman would not be collected (Hitman is now being collected in trade paperbacks.)

This is not the DC Comics I spoke to today. Anything could happen. As I said, concluding the call, at the end of a long hard slog for them all, this is a Brand New Day.


What about the big picture?

J. Michael Straczynski (writer, Brave and the Bold, Superman: Earth One): This is a huge story, and really marks a massive sea change at DC. It’s the first substantial change since Paul Levitz was given the big chair, and that’s quite a long run. I think it’ll lead to a much tighter integration between the film and publishing divisions, and even more creative risk-taking. Dan and Jim and Geoff are very creator-friendly, so I think this will herald a new silver age at DC.


Will DC try to make more products for children, girls and minorities?

John Rood: I am told I was hired because of my experience in entertainment marketing – to kids and families, to young women, to the urban market, across multimedia, with trade partners, with a limited budget, etc.


How do you feel, Jim Lee?

Wow what a day. Not sure I’m gonna be able to sleep as exhausted as I feel!


And you, Geoff?

Great and crazy day! Thanks everyone!!!!!!!


What does Tom Brevoort think about all this?

“And hey, congrats to @GeoffJohns0 and @JimLee00 and the twitterless Dan DiDio on their new promotions and responsibilities. Although it does feel a lot like @axelalonsomarv’s and my announcement a while ago: ‘Same Guys Continue To Do Things!’ Seems more like a ratification of a system that was already in place than an actual change. But now @richjohnston can stop combing Diane Nelson’s Facebook account looking for photos of her friends.”


[Via Kevin Melrose]

What is the one great missed opportunity in all this?

Producer F.J. DeSanto: I’d love to see a reality show following @alex_segura today

Comments

  1. Lotza cooks….not so big of a kitchen.

  2. Rexcat says:

    Everyone sounds starry eyed and self-congratulatory. Realities will set-in in about 6 months to a year and half if this is going to be successful. I have a concern about Diane Nelson. Her background is essentially sales/marketing. Generally putting sales/marketing people in charge of a business, unless it is a marketing/sales business, is not a good thing to do. They lack the operational knowledge of how the business works at an executive level. When I read quotes about her being an “extraordinarily skilled facilitator” it makes me nervous. If you don’t have enough knowledge of what you’re facilitating, you do a lot of damage to the business over time (try the reading about ex car and insurance presidents of late). I hope this change at DC works out.

    It is interesting the most radical changes at DC came from the time of Jenette Kahn. During her years DC got into; direct market, started/acquired Vertigo and Wildstorm (alternate comics), published Dark Knight and Watchmen (showed DC could provide high quality), rebooted the DC Universe (simplified the editing – for awhile), rebooted Superman and others, started graphics novel business line, started archive book line, started lines on toys/memorabilia, recognized UK (and others) writers/artist had a different view of comic stories that DC could leverage, and so on. Ms. Kahn had a background in publishing. She started two magazines for children, was into contemporary art, read comic books, understood publishing and marketing of it, and had a sense for style and quality. We will see what the Nelson years bring.

  3. Synsidar says:

    Jeff Robinov is the one who has to be pleased, since he’s at the top. He will naturally be most concerned with how DC’s characters do as film properties. If the films succeed, things will be easier all around DC Entertainment; if they fail, there will be more pressure to improve results elsewhere.

    The comic books are known to be doing poorly as monthlies, so I doubt that there will be pressure to improve results dramatically, especially given the economy. The comics people just have to prevent sales from collapsing.

    Nobody actually knows how digital comics will sell and what the impact on sales of paper comics will be.

    The unknowns are what other org. structures were considered, and what other people might have been approached about positions. The Marcus rumor didn’t arise spontaneously. It’s possible that the rumor (leak?) caused them to settle on a structure sooner than they wanted to.

    The structure they settled on is so unusual that it makes me wonder whether anyone would have left if he hadn’t gotten a position with some power — a resignation would have shattered the mood they were trying for with the reorg — but there wouldn’t have been many other places for someone who resigned to go to.

    SRS

  4. michael says:

    Lee’s moving here, to the East coast while Didio is moving to the West coast…huh?!? O.o

  5. Co-publishers? How long can that last?

  6. BoozerX says:

    DC is putting Johns in an executive position and limiting the writing work of his number one star.
    DC is constantly shooting his own foot.

    In the other hand it seems GJ is gonna be the man behind the creative decisions in the comics lines instead of Didio, in my opinion a very needed move.

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