With our respective experiences and history with DC and our relationships with the world’s best writers and artists, our mission is to reinvent DC Comics to prepare it for the challenges and opportunities in this quickly changing world. With the Co-Publisher structure, it’s going to allow us to be in many places at once, both literally and metaphorically; to better position DC as one of the great creative engines which fuels and defines so much of our world’s Pop Culture while making sure we continue to address and redefine what makes DC’s characters so great. Thankfully, we already have between all the talented, hardworking staffers that comprise DC, Vertigo, WildStorm and Mad—one of the greatest, most experienced editorial teams one could hope for to do just that, and we look forward to working with everyone to propel DC to new heights.
Given how long we have known each other and how well we know our individual strengths and skill sets, there’s going to be some easygoing but frank, healthy discussion about how we can accomplish these goals, especially as we get into the specifics of what reinvention means. We look forward to sharing the results of that dialogue with you going forward into the future. Till then, we would like to pause at this moment in DC Comics’ tremendously rich and storied history to simply state not only how honored we are to be chosen to carry forth its legacy but how excited we feel about the prospect of adding to it. Former DC President/Publisher Paul Levitz has been the driving force behind much of that legacy, and we owe much to his prescient guidance and steadfast professionalism. We truly stand on the shoulders of giants–thank you, Paul.
We are equally as beholden to new DCE President Diane Nelson for her faith in the all-star team she has assembled. In very short time, Diane has demonstrated to each of us through her intellect, her insight and her leadership that she is the right person to take DC to the next level. She has a tremendous vision for what DC Entertainment can be and her passion and enthusiasm have been truly inspirational; we couldn’t be any prouder to be leading the charge with her. And while DC will continue to grow, evolve and change–at the end of the day, it will always be about the words and pictures, no matter the medium, and the incredible people who craft them into art. Given our passion for this unique and wonderful art form, know that that much will always remain a constant.
So what does a “Chief Creative Officer” do? Well, I still wear t-shirts and write and go to conventions, but I’ll be doing a whole lot more too.
Under the leadership of Jim and Dan, I’ll continue writing and giving my creative input as I have been in comic books. But expanding onto that, Diane’s asked me to take our comic book world, embrace it (as I do) and use it to lead the creative charge on bringing it all to film, toys, television, video games, animation and beyond. The Justice Society appearing on Smallville was only the beginning.
Let’s all let this sink in a little more: Martin Campbell of Casino Royale is directing Green Lantern. And over the last few months, I’ve met with Ryan Reynolds to talk all-things Green Lantern, I’ve worked closely with Green Lantern producer Donald Deline and screenwriter Michael Goldenberg on the script (Aw yeah, Kilowog!) and I’ve realized that the Green Lantern comics and film and everything growing out of them (wait until you see what!) is only the beginning of what DC Entertainment has coming our way under Diane and Jeff Robinov’s leadership. And I have to say something about Jeff too. He’s made Warner Brothers the most successful and artist-friendly studio out there and that will carry over into DC Entertainment. He knows what we know: the potential of DC is infinite. We couldn’t be in better hands on that front. Expect the characters we love, the A-list and the ones even you and I might barely know, to be shepherded into the “outside world” with respect, care and unbridled energy. They’ll be plenty of Batman and Superman, but there are a whole lot of characters from the DC Universe, Mad, Vertigo and Wildstorm waiting to be unleashed.
For 20 years, I have had the good fortune of working only on stuff I’m very passionate about – from commercials to television to movies to websites. And for classic brands that refuse to rest on their laurels – from McDonald’s to Miller to Disney Channel to ABC. It’s great to be keeping these streaks alive – back again at Warner Bros., back again in the DC Universe. 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. I have already been identified as an insider fan with an outsider POV. So here’s my POV – there is so much going so well for so many things across DC. An unequaled collection of characters and stories. A commitment to quality content that’s nothing short of inspiring. I see no publisher serving the needs of the Direct Market better, and no publisher with a more extensive catalogue of books and trades in the mass market channel. These imperatives are not possible without our cherished retailer partners, with whom I look forward to working most closely.
Way back in 1985, I joined DC Comics as the company’s Controller. Obviously, a lot has changed in our industry in that time. I’ve seen our staff grow from less than 100 employees based in New York to over 275 employees located nationwide. During that time, the company’s internal systems, from manufacturing to inventory management, have gotten more complex. Distribution has diversified. Deals have been made by my team with thousands of world class artists and writers. New readers are discovering comics and graphic novels and our characters. The DC Universe has even gone from infinite worlds to 52 universes. (At least that’s what Jim and Dan tell me.) Heroes have died and been reborn.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.