“Jerry Krause was right,” said DC co-publisher Dan DiDio, quoting the General Manager credited with breaking up the Michael Jordan era Chicago Bulls. “Players don’t win championships, organizations win championships. DC Comics is an organization and we’re making some adjustments to better align our product with the organization.”
The new writing structure is as follows: DiDio will co-plot all 52 of DC’s core universe titles with each title’s respective editor. Scripting duties will be passed down to assistant editors.
“Editors are the real stars,” explained DiDio. “Freelance writers dilute the editorial vision. They’re not in the office so if you need to make a change, you have to track them down. They don’t always correctly interpret direction. By making this simple organizational adjustment, fans will be able to experience comics that are more accurate to DC’s intent and their lives will be richer for it.”
This organizational change will also enable DC to adapt the popular technology management system, “The Lean Startup” to comics.
“The basic idea is all about sampling and reacting to readership,” DiDio offered. “Instead of a ‘Minimal Viable Product,’ which has just enough features to see if there’s a customer base, we’re going to be starting out with a ‘Minimum Viable Plot.’ You can test a Minimum Viable Plot a number of ways: publish the first issue, release a preview or leak the plot to a website. If the reaction is bad, you ‘Pivot’ and change the plot. Eventually, you’ll find something the fans like.
“You may have noticed we’ve been informally testing this system and making Pivots ever since the New 52 launched. It’s been working so well, we decided to go ahead and make it our formal organizational procedure. By integrating writing into editorial, we increase the speed at which we can pivot. It’s not like we weren’t already doing most of the plotting.”
When asked for reaction to the news, Marvel Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso replied “Marvel plans editorial moves out far in advance and we would be unable to implement something like this for at least six months.”
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.