UPDATE: This interview with Nelson by Sharon Waxman at The Wrap addresses a few of those pressing issues and establishes that Nelson is not a comics fan “by nature.”
So: a girl running a comic book operation? Isn’t this a young, male-centric market?
I prefer to be known as an executive rather than a girl. It’s not gone without comment in the blogosphere. But I have to tell you, I’ve been really encouraged by the commentary in comic book world.
But I’m the first one to admit, I’m not by my nature a comic fan. It’s not what I’m bringing to the party. We have so many experts who will remain the cornerstone of DC Entertainment. What I bring to the party is a skill at moving properties and brands through Time Warner as a company.
There’s a new pitcher in this ballgame and DC Kremlinologists must learn all new signs and sigils.
New DC Entertainment Prexy Diane Nelson — or Jenette 2.0 as a few wags are calling her — did the newssite rounds yesterday, in tandem with outgoing Paul Levitz. We know all Kremlinologists will be combing these stories for details…let’s take a look!
Jonah Weiland and Andy Khouri chat things up at Comic Book Resources and get the overall look at the assets — content!
Jonah Weiland: Diane, what do you see as DC Comics’ greatest strengths and assets today?
Nelson: It’s a reflection, I believe, or at least it’s consistent with what Warner Bros. has cared about and stood for, that we are a talent-friendly company and are a place that values creators. I think the depth and breadth of the DC library and all of its imprints give us a real advantage over any competitor, however you define them. This isn’t just about the biggest or most well-known properties — those will clearly be a part of our initiative — but it can equally be about much lesser known properties that we incubate and build throughout the company, and it can be and should be about the acquisitions of new properties and characters. We are a content company and we’ll be even more focused on that in the future and that’s on a Warner Bros. and Time Warner level. I think recognizing the value of what our creators have created in this library and treating them carefully for the long term is the single greatest thing we have to work with here.
This next quote recalls many of the Bob Iger reassurances of the past few days:
Initially, over the first six months, it’s going to be about learning and listening and looking carefully at the DC Comics organization, which, again, remains a foundation of what DC Entertainment will be. So, DC Comics as a publishing company will remain intact.
Further on, Nelson talks about digital and motion comics. The general impression is that her mandate is to exploit more and more IP over more and more platforms — in other words, the search for the D.W. Griffith of motion comics may well be on.
Vaneta Rogers at Newsarama covers much the same ground but adds a name check for Minx:
Nelson said that among the things that will be focused upon will be how DC’s characters can be utilized in feature films, acknowledging that among them will be Superman and Wonder Woman.
“Of course they’re priorities,” she said. “But we’ll equally be looking at other properties and stories that can be incubated. It may start in digital, it may start in television, it could end up being video games. There could be casual games that come out of properties that come from Minx.
“That’s going to be the fun of it is making sure we look at all facets of the prism, and making sure we don’t just look at it as a linear… ‘here’s theatrical, now what do we spin off of that’ thing,” she said. “That’s not our goal. That’s a piece of the puzzle.
Initial impressions: the emphasis on creators and their importance is heartening. Surely the person who negotiated the interests of J.K. Rowling understands the importance of the sole creator and inspiration, without which big corporations just turn out things like Loonatics. At the same time, the lack of mentions of the phrase “comic books” in most of the answers is troubling. Given Disney’s lack of interest in periodicals and Nelson’s seeming interest in things other than comic books, many comic shop owners must have tossed and turned quite a bit last night.
It’s important to remember that although the announcement of some decisions were hastened by the Disney/Marvel deal, a lot of this was underway for years. For instance, we’re told the creation of DC Entertainment wasn’t going to roll out until next year — surely that was moved up to compete directly with the Marvel news. Disney and Warners have always been fiercely competitive, and the WB has long been attempting to build the same kind of dynamically synergized branding that Disney can do in its sleep. Warners’ hodgepodge of fiefdoms has long been a structural deterrent to this kind of concerted effort. From what we’re hearing, there is still a lot of work to do on that front.
The big immediate question mark: who will take over as DC’s new publisher? And what will happen to DC’s existing West Coast office, headed by Gregory Noveck? Tune in tomorrow for more shocks and surprises!
BTW, for a fairly exhaustive list of movie blogger reactions to the news, check out Christopher Campbell at Spout.