Rich Johnston reports that associate editor Nachie Castro has left DC for a job at Disney. He has not left the band Skelter, however, and that’s the good news everyone wanted to hear.
Castro’s departure is the latest in a round of associates moving on from DC, including Tom Palmer Jr. and Jeanine Schaefer. The last named went to Marvel, but according to at least one anonymous Internet poster, the lower levels of editing at comic book companies are not exactly positions for job growth. A post on Glassdoor,com includes a frank appraisal from someone who seems to have actually been an assistant at Marvel:
“Working at Marvel is great if you’re dying to learn about or break into comics, but it’s no place to have a career.”
Cons: Because so many people want to break into comics, it truly is a buyer’s market when it comes to entry-level editorial positions. The management knows that if a low-ranking editorial employee leaves, they’ll have a stack of resumes the next day with people dying to fill the spot, probably at a lower salary. Not surprisingly, this means extremely low salaries, no real desire to promote from within, and absolutely no concern for professional development. What at first seems like a great opportunity to do and learn a lot as an entry-level employee quickly reveals itself to be exploitation when you realize that you are underappreciated, undervauled and disrespected at every turn. Marvel also expects employees to act as if they are members of a team or a family, but goes nowhere near affording employees any of the same respect or courtesy. They even go so far as to view leaving the company as a type of betrayal. On top of all this, communication is a major problem at Marvel, with the upper management showing no real interest in explaining current initiatives or changes to lower-level employees.
Anyone who wants to break into comics at any cost would do well to remember this — so do a lot of other people.
[Thanks to “Windy” for the link]
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.