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.
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.
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.”
DiDio: Honestly we don’t really comment on rumors, but the answer is no, we’re not.
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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
Wow what a day. Not sure I’m gonna be able to sleep as exhausted as I feel!
Great and crazy day! Thanks everyone!!!!!!!
“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]
Producer F.J. DeSanto: I’d love to see a reality show following @alex_segura today
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.