UPDATE: Well Nikki Finke says there is no truth to this. So that’s that.
Like Bleeding Cool, we’ve been hearing the name of former Scholastic Publisher Barbara Marcus as a contender for the job of DC publisher. While the chatter we’ve heard is that it’s not a done deal, her name is, nonetheless, the first remotely realistic name we’ve heard floated for the position.

As President, Children’s Books Publishing and Distribution at Scholastic, Marcus was very much involved in the entire Harry Potter book franchise and is credited with helping launch the phenomenon. She also worked with Diane Nelson on bringing the books to film, and helped make Scholastic the second largest children’s book publisher in the world. Scholastic was a $1.2 billion business when she left in 2005, following the publication of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Since then she’s been a consultant to Penguin’s Young Reader’s Group.

Obviously someone with huge business chops, Marcus is also a veteran publisher — she was at Scholastic for 22 years — and according to her Linked In page is located in the New York City area — so moving to the West Coast, as some think DC Entertainment may do, might be a sticking point. Also, DC Entertainment has to be seen as a a bit of a fixer upper at this point, and one would wonder why Marcus would come out of semi-retirement for one last run.

Another buzzed about name as a contender for DC: former Warner Animation President Sander Schwartz, but our sources say he is not in the running for the job for whatever reason.

While this is all speculation at this point, names like Marcus and Schwartz — proven executives with solid track records — are the most likely sorts of candidates for the job — not crazy talk like Grant Morrison and Bill Jemas.


  1. Darn. She sounds like an excellent choice. But then, so did Stephanie Fierman…

    Another Jenette Kahn?

    Did Ms. Marcus have any involvement with the Graphix imprint?

    Let’s see… who has GN experience at a mainstream publisher? Possibly with some licensing or brand experience. Chip Kidd, maybe? }]

  2. I could never dismiss anything Nikki says. She’s good, damn good. I’d be a fool too.

    But she also said that Didio would be fired in 2008 and that Paul would not resign in 2009…

    So it’s a fine indication but it’s not completely close cut. Not yet anyway.

  3. Hope they hire her — or someone like her.

    DC has been too engaged in the nostalgia market with their mainstream books. The domination of YA material in the GN market tells me that both Marvel and DC are missing opportunities.

  4. so you know the story isn’t true, and you leave it up as is. how responsible.

    and don’t give me the “nikki revises her postings” crap. this is rich johnston, for goodness sake.

  5. Here’s something interesting…

    I was wondering what the correct name of Warner Bros. was, so I read the Wikipedia page. Then I saw the section on “library”…

    Didja know that WBE has the video rights to the Wiggles? Peanuts? Sesame Street?! Sure, publishing has a different license than video, but if they already have that relationship… (Sesame Workshop publishes via Random House, which also distributes DC comics.) Heh… Sesame Street from Wildstorm. Grant Morrison writes the ABCs…

  6. It might have been nice if it was true. Maybe she could have herald in a new ‘golden age’ the way pioneer Jenette Kahn did not too long ago.

  7. I worked at Scholastic for a number for years and was involved with the beginning of Graphix. Graphix was pretty much spearheaded by Jean Feiwel (currently has her own imprint Feiwel and Friends and she’s overseeing most of Macmillan’s children’s publishing) and David Saylor (still at Scholastic as a VP and still working on Graphix). Marcus was a powerhouse at Scholastic – she’s a smart woman and definitely would take DC in an interesting direction. Not sure what her background experience is in comics and graphic novels…but it would definitely be nice to see DC find someone to give them more mainstream publishing cred like Marcus.

  8. “Maybe she could have herald in a new ‘golden age’ the way pioneer Jenette Kahn did not too long ago.”

    Not to make anyone feel old, but Jenette Kahn came to DC Comics more than *thirty years ago* (tho’, of course, many of her pioneering contributions to comics came more recently…)

    Myself, I’m now feeling ancient and am going to reach for the Geritol… ;-)

  9. So, apart from Harry Potter… she’s not sounding like anything special. Perhaps a management case of right place, right time to capitalize on a once in a lifetime book that became a cultural phenomena?

    That doesn’t mean she’s remotely suited to DC. Especially if comics are to regarded as anything more than childish fantasy only for that demographic.

    I love getting kids to read comics though, I just see broader audiences to reach.