The Beat has confirmed that DC Senior Editor Bob Schreck was laid off yesterday. Other layoffs, expected in the wake of Warner Brothers’ companywide 10 percent reduction, include Subcriptions Manager Christine Sawicki and several MAD Magazine personnel. The magazine-related layoffs certainly reflect the general crumbling of the entire magazine business.

As for Schreck, the layoff is more of a surprise since he is generally considered one of the top editors in the business. Starting at Comico, he also worked at Dark Horse, where he edited SIN CITY and MADMAN, then co-founded Oni Press (with Joe Nozemack) and then moved to DC where he worked on THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN, ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, and ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN THE BOY WONDER. He moved to Vertigo two years ago, where his office was developing several new graphic novel projects, including THE NOBODY by Jeff Lemire.

Schreck’s departure won’t take effect for several months. Given his track record and long list of friends in the business, it’s unlikely he’ll be gone for long.


  1. Bob Schreck is too valuable to layoff.
    I know DC has to reduce staff, but this is akin to shooting yourself in the foot.
    I really hope all goes well for Schreck wherever he lands next. He is good people.

  2. Wow… this is… I really can’t believe this. Bob is one of the best editors comics has ever seen. He’s shepherded more big talents and nurtured more top talent than virtually anyone else in the history of this business.

    Plus he’s one helluva a great guy.

    DC is truly making a mistake here, but there loss is some other enterprising publisher’s gain. Believe me, Bob Schreck won’t be out of work for long.

  3. I’m more than a little stunned over Bob’s being laid off. My gut feeling would be that he chose to get cut rather than let someone less likely to land on their feet, or he was chosen since he’s most likely to walk straight into another job.


  4. “Isn’t Schreck basically Frank Miller’s only editor? With him gone, does that jeopardize the Batman Holy Terror project?”

    Miller announced awhile ago that he’s still doing Holy Terror, but it’s evolved so that it’s no about Batman anymore. I’m not entirely sure what that means.

  5. Holy What Are They Thinking?

    Bob’s an amazing editor and has been nothing but helpful and encouraging to new guys like me. I’m sure he’ll be snapped up by somebody soon.

    But, yeah. Wow.

  6. This only underlines how little DC / Warner cares about the quality of their books. Here’s hoping Schreck returns to the house he helped build at Oni. He’ll be appreciated there.

  7. I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Schreck three(?) Mid-Ohio Comic-Con’s ago. It’s enough to hope that someone in his position might be approachable, but Bob (Mr. Schreck?) engaged my friends and I in conversation, and besides being unguarded with his opinions, he told at least one industry anecdote that Rich Johnston would kill for. He won’t need it, but good luck to him.

  8. If it weren’t for Bob, I probably wouldn’t be working in the comics industry.

    His generosity of time and advice has helped or inspired hundreds if not thousands of people in and around this industry.

  9. Ditto what Randy said above. Bob’s a mensch.

    And while everyone knows he’s one of the industry’s best editors, his tenure heading up marketing at Comico and Dark Horse has been the gold standard that I hold myself up to everyday at my current gig.

  10. That is the nature of the business. Good folks get brutally canned while bottom feeders hold onto jobs they should have lost ages ago…

  11. How cool of a guy is Bob? He once sent me a lengthy rejection letter in response to a pitch that explained, in detail, what he looks for both in a pitch and a project — and how I needed to make my pitch better. No simple “Bug off, we’re not interested” here, but an encouraging and constructive guide to becoming a better writer. I kept the letter and read it often to stay on the right track.

    Best of luck, sir.

  12. Bob’s a great guy. I still feel awful for making him walk up a needless amount of steps at the Wizard Fan Awards a few years back, but he was a sport about it. I’ll be rooting for him, but I’m sure he’ll do fine.

  13. bob actually gave me my first job in comics , and was always on the up and up with me every job . anybody who knows him understands what he can bring to the table and hopes somebody in the industry banks on this opportunity .

  14. Bob is a rock. I’m sad for him today, but know he’ll weather the storm and wind up making fantastic funnybooks again soon. This move is actually worse for DC than it is for Bob. They lost a great editor. Bob will rise again.

  15. Richard Rasche Says:

    01/23/09 at 2:37 pm
    That is the nature of the business. Good folks get brutally canned while bottom feeders hold onto jobs they should have lost ages ago…

    Richard, I work in video, and I can assure you, that’s the nature of every business.

    Given Mr. Schrek’s history in the industry, I’ve no doubt he’ll be involved in another venture shortly. If one can do it, this is an opportunity to refresh and reload.



  16. Schreck is a great guy, as well as a great editor. He probably doesn’t remember meeting me or saying nice things about my writing for Sequential Tart, but I sure haven’t forgotten the encounter or how much his thumbs-up meant to me. Given how everyone is struggling under this economy, I hope that he *does* land on his feet, and that some other company *does* have the financial wherewithal to hire him.

  17. Brian Says:
    01/23/09 at 3:30 pm

    No kidding it is the nature of all businesses. DC has so many relics in those offices that should have been jettisoned years ago. While I echo your sentiments that he lands on his feet quickly, this is a horrendous time to be out of work. Every business is cutting back and not hiring. Businesses are tanking, I would wager more layoffs are forthcoming in the world of comics

  18. People, please don’t turn this thread into bashing of others or wishing anyone lose their job.

    It’s a sad time, and a little good karma wouldn’t hurt ANYONE, even Beat posters.

  19. This is _not_ belittling Schreck in any way, shape or form, but if DC was going to lay-off a senior editor, Schreck might have been the easiest to schedule around since his titles seemed to be more like floating special projects than 4-7 monthly DCU continuity titles.

    You’d like to think he’d have something else lined up pretty fast.

  20. Okay, Bob, Heidi, Andy and I are going to form a club. Very exclusive. Gotta figure out a name and logo for it…

    Seriously, Bob is a great editor and a good friend. It’s tough now, but I suspect you’ll be happier in the long run. All the best, buddy.

  21. Wow. Bob is a true gentleman and one of THE editors in the business.

    Good luck, Bob even tho you won’t need it.


  22. >> Okay, Bob, Heidi, Andy and I are going to form a club. Very exclusive. Gotta figure out a name and logo for it…>>

    I’d suggest EDITORS EMERITUS!

    …but X-EDITORS would probably sell better.



  23. Scott — I can only say that I would be honored to be in the company of three editors of such stature. (And three great friends as well.) I guess I’ll be Sue Storm, as usual!

  24. You’ll learn with Bob just by talking to him, but he’ll change your world for the better if you have a chance to work with him. He’s a gentleman among us savages.

  25. Damn. That’s a massive surprise. Bob’s one of the first editors I ever spoke to and over the years became a friend. To think of DC, let alone Vertigo without him? Nope, it’s not sinking in yet.

    I’ll see you at a con sometime, Bob – because I know that sure as anything, someone will get you back in the game.

  26. is it possible that Schreck offered to take the bullet for some other, less connected, editor at DC?

    i know it’s a stretch, but he really is THAT nice of a guy.

    no matter what, i’m sure he’ll land on his feet.

  27. >> Sue Storm and the Things–it’s sorta got a Motown sound to it.

    “Three Things and a lass,
    They kick ass!
    In French, they kick derriere!”


  28. It may be that Bob Schreck was let go because Time Warner needed to lay off some people and looked around to see who made a mistake that cost them money recently. The reprint of that issue of All Star Batman cost them and it wasn’t a printing error (like DC claimed) it was a production error, the kind an editor should have caught before it was too late. It happened because the kind of black ink used to print the lettering was a darker black (rich black) than was assigned the black boxes meant to cover the offending words (100% black). Rich black includes the other primary colors in the ink, thereby giving it a bolder tone than plain old 100% black. An experienced editor should have caught this mistake before the book went to the printer and this may well be why his head went on the chopping block.

  29. Jamie S. Rich just pointed me to this thread.

    I’m stunned.

    But I’m also stunned that Bobby stayed at DC as long as he did, only because of his energy, many interests, and multiple talents.

    Wherever he lands will have an immediate boost in their stock and a reputation for being smart enough, sharp enough, and savvy enough, to grab him up. He truly is a MONSTER in the best sense of the word.

    And to spew some grateful affection for just a sec, he is completely responsible for directing my career to its first major apex, and showing me how to “work the ropes” to keep a steady, happy, and inspired pencil.

    Obviously, I haven’t had the chance to talk to Schreck since I just now heard of this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if, as someone previously suggested, Bob took a bullet on this.

    One of our favorite people in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD!

  30. Indeed. I’m sure Bob wouldn’t know me from anyone, but he’s met me several times over the years & always been gracious, funny, kind & decent.

    I wish him all the luck, but as has been pointed out above, he will land on his feet. That’s one wily bastard.

    BTW. Also sorry for the folks laid off @ Diamond. Say what you will about the evil monopoly etc etc, folks lost their comics-related jobs. This is bad.

  31. Knowing the way DC does things it was probably a cost-cutting measure. DC tends to target the senior or ‘too expensive’ people and cut them first.

    Good luck Bob. No doubt you’ll land on your feet.

  32. I am shocked – Bob is one of the best editors I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to. This is unhappy news for DC, but I am sure he’ll be snatched up by another company before we know it. He’s the kind of editor you want on your books.

  33. Richard Rasche is one of the best colorists DC has. I respect his opinion in reference to bottom feeders holding on; they do have a way but some really good people can also hold on tight. I wish all of them well, especially Richard Rasche. Gerry Spencer Chicago Illinois

  34. Mr. Schreck was one of the very few comic professionals who took the time to go over my portfolio and give me very valuable tips. Hell, I took a meeting with the man in his office in NYC: That in itself is a rarity in this business.

    I am certain that he will land upright. He is a class act and I for one truly appreciate his professionalism and willingness to guide new talent.