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.”


An excerpt:

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]

1 COMMENT

  1. Too bad, really.

    It would be really smart for both companies to channel all that energy and enthusiasm into professional development, but that would be far too… professional, I guess.

  2. Huh, and I thought this shows the problems at the big two, I saw it with my own eyes at one of them. So I don’t think it a “pro-any company”. What with the Morons comment? No one what’s to be screw over, Face it it not all fun and games at some of these places.

  3. One more try:

    hmm, weird. My post disappeared into thin air. Ah well. I’ll quickly sum it up and try again.

    This account, as sad as it is, could have been written about the work experience at any number of arts industry companies. Advertising agencies, film production companies, and probably lots more. Whenever there is more supply than demand for warm bodies who want to compete for low paying jobs, this behavior will continue.
    I’ve seen situations were people would offer to work FREE as an intern in return for the recognition on their resume. Comics can be a tough business.

  4. The trick is to realize that your “promotion” is waiting across town. There are a few happy instances where someone is deservedly promoted from within, like Liz Gehrlein at DC, but you usually get ahead by jumping ship like Jeanine did. Or Wacker. Or Idelson. Or Axel. Or Marts. Or Schreck. And on and on.

    I don’t blame any particular mismanagement at the publishing companies, either. The reality is that you have to stop waiting patiently for your company to reward you. The only one who will advance your career is yourself. So while Nachie will be missed, I’m certain he’s done the right thing for himself. Same goes for Tom. I have no doubt they’ll do just fine in the end.

  5. @Al-
    I think you’re dead on about the general universality of that stuff. The trick is to find a place that treats even its expendable employees like people, and it burns me up that those are so ridiculously rare.

  6. “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.”
    ==========

    Well, welcome top the world of big business. I had a job in the 70s with a corporation, and the same things happened then. And I just last year left the employ of a major corporation, and guess what—the same thing was happening there.

    You will be happier in life when you finally realize that cogs are replaceable . Once you adjust to that reality, you can make decisions that are more logical for your career.

  7. “This account, as sad as it is, could have been written about the work experience at any number of arts industry companies.”

    Arts industry companies? How about, just companies? Management treats employees like crap, employees are overworked, underpaid and unappreciated, there’s a disconnect between upper management and the staff on the ground, etc etc. Sounds like nearly every company I’ve ever worked at or have heard about. I haven’t looked at any of the postings on this website, but I really doubt that it’s full of ex-employees talking about how great their former employers were.

  8. What Tony Bedard said!

    Plus, if you keep yourself active in the publishing world, there are a lot more places to go than just DC or Marvel…and many more of them do comics these days than when I jumped the DC ship. IT HELPS TO KNOW MORE THAN JUST COMICS. I got hired at Nick Magazine, I’m told, partly because of comics experience but also because I could copyedit and write–and had stuff on my resume to prove it.

    Of course being in a crappy job can be…crappy. So I sympathize with people who had to quit their jobs. It can be hard if there’s no place to jump. But neither Marvel or DC are the world…or even the whole comics world. Think “stepping stone.”

    Hmm…I bet I sound like a know it all. I’ll shut up now.