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Gossip: Random House To Publish Original DC Comics Graphic Novels?

Bleeding Cool has been made aware recently that DC Comics has been approached by – or has approached – other publishers about the possibility of licensing DC Comics characters for their own comics.

This is not uncommon these days. Marvel Comics has an all-ages comic book line licensed and published by IDW. Marvel has also recently signed with Scholastic Graphix for them to publish several titles featuring Marvel characters including Miles Morales, Spider-Man.

I understand that some publishers have already approached DC – or been approached – and have turned down the opportunity over cost. Bleeding Cool has learned that  IDW – who already license Star Wars and Marvel comic books for younger audiences – found the price too onerous. The same goes for Dynamite Entertainment, who employ several creators it would be interesting to see on specific DC titles. While Marvel Comics themselves – who forty years ago were approached by Warners to take over the biggest DC Comics titles – thought the price paid wasn't worth it – and they have recently bought up comic book licenses from Lucasfilm, Fox, Games Workshop and Conan, so they are not opposed to this sort of thing.

But Bleeding Cool has heard the word that Penguin Random House, who already exclusively distribute DC graphic novels to bookstores as well as to comic shops the world over, and who have the figures on just how well they sell, have decided that, yes, the license fee is worth it.

Gossip: Random House To Publish Original DC Graphic Novels?
Credit: DC Comics and Random House

And I am led to expect that one of their many publishing imprints will be publishing original DC graphic novels. They have been hiring a number of staff for their graphic novel lines. With the likes of DC Comics shedding editorial staff, joining those from Oni Press, IDW and more, Random House now has a pool of very experienced and well-connected editorial staff they are bringing on board at comparatively low rates without having to train them.

Random House already publishes children's picture books using DC characters for the Random House Books for Young Readers imprint, but this would be more like the kids and YA original graphic novels that DC has been publishing recently.

I am told to look to announcements from Random House Graphics soon – unless another imprint in the mass that is Penguin Random House – steps forward to claim it. Random House Graphics, a relatively new imprint from Random House Children's Books state they have a mission to put a graphic novel on the bookshelf of every child and YA reader. And that at RH Graphics, they are "committed to championing the creativity and diversity of our authors by developing high-quality, unforgettable books."

Which characters do you think they might want to feature first? Random House did not reply to enquiries made over the weekend.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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