Earlier today, Bleeding Cool posted the news that DC Comics staffers, along with the rest of Warner Bros were undergoing a downsizing of staff. At the time, we were lead to believe that the brunt would be felt by DC Universe, as part of an alignment of streaming services being offered. But instead, it became rapidly clear that DC Comics editorial was being targeted in a major way for such changes. With everyone describing this as the DC Bloodbath – or New DC Implosion – and on a Monday as well.
This New DC Implosion seems to have all-but-confirmed the departure of Mark Doyle, Executive Editor at DC Black Label. Other named, repeatedly now, include DC Editor-In-Chief Bob Harras. Vice President, Global Publishing Initiatives & Digital Strategy Bobbie Chase. DC Editor Andy Khouri, DC Senior Story Editor Brian Cunningham, and SVP Publishing Strategy & Support Services at DC, Hank Kanalz. That DC Collectibles will be wound up as a line of statues and toys, with the rights licensed elsewhere to the like of Mattel or Hasbro.
But we are now getting a better shape as to what DC Comics will be looking like going forward. Because, as to whether Jim Lee remains as CCO and Publisher, I am told that he will be transitioning out of that role, with current Executive Editor of Global Publishing Initiatives & Digital Strategy at DC Comics Marie Javins and Vice President and Executive Editor, DC Children's/Young Adult Michele Wells promoted, effectively running publishing, and reporting to Jim. For now.
UPDATE: I understand that while Jim Lee may no longer be publisher he will remain as CCO – Chief Creative Officer.
But I have also been told that Eddy Choi, Executive Assistant to Jim Lee, Sandy Resnick, International Publishing, Ad Sales & Custom Creative Studio and Sara Haskell, Marketing Director are out. As are Michael Shelling, Director of Publicity (Publishing) at DC. Jonah Weiland, VP of Marketing & Creative Services and Jim Sokolowski, VP, Comic Book Specialty & Newsstand Sales, have also been laid off.
Again, none of these dismissals or appointments have been officially confirmed by DC or Warners, although multiply sourced, and DC Comics continue to not comment. There are likely to be errors, and changing statuses will not have been reflected either. I have done my best to investigate contradictory reports and try and find out just what is going on, but I know I will be missing things.
But I am told that these layoffs will have an immediate effect on the publication of DC Comics monthly titles, and I am to expect a rapid reduction of titles. If you thought DC Comics published an unhealthy percentage of Batman books, you ain't seen nothing yet. The Batbooks, most of the Justice League books and some of the Superman books will stay safe, as will the digital line, the original graphic novel line. But a lot of comics will have to disappear as there simply aren't enough people to work on them. Scott Snyder will be very grateful for Marie Javins' elevated role…
Because the plan is for publishing to definitely continue, but I am to expect a greater emphasis on digital and bookstore rather than the comic book shop, for now at least.
The original DC Implosion was the unofficial name for what followed the promotional campaign "DC Explosion" in 1978 launching many new titles – for about three months. However, DC experienced ongoing poor sales from the winter of 1977 to the winter of 1978. This has been attributed in part to the North American blizzards in 1977 and 1978, which both disrupted distribution and curtailed consumer purchases, alongside economic inflation, recession, and increased paper and printing costs, Meetings were held to cut back books – Detective Comics was to be terminated with Detective Comics #480, until the decision was overturned after a strenuous argument, and Detective was instead merged with the better-selling Batman Family. But in June 1978, DC Comics announced staff layoffs, including Al Milgrom and Larry Hama and the cancellation of 40% of its line.