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February 19, 2010

Your New DC Comics Upper-Level Executive Super-Team Round-Up


A (very) few notes about yesterday's announcement of a five-person executive team at DC Comics, including new co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee:

1. Kevin Melrose had the best summary of the news and the initial reactions. If you feel a need to catch up on the story beyond my velvet prose from yesterday, I would recommend grinding through his post's links.

2. Dirk Deppey has written a compelling, positive post where he expresses optimism about DC's management team. His formulation seems to be that Paul Levitz leaving is the crucial part of any switch-out at top; Jim Lee is to be praised for seeing that CMX didn't enjoy the same, hasty fate as the Minx line; Karen Berger being kept at Vertigo is an affirmation of Vertigo's success and continued importance in a not-broke-don't-fix-it way; and that they're embracing No Fear as a mantra indicates that maybe they're going to get rid of their fear. I don't agree with the bulk of the essay, but there's a lot there worth considering.

3. Has anyone posited a reason why the announcement was made yesterday? I'm coming up blank. The timing of an announcement can tell you a lot about an announcement.

4. If this interview is to be believed, a new Executive Editor isn't automatic, as there will be a comprehensive review of the editorial structure as it now stands.

5. I'm not all that interested in a potential DC Comics move to the West Coast. I think that's a story with a lot more flash in terms of symbolism and history than it would immediately change the course of the company -- the exception being the human story of the potential change in personnel, which may or may not be substantial. That said, I think it fascinating that apparently the decision hasn't been made one way or the other.

6. Apparently, no Watchmen 2; although since there will be a systematic look at DC properties, I guess there still could be. That would have been awesome. I will endeavor to refashion my Dollar Bill/Dr. Manhattan pitch into a Green Team/Rip Hunter mini-series.

7. My initial impression from yesterday remains mostly unchanged. Because they're mostly going with established company veterans, there's not a whole lot in the way of shock-of-the-new reporting and commentary to be done. That throws an even greater emphasis onto tracking how things develop from here -- the difference between electing a new POTUS and re-electing one. I'm still trying to sort out in my head where the mass of complementary skill sets announced yesterday hits head-on the problems DC faces, but as much as the news seems to be about making predictions and choosing sides and endorsing various potential outcomes, the important thing is to see whether or not DC actually confronts those problems and to what effect six or eighteen months from now.

8. I think the most tedious joke honors would have gone to comparing the Lee-Didio set-up to the co-manager plot line from The Office. However, since some people responded to the joke by bizarrely shrieking that The Office was a work of fiction and therefore didn't count, I found it delightful every time.

9. I think the PR/Marketing roll-out and strategy of having the new folks doing tons of short interviews was effective and impressive. I think if there's any criticism to be had of that aspect of the announcement it's in that while you can expect folks to talk in platitudes about these kinds of hires and the issues that face a company you've just moved into new positions to help, the fact that they went with all of these veterans and took so long to make their announcements makes me disappointed there wasn't more focused discussion of specific initiatives.

10. I think the big winner from yesterday is Diane Nelson. I think the nature of the moves flatters her and cements the public perception of who's on top at DC the way another single, bolt-out-of-the-blue announcement like her own might have set up more of a contrast between two people fulfilling dual roles.
posted 6:00 pm PST | Permalink

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