Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 18, 2010

Dan Didio and Jim Lee Named DC Comics Co-Publishers; Geoff Johns Named Chief Creative Officer; EVPs

Break out the DC Trinity jokes: DC Comics has made its long-awaited announcement as to the publishing position since Paul Levitz stepped down: Jim Lee and Dan DiDio as co-publishers. Additionally, Geoff Johns has been named to a position called Chief Creative Officer. DC also named two executive vice-presidents, also pulling from current personnel: John Rood will take the office of "EVP, Sales, Marketing and Business Development" and Patrick Caldon has been named "EVP, Finance and Administration." All of the new officers will report directly to President Diane Nelson.

Comic Book Resources has the press release I may or may not receive, which will give you the full benefit of their various comics industry accomplishments written by someone firmly in their corner.

I imagine most professional reaction will focus on congratulating their friends and peers, with a difficult-to-quantify undercurrent of happiness that these are comics people rather than outsiders. I imagine most fan reaction will focus on DiDio, a controversial figure among fans and an out-sized personality of whom I think it's safe to say his history of accomplishments at the company has an alternate reading, at least according to those who cover and follow mainstream comics much more closely than I do. A secondary take will say this is a very conservative set of choices by Time Warner, almost boring in fact, as many thought possible a name either from prose publishing or even from digital publishing that might bring a new skill set to bear on very specific problems facing traditional comics publishing. I still wouldn't characterize any of this as a surprise, though, as Lee and DiDio's names were bandied about from the beginning (Lee more at first; DiDio later and recently) and Johns is highly regarded for his creative successes.

I was promised an interview with the new publisher and Diane Nelson when they settle in; hopefully, that will still happen. I'm happy to go last.

I have to say, though, my first reaction is roughly the second one I mention above -- while this publishing team could put together a killer comic book mini-series, I don't see anything in their collective, displayed skill set that would give me confidence concerning the specific, thorny problems likely to develop in DC's immediate future. I don't expect a lot of people to say that out loud, though.
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink

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