Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DC Comics Bi-Coastal Press Release Interpreted


Today at The Source, a press release announced that DC Entertainment/Comics was becoming bi-coastal. Here is the announcement (in yellow) along with my no-b.s. interpretation (in red).

(September 21, 2010 – New York) DC Entertainment, as part of its ongoing strategy to integrate the DC Comics business, brand and characters into Warner Bros.
DC Entertainment's ongoing strategy to diminish the importance of the publishing arm.

Entertainment’s content and distribution operations, will relocate its business functions related to and supporting multi-media and digital content production to Burbank, California. DCE’s publishing operations will remain in New York, continuing DC Comics’ 75-plus year legacy of leadership in the comic book arena. These announcements were made today by Diane Nelson, President, DC Entertainment.

We are moving everything and everyone of real importance to Hollywood. But we will continue to let the publishing arm plug along as a cheap feeder league for our Hollywood offices. At least for awhile.

“These organizational changes reinforce the strengths of DC’s greatest legacies – most importantly its people and its creative talent – and offer greater opportunity for maximum growth, success and efficiency in the future,” said Nelson.
We're gonna be firing a lot of people.

“Our two offices will stretch and build their respective areas of focus, while prioritizing and aggressively striving to connect and cooperate more strongly than ever before between them and with their colleagues at Warner Bros.”

DC Entertainment's Hollywood offices will be dictating what DC Comics can and cannot do in New York.

“This strategic business realignment allows us to fully integrate and expand the DC brand in feature films as well as across multiple distribution platforms of Warner Bros. and Time Warner,” said Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, to whom Nelson reports. “We are creating a seamless, cohesive unit that will bring even more great characters and content to consumers everywhere.”

We can make such an enormous buttload of money off our licensing, web, film, and television we plan to focus primarily on these areas rather than the comics.

The relocation process is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011, with DCE’s businesses related to the development and production of feature films, television, digital media, video games and consumer products as well as the company’s administrative functions relocating to a Warner Bros.-managed property in Burbank, CA. DC Comics’ publishing operations, which have been the bedrock since the company’s inception with an annual output of over 1,100 comic books, 300 graphic novels and MAD magazine, will remain in New York. The bi-coastal business units will work more closely together to continue elevating the powerful DCE brand.
Once we get everyone settled comfortably in Hollywood, we will reevaluate whether the New York offices are even necessary anymore. This should happen sometime early in 2012.

DC Entertainment was founded in September 2009 to fully realize the power and value of the DC Comics brand and characters across all media and platforms. The senior management team responsible for shepherding DCE through this reorganization is comprised of Nelson, Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer; John Rood, Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Business Development; and Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, Co-Publishers of DC Comics.
The DC Entertainment reorganization team are of prime importance to the brand except for one of the last two on the list who may want to be sure his resume is up to date.


A little bit later in the day, a second press release came out that was ostensibly a "letter" from Dan Didio and Jim Lee as co-publishers of DC Comics to clear up the earlier announcement. The "co-publishers" designation makes me think about Michael and Jim in THE OFFICE and their ridiculous status as "Co-Managers" of Dunder-Mifflin.

The changes happening behind the scenes this week are part of a greater campaign to reshape DC Comics and build a company for the future. Our responsibility as Co-Publishers is to find a balance between short term opportunities and long term vision; between our strengths in traditional print formats and the infinite potential beyond print; between our characters’ rich legacies in the past and the bright promise for the future they hold.
Ummm. Uh... well...here's the deal. Longterm goal appears to be that DC Entertainment doesn't have much use for DC Comics anymore...

As we’ve said before, there’s much to celebrate about DC. The foundation for long-term success is already here.

You ever felt like someone was smacking you in the head repeatedly with a bat and telling you the whole time they love you?

The DC Universe features the modern adventures of the World’s Greatest Superheroes, as envisioned by an exciting mix of new and fan favorite comic book creators. Vertigo is committed to publishing cutting edge, creator owned comic books and graphic novels by a wide array of creative voices.
At least for now, we get to keep churning out super-heroes and stuff for the grown-ups with the Vertigo. Thank GOD we still have Vertigo for awhile longer. If it weren't for FABLES, though, that would'a probably gotten the axe too.

One of our first decisions of the Co-Publishers was to up the publication of MAD Magazine from a quarterly periodical to a bimonthly one. In the wake of that decision, the magazine has seen increased sell-through growth. And we’re thrilled that MAD’s brand of madcap humor now stretches across media, with a highly-rated television show on Cartoon Network. The Usual Gangs of Idiots are an important part of this company and pop culture.

As we move forward, we also have to acknowledge the need for change.
WAAAAHHHHH!!!!! We don't wanna change!!! Stop the hurt!!!!

After taking the comics scene by storm nearly 20 years ago, the WildStorm Universe titles will end this December. In this soft marketplace, these characters need a break to regroup and redefine what made them once unique and cutting edge. While these will be the final issues published under the WildStorm imprint, it will not be the last we will see of many of these heroes. We, along with Geoff Johns, have a lot of exciting plans for these amazing characters, so stay tuned. Going forward, WildStorm’s licensed titles and kids comics will now be published under the DC banner.
Goodbye Wildstorm. Hell. Even WE didn't realize there were still comics published under the Wildstorm banner. Other than Ellis's run on THE AUTHORITY and PLANETARY, there's really not anything of note to be remembered here. Of course, now DC Entertainment gets to claim all the credit now.

After this week, we will cease to publish new material under the ZUDA banner. The material that was to have been published as part of ZUDA this year will now be published under the DC banner. The official closing of ZUDA ends one chapter of DC’s digital history, but we will continue to find new ways to innovate with digital, incorporating much of the experience and knowledge that ZUDA brought into DC.
Buh-bye all you web comic creators. We thought you were a waste of time and effort anyway. Don't let the keyboard smack you on the way out.

We’ll be further expanding our digital initiative and making a lot more news in this space. As part of that transformation, the WildStorm editorial team will undergo a restructuring and be folded into the overall DC Comics Digital team, based in Burbank, which will be led by Jim Lee and John Rood.
Hold it! This is Dan speaking. Jim's gonna be moving to Hollywood???? What does this do for our "Co-Publishers" status here in New York???? Jim! Jim!

With nearly two million free downloads and hundreds of thousands of paid downloads, our digital foray is already reaching a new audience worldwide. We could not be more excited by the successful launch of our Digital Publishing products in June, which exceeded all sales forecasts and will be building on our early success with new applications for DC material on all major formats and hardware, partnering with Warner Bros Digital Distribution. It has extremely been rewarding to hear anecdotal stories of lapsed readers returning to the art form and of brick and mortar stores gaining new customers who sampled digital comics.
Digital is what all the kewl kidz want now. So, that's what we're throwing all our time and money behind now. Paper comics are dinosaurs on their way to extinction.

We remain, as ever, dedicated to working with the greatest creators this industry has to offer, while inspiring generations of creators and readers to embrace this medium that we all love.
It's been fun and it's been real, but really, it's the age of Hollywood for DC and comics ain't gonna be along for that ride much longer. Get used to it.

Jim Lee and Dan DiDio
DC Comics Co-Publishers

Jim "Hollywood" Lee

Head, DC Comics Digital team

Dan "New York" DiDio

DC Comics Co?-Publisher

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