Back in September of ’09, Warner Bros. announced the “creation” of DC Entertainment, a company that would oversee the implementation of all DC Comics properties under the Warner Bros. Entertainment umbrella. In other words, WB created DCE to go after Marvel Studios and seed the DC characters across other mediums. At the time of the announcement an executive team had not been formed.
A few minutes ago, DC Entertainment announced their executive team and it’s a pretty beefy one. Jim Lee and DiDio have been named co-publishers of DC Comics with Geoff Johns taking the reigns as Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment. The following are notes from Lee, Didio and Johns reprinted from DC’s The Source.
Change is in the air.
It can sound a little bit scary, but really, what is change? It’s about reinvention. It’s about redefining. It’s about re-energizing.
And when you think about it, change is and always has been the vital life force that has made DC Comics the premiere publishing powerhouse that it is today. From DC Comics ushering in the Golden Age of Superheroes in the late 1930’s, then boldly reinventing them for a new audience in the Silver Age in the 1960’s, to the launch of the critically acclaimed Vertigo imprint and the acquisition of WildStorm three decades later and now, the creation of DC Entertainment, this enterprise has always been about building the very best home for creators to come together to tell the most diverse, enduring and entertaining stories possible.
But you can’t just change everything, simply for the sake of change.
And that’s where we come in. With our respective experiences and history with DC and our relationships with the world’s best writers and artists, our mission is to reinvent DC Comics to prepare it for the challenges and opportunities in this quickly changing world. With the Co-Publisher structure, it’s going to allow us to be in many places at once, both literally and metaphorically; to better position DC as one of the great creative engines which fuels and defines so much of our world’s Pop Culture while making sure we continue to address and redefine what makes DC’s characters so great. Thankfully, we already have between all the talented, hardworking staffers that comprise DC, Vertigo, WildStorm and Mad—one of the greatest, most experienced editorial teams one could hope for to do just that, and we look forward to working with everyone to propel DC to new heights.
Given how long we have known each other and how well we know our individual strengths and skill sets, there’s going to be some easygoing but frank, healthy discussion about how we can accomplish these goals, especially as we get into the specifics of what reinvention means. We look forward to sharing the results of that dialogue with you going forward into the future. Till then, we would like to pause at this moment in DC Comics’ tremendously rich and storied history to simply state not only how honored we are to be chosen to carry forth its legacy but how excited we feel about the prospect of adding to it. Former DC President/Publisher Paul Levitz has been the driving force behind much of that legacy, and we owe much to his prescient guidance and steadfast professionalism. We truly stand on the shoulders of giants–thank you, Paul.
We are equally as beholden to new DCE President Diane Nelson for her faith in the all-star team she has assembled. In very short time, Diane has demonstrated to each of us through her intellect, her insight and her leadership that she is the right person to take DC to the next level. She has a tremendous vision for what DC Entertainment can be and her passion and enthusiasm have been truly inspirational; we couldn’t be any prouder to be leading the charge with her. And while DC will continue to grow, evolve and change–at the end of the day, it will always be about the words and pictures, no matter the medium, and the incredible people who craft them into art. Given our passion for this unique and wonderful art form, know that that much will always remain a constant.
Jim and Dan
That’s the first thing I said too when I heard about the team Diane wanted to form to guide DC Entertainment both in and out of the comic book pages and into the not-so-distant future. That not-so-distant future being today.
And in the words of my Tiny Titans collaborators, “AW YEAH, DC COMICS!”
The second thing I said to Diane was, “Um, what about writing? I love writing. I can’t stop writing!” Diane smiled and said, “…writing’s part of the job!” Right away, I knew I was in. This was a dream come true. So what am I going to be doing besides writing Green Lantern, The Flash, Batman: Earth One and Brightest Day? What’s “Chief Creative Officer” even mean? It sounds like a suit job…thankfully I’m still wearing my t-shirts. Even in the blizzards here in New York. But before I get into what new things I’ll be doing, I want to tell you why I’ve decided to jump into DC Entertainment full on, as if it wasn’t obvious already.
1) The People.
I’ve worked with Dan and Jim over the years and, honestly, there are very few people I admire more in my life, inside or outside of the comic book world. Dan’s leadership, endless energy and devotion to pushing boundaries is infectious and Jim’s pure talent, enthusiasm and dedication to exploring the outlets of the future inspiring. In the short time I’ve come to know John and Patrick, I feel a sense of progression and history forging together, both of which make DC what it is.
And now there’s Diane. Someone whose passion and understanding of the value of the creative process is undoubtedly going to lead DC Entertainment into an incredible new era for all of us fans, soon-to-be-fans and fellow creators – the writers and artists who create the lifeblood of this industry. I can’t wait for you to meet Diane. Her warmth and sincerity has made me feel like I’ve known her my entire life. Just like DC Comics. Which brings me to the second reason this totally rocks.
2) The Mythologies.
There is no place on Earth that has a more diverse and deep universe of characters and worlds. From Atrocitus to Y: The Last Man. My love for DC started when I first saw the Flash take on Captain Cold in the Challenge of the Super-Friends. I never ate my Honeycomb that fast. It when I bought my first comic books in 1985, including Crisis on Infinite Earths, alongside my Super Powers figures and only grew over the years until I broke into the industry myself.
So what does a “Chief Creative Officer” do? Well, I still wear t-shirts and write and go to conventions, but I’ll be doing a whole lot more too.
Under the leadership of Jim and Dan, I’ll continue writing and giving my creative input as I have been in comic books. But expanding onto that, Diane’s asked me to take our comic book world, embrace it (as I do) and use it to lead the creative charge on bringing it all to film, toys, television, video games, animation and beyond. The Justice Society appearing on Smallville was only the beginning.
Let’s all let this sink in a little more: Martin Campbell of Casino Royale is directing Green Lantern. And over the last few months, I’ve met with Ryan Reynolds to talk all-things Green Lantern, I’ve worked closely with Green Lantern producer Donald Deline and screenwriter Michael Goldenberg on the script (Aw yeah, Kilowog!) and I’ve realized that the Green Lantern comics and film and everything growing out of them (wait until you see what!) is only the beginning of what DC Entertainment has coming our way under Diane and Jeff Robinov’s leadership. And I have to say something about Jeff too. He’s made Warner Brothers the most successful and artist-friendly studio out there and that will carry over into DC Entertainment. He knows what we know: the potential of DC is infinite. We couldn’t be in better hands on that front. Expect the characters we love, the A-list and the ones even you and I might barely know, to be shepherded into the “outside world” with respect, care and unbridled energy. They’ll be plenty of Batman and Superman, but there are a whole lot of characters from the DC Universe, Mad, Vertigo and Wildstorm waiting to be unleashed.
They might say, “The sky is the limit!” at other places when looking at the new opportunities ahead. They think too small. We all know the sky isn’t the limit at DC. The universe isn’t even the limit. There isn’t one.
I was going to close this out with one of my favorite phrases from Blackest Night – “All Will Be Well!” – but I think another one can sum up DC Entertainment and the people and creative teams behind it.
“Beware Our Power!”