DC Shake Up

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DC ComicsYesterday the hammer dropped about the restructuring of DC comics.  Here’s the major news to hit.

Wildstorm and Zuda folding into DC

While there were a lot of rumors floating around, this one most folks didn’t see coming.  Wildstorm and Zuda will end as brands and some of their comics will be published under the DC banner.  From Jim Lee and Dan DiDio‘s blog post:

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.

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.

Bleeding Cool has a run down of the rather rough relationship DC has had withWildstorm Wildstorm.  I’ve only recently gotten into Wildstorm with their fantastic outreach to me to try their series and there’s been a lot of quality comics I wouldn’t have ever read without that outreach.  I fear that as this happens, 1) bye bye to me reading and advocating for comics I’d otherwise skip, 2) Wildstorm will go the way of Milestone, which also suffered a similar axing by DC.

DiDio and Lee promise a cooling off period before the Wildstorm character’s eventual reintroduction into the DC universe.  Anyone want to take bets on this?

DC Entertainment Goes West

There’s been rumors about this for months, but it looks like most folks were close, but no cigar.  DC Comics will remain in New York (good, too much history), parent company DC Entertainment, will relocate to a headquarters in Burbank, CA to administer the DC brand’s operations in film, television, video games and other media.

In yesterday’s press release DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson said:

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. “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 [parent company] Warner Bros.

But while the press release was all rainbows and unicorns, an interview by Nelson with the LA Times showed there’s some dark clouds hovering in the horizon (though ComicsAlliance has a bubblegum and candy drops interview).  Oh, there will be layoffs:

About 20% of DC’s roughly 250 staffers will lose their jobs as part of the shift, while some others will move to the West Coast from the East. In addition, certain new positions are being added in Burbank.

New positions?  Would one of those be a head of new media?  I know a certain political operative who’s done new media for various high profile politicians that might be interested, hint, hint…..

A lot of this shake up comes from Warner Bros., DC’s owner.  With the Harry Potter franchise ending, they need some long term franchises to make them sleep easier.  Green Lantern is set to hit the big screen next year, but other than that the Magic 8 Ball is a little unclear as to what the future brings.