Look for updates throughout the day as we receive more industry reaction...It turns out, it's an inside job. And the comics industry likes it that way.
Today's announcement that DC Entertainment would be promoting from within to fill its open and new jobs in the executive ranks has gotten a lot of positive reaction. As Jim Lee and Dan DiDio become co-publishers at the company with Geoff Johns as chief creative editor and John Rood & Patrick Caldon as new executive vice presidents, the comics industry is glad to see the roles are being filled by a few of their own.
Over the last decade, the comics industry has experienced some growing pains as it began merging more and more with Hollywood, including mixed reactions from fans to the recent reorganization at DC, the Disney takeover of Marvel, and the influx of movie interests at San Diego Comic-Con.
But the promotion "from within" has many comic book insiders cheering. On the practical side, DiDio, Lee and Johns have experience in the gaming, film and TV industries. But with that experience comes years of work within the comic book industry, and that's what is impressing the creators we polled.
A round-up of reactions from the comic book industry (and more):Todd McFarlane (founder of Image Comics with Lee, artist on Image United): I don't know Dan very well, but the little I do know about Dan from working on the Spawn/Batman crossover with him is that he's very thorough and
insightful about all the books he was working on.
As for Jim, I have an obvious bias as a former Image partner. I think he's a terrific selection and should be a perfect bridge between DC's New York business decision making and the business/creative movements going on in Hollywood with Warner Bros.
Jim has always struck me as someone who's comfortable in both creative and business realms. As someone who once owned his own company and created characters, he should be one heck of a Co-Publisher.
J. Michael Straczynski (writer, Brave and the Bold, Superman: Earth One): This is a huge story, and really marks a massive sea change at DC. It's the first substantial change since Paul Levitz was given the big chair, and that's quite a long run. I think it'll lead to a much tighter integration between the film and publishing divisions, and even more creative risk-taking. Dan and Jim and Geoff are very creator-friendly, so I think this will herald a new silver age at DC.
Jeff Katz (founder of American Original and co-writer on Booster Gold with Johns): It's the right guy for the right job. DC is clearly positioned to be an even bigger part of the entire WB entertainment universe going forward and this move speaks to the need for studios to understand and honor what made these characters and universes popular in the first place. Geoff is the perfect conduit for that because he obviously understands the whole of the DCU while bringing some experience in dealing with the realities of adapting them for the larger marketplace. He's played on both sides of the aisle and it should serve him tremendously well going forward. He's a total team player and I would imagine he'll be very popular inside WB.
Jon Goldwater (co-CEO of Archie Comics): Archie is thrilled with the job that DC has done with our Red Circle Super Heroes and couldn't be happier that Dan and Jim have been appointed Co-Publishers. We look forward to continuing the great relationship Archie enjoys with DC under Dan and Jim's leadership.
Mike McKone (artist on Amazing Spider-Man): Congratulations to everyone involved, this is a good day for comics. Great news for Dan and Jim, the perfect team to lead DC and professionally speaking, a huge relief to see the job go to a couple of chaps who love comics as much as these two. And speaking of people who love comics, I couldn't be happier for my mate Geoff. His enthusiasm for the medium is boundless and the good will he justly attracts is testament to his talent.
Marcus To (artist on Red Robin): I think that these changes can bring a huge new breath of fresh air into the company. I'm still really new to the industry so I don't know how to really think of the changes but on a fanboy note, I love everything Geoff comes up with and I've been a fan of Jim's since i was 13 so this is gonna be a really fun time for DC and all of comics I think.Vince Hernandez (Aspen Comics editor-in-chief, co-writer of Dellec): I think it's an excellent move by Diane Nelson. It signals to their fans the appreciation DC Entertainment will have for their publishing line by hiring such respected figures in the industry. Dan, Jim, and Geoff are all extremely talented, and more importantly, they understand comics and the industry. In particular, I'm happy for Geoff and the recognition his accomplishments have garnered him. He's more than deserving. And in my opinion, the majority of DC's most exciting events the past few years have revolved around Geoff's ideas and storylines--so it just makes perfect sense. I look forward to seeing the new direction under this trio, because I feel it'll only make their comics brand much stronger in years to come.
Scott Kolins (writer/artist on Solomon Grundy and artist on Blackest Night: Flash): This is great news all around, but since I know Geoff best - I'm extremely happy for him. And for DC as a whole as these choices are very smart. I'm very excited to be here at DC at this time - especially now. I just wish I lived nearer to Geoff so I could help him celebrate!
David Finch (cover artist for Brightest Day): It's exciting times for DC comics right now, and I feel so lucky to have come aboard when I have. Jim Lee is easily the most accomplished artist working in comics today, and he's got a great head for business too. Geoff Johns is at the top of his game, and nobody does a better job steering complex plotlines and managing characters. And Dan Didio has taken DC to new heights creatively not only by helping craft stories, but by very cannily chosing creators that maximize every character's potential. It's a very, very powerful combination creatively, and I'm thrilled that DC has chosen the way they have.
Jim Valentino (Image Comics founder with Jim Lee, publisher of Shadowline Comics): This is a smart move on DC's part.
Jim will bring his intelligence and excellent taste to the position. He's as smart as he is talented and one of the nicest people in the business, so bravo!
And Geoff has been a creative dynamo for the company for the past several years of whom I could say exactly the same; intelligent, good taste, a wide knowledge of and respect for the characters and concepts of the DCU, one of the nicest guys around.
Levitz is a tough act to follow, but these guys will do it well.
My congratulations to all.
Dale Eaglesham (artist on Fantastic Four): This is a brilliant move that is sure to usher in an exciting new era at DC. With Geoff's unparalleled vision and instincts, Jim's dynamic talent and unique creator's perspective on the industry, and Dan's strong leadership and profound knowledge of the DCU, this is incredible news for DC! Each on their own had already contributed immensely to the comic book industry, so as a team they will be a creative force to be reckoned with!
Keith Giffen (writer on Doom Patrol, Magog and the upcoming JLA: Generation Lost): Props to Warners. The right people in the right places at the right time. Made my day, this did.
Sterling Gates (writer on Supergirl): I can't tell you how excited I am for Dan, Jim, and Geoff! They're three highly intelligent and talented people who absolutely love comics and love the DC Universe. DC has reached amazing new heights under Dan's editorial guidance, and Geoff and Jim are responsible for some of the most exciting and creative work out there today!
DC Comics has been producing high quality and innovative stories for over seven decades. This step absolutely continues that tradition and means really great things not only for DC Entertainment, but for comic book fans the world over.
So, a huge congratulations to Dan, Jim, and Geoff, and I can't wait to see where DC goes from here!
Billy Tucci (artist on DC Comics like Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion): I personally find news this very, very exciting. Being a huge fan of both Jim and Geoff, I believe their coupling with Dan will transition the DC ship into a true creative Man O War. Having these creators onboard in an executive capacity shows just how serious Warner Brothers is finally taking the essence and integrity of the comic books. Being true to what made these properties so successful in the first place, will not only reap, but recapture their just rewards.Mike Richardson (Dark Horse publisher): Jim, Dan, and Geoff are terrific creators with long and successful careers in the comics industry. We wish them all the best of luck.
Terry Moore (self-publisher, writer, artist on Echo and Strangers in Paradise): I say congratulations all around for selecting Jim, Dan and Geoff to lead DC. Very sound, logical choices, if you ask me. Maybe Jim can get Dan to ease up on the crisis fetish. And nobody knows and loves the DC characters better than Geoff. He loves what he does, and he is a wonderful resource for DC and fans alike. I mean, I can’t imagine DC without Geoff’s stories so, good call. We all need to pay note that Jim Lee, one of the smartest guys you will ever meet, is concentrating on the DC online world. If that's not a warning shot to us all concerning the future, then you’re blind and need to start looking for a cup to collect spare change, or go work in television.Philip Tan (artist on Outsiders): Smokes!!! I cannot be happier for all of them! The level of energy both Geoff and Jim bring to their books are unparalleled and I wish we can all still see great stuff from them often! And with Dan, this will be a very exciting DC to come!!!
Judd Winick (co-writer of the upcoming bi-weekly, JLA: Generation Lost): For those of us who make stories for DC, this exactly what we were hoping was going to happen. Three people calling the shots who know, live and love comics. I'm having a fanboy seizure over the expectations of what is going to be coming out of the DCU in the future.
Gerry Conway (writer on The Last Days of Animal Man): I think it's terrific news for DC and for the comics industry as a whole. Obviously, Warners learned the right lessons from having Paul Levitz as a leader of DC for the last few decades. Each of these three very talented guys brings a special skill set to the mix. Together, they make a formidable team. Any fears I may have had that DC might be facing dark days have been completely dispelled. As a longtime reader and fan (and a sometimes-fellow professional), I couldn't be happier.
Richard Donner (director of films like Superman, Lethal Weapon and The Goonies, and Johns' first boss in Hollywood): I knew when he started with me on the Warner Brothers lot that he would some day return in a creative executive capacity. Boy, did he exceed expectations. It's a great thing. As a fan of both,I know that Dc and Geoff deserve each other.
Brad Meltzer (best-selling novelist and writer on DC comics like Justice League of America): Dan gave me my chance on Identity Crisis. Jim helped us on JLA #0. Geoff is one of my dearest friends, who I have the most respect for. If the words "Dream Team" didn't sound so utterly cliché, I'd lead with that. But this is the true real start of the Heroic Age.
Ed Brubaker (writer on Captain America and Secret Avengers): It seems like a good move for DC, overall. Jim Lee has incredibly good taste and a great sensibility, and Geoff Johns (who is a good friend of mine) has the kind of cohesive creative vision the DC line can really benefit from right now.
Filip Sablik (publisher, Top Cow): Dan, Jim, and Geoff's accomplishments speak for themselves and it shouldn't be any great surprise that these three guys were tapped to help guide the next phase of DC's evolution as a company. I think diehard comic fans and direct market retailers are probably relieved to see three "comic insiders" put in these important positions. They're all great guys and a hearty congratulations and best of luck to all of them.
Marc Guggenheim (writer on Action Comics, co-writer of the Green Lantern film): Can I say it's marvelous? It's great. I'm a huge fan of Jim and Geoff's work. This is very exciting news.
Art Baltazar (co-writer/artist on Tiny Titans): HOLEY MOLEY!!!!
This is awesomely cool news! AW YEAH JIM! AW YEAH DAN! AW YEAH GEOFF!!!
AW YEAH DC COMICS ENTERTAINMENT!!!!! this is so awesome! Its great to have guys who LOVE comics, MAKING comics!
Ivan Reis (Brazilian artist who co-creates Blackest Night with Johns): I have just known this information and I can't remove the smile from my face.
Rob Liefeld (co-founder of Image Comics with Lee, artist on Image United): Congrats to both Jim and Geoff! Great news for both guys. I very much hope that Jim will keep drawing in some capacity and that Geoff will continue to be as prolific as he has been this last year. Very exciting for DC Comics.
Peter Tomasi (Johns' co-writer on the upcoming Brightest Day): I only expect great things to come from having Diane, Dan, Jim, and Geoff at the helm of DC Entertainment. Each of them brings a wide range of talents to the table and the most important aspect of it all is that DC's characters and stories will be the benefactors for years to come with this new team in place!
Gail Simone (writer of DC titles like Wonder Woman and Secret Six): I don't know what to say other than it's just about the best news for DC imaginable. Replacing a guy like Paul Levitz, a guy with that much integrity and creative juice, that's rough going for anyone. But I think DC got this one exactly right. They took two creative powerhouses, guys who know what it's like to hit home runs all season long, and put them in charge, along with Dan, of exactly what they should be in charge of--the comics themselves. It's pretty delightful, I've
been giggling since I heard the news. I don't know John Rood personally but he is very well-respected by people who do, so that's a nice bit of news.
I think the world of these people creatively and personally. I cannot WAIT to see what the coming year is going to be like.
To me, it really feels the sleeping giant has just awoken, like the map of the world
has just been redrawn. Let's face it, would YOU want to compete with Jim and Geoff?
This has always been an industry that does its best work when there is an absolutely vicious level of competition. I want a team that knows how to help retailers and get our trades in bookstores and bring in new readers, and no one knows how to do that better than these guys.
Sorry, I'm just ecstatic right now.
Gary Frank (artist on Johns' current Superman: Secret Origin mini-series): I think it's great news. These are two of the smartest and nicest guys working in the field. It's always nice to see creators in positions like these. It's nice, and confidence-inspiring, to see that Dan will stay at the helm, too, in these momentous times for the company.
Jamal Igle (artist on Supergirl): Holy Expletive deleted!!!
Let's see... I've rarely been this surprised and I know a lot of people at DC didn't see this coming but I think this was probably the perfect move. Like him or hate him (And I happen to really like him personally) Dan Didio has done so much for DC over his tenure at the company in terms of sales and creativity. Then you couple it with Jim Lee, the artistic "face" of DC for years and Geoff, who as well as becoming a friend of mine but has been one of my favorite writers to read and to collaborate with, this is amazing!
I mean how can it not be? I mean these are people I like and respect and creators , who are tops in the field , with a clear vision of what the DC universe should be and in extension Wildstorm, Vertigo, Zuda and CMX. I'm excited, overwhelmed actually.
The most encouraging part of this is the real tangible ability to take the characters we love and have a guiding hand on how they appear in other media. I've been saying for years that we need to control how the characters are presented in film and television and really bring everything in line with the comics and it looks like it's going to happen.
Tony Daniel (writer and artist on Batman): I think it's an incredibly smart move that will strengthen DC Comics and will likely push the company to new levels of success . It's great to see the industry's most talented and successful artists rewarded with positions that will truly make the company better. Passion, talent and brains. That's what the comic book industry runs on. I'm excited to see these guys work their magic in a way we haven't seen before.
Jimmy Palmiotti (writer/inker on DC titles like Power Girl and Jonah Hex): I embrace change. I think this is fantastic news on so many levels and I am excited for everyone involved. Dan has been a friend of mine for years even before D.C. comics and he has always been the “go to guy” to run things even then and I think has done a great job…and now with this announcement, we will really get to watch him in action like we have never seen him before. Having Jim along side Dan, we get a fantastic businessman, a well-spoken, personable representative and a true artist with an eye for illustration and storytelling. Imagine the things these two can do together.
Making Geoff chief creative operator is another brilliant move in more ways than one. There is no one out there that has more love and understanding for the D.C. characters than Geoff and as he already has proven a hundred times now, he knows what the readers want to see and has a special connection that someone in that position must have. Again, another decision that is a great move…and with Geoff working together with Dan and Jim, I am really excited to see what the future brings.
J.T. Krul (writer on DC's Green Arrow titles): This is great news for DC in every way. Didio has worked hard during his tenure to revitalize many aspects of the DC Universe. Building and rebuilding icons and franchise. It makes sense for his role to be elevated and bringing Jim Lee into the mix in such a role only serves to take better advantage of his creativity - there's a reason why he's one of the most popular and talented artists in the business and DC is wise to include him in any capacity they can.
As for Johns new position, it's the ultimate no-brainer. I've seen firsthand how amazing he is with molding epic stories and guiding them through the rest of the DCU working with other writers and artists. There's a reason why Blackest Night is so strong right now. I don't know of anyone else who gets comics and the DC Universe better. It'll be great for the comics, but also a tremendous asset for DC properties as they move into film and television. It's a great day for the comic world and a great day for DC.
Ethan Van Sciver (artist on The Flash: Rebirth): This is cool news to wake up to! I'm a big fan of Dan, Jim and Geoff''s, and love the idea of creative people taking control. They'd have to be creative people, the very best, to fill in for Paul Levitz! I haven't met John Rood, but look forward to it! 2010 is shaping up to be a great year for comics!
Jeph Loeb (writer who created Batman: Hush with Lee and has shared a studio for years with Johns, current writer on Marvel titles like Ultimate Comics X and The Hulk): They are fantastic choices on Warners' part. Geoff, Jim and Dan are largely responsible for the success that DC has had and as a fan and friend I'm excited to see what happens next. And a big shout out to Geoff Johns -- my partner in the Empath Magic Treehouse -- who is seeing his dreams come true!
Tony Bedard (writer of DC titles like R.E.B.E.L.S. and Green Lantern Corps): This is great news. It takes away a lot of the uncertainty that hovered over DC, and Geoff's set the creative direction of the DCU for the past few years, anyway, so making that official is a pretty smart move. Basically, the company is in the hands of people who know and love both the DC characters and comics in general. I'm breathing a sigh of relief. Now the question becomes, will they stay in New York or head for L.A.?Kurt Busiek (whose Astro City series is published by Lee's WildStorm line, writer on Age of Heroes): I've been saying all along that Paul Levitz stepping down was the biggest comics story of last year, because of the massive changes it'd inevitably bring. Now Dan, Jim and Geoff get to be the guys who makes them -- they're all highly creative, committed guys, knowledgeable and passionate about comics and about DC, and it'll be fascinating to see what their vision is for DC as a universe and a company, and where they take it.
Brandon Jerwa (co-writer on DC's The Shield): I'm still just a grunt at DC, probably among the lowest on the creative totem pole. How this new structure will affect my work, if at all, remains a mystery of zero concern to me. I don't envy Geoff Johns; I would imagine it might be tricky reconciling one's personal creative whims with the kind of objectivity that his new position demands. I know I would have to think long and hard before tackling that kind of balancing act. At the end of the day, all I can really speak to is how much I've enjoyed my experience with DC / Vertigo; hopefully, the ride will continue to be as exciting as it has been thus far.
Rags Morales (artist on First Wave for DC): It's all good to me. Art without change ceases to be art and in turn, stagnates then dies. I haven't spoken to Dan, Jim, or Geoff yet so I'm not too clear on what all this means in the end. I do however, have faith in the talents of the above mentioned and I like the idea of creatives from the trenches having the reins to steer us all forward.
Brian Reed (writer on comics at both Marvel and DC, including Siege: Embedded): A big congrats to all involved, and I'm excited to see where this all goes in the coming months and years.
Matthew Sturges (writer on JSA: All-Stars and House of Mystery): From a writer's standpoint, I think this is great news. Putting Dan, Jim, and Geoff -- savvy, creatively minded people all -- in these top jobs shows that DC is genuinely committed to supporting creators. I think this bodes very well for DC's future.