Hey, That's My Cape! DC's Changes Good For Fans?

Op/Ed: DC Comics - NYC or HOLLYWOOD?

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Waiting for the big DC news to drop yesterday was a bit nerve wracking. I’ve gotten to know quite a few DC staffers in the past few years and I knew whatever the announcement was could potentially be bad for any number of them. Although the news said <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dc-comics-la-new-york-100921.html>DC’s multi-media and digital content productions would be located on the West Coast while print publishing would remain on the East in New York City</a>, it didn't seem to be quite the sigh of relief employees were looking for.

Then the other shoe dropped. Or should I say, the other imprint dropped. After shutting down the Zuda webcomics site a few months ago, <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dc-publisher-wildstorm-zuda-100921.html>a joint statement</a> was issued yesterday by DC Entertainment’s Dan DiDio and Jim Lee on The Source blog saying not only is Zuda to be disbanded entirely but that <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/lee-didio-wildstorm-dc-100922.html>WildStorm, founded by Lee</a> in 1992, was also shutting down. Titles that may or may not continue from these two imprints would have a DC branding on them moving forward.

This was just the “official announcement.” All the interviews out there at the moment are still playing it pretty close to the vest because, as <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/diane-nelson-dc-relalignment-100921.html>DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson</a> herself has admitted, they have yet to sit down with the individual employees who would be affected. You’d think they’d do that first. But I digress.

So that’s the personal side of things. Some employees will be let go, others will be paid to relocate and some might leave the company by their own choosing. Financially it’s a smart move for the company, of course, otherwise they wouldn’t be doing it. DC Entertainment, and by extension Warner Bros., is a business like any other who must make sound financial decisions in order to keep running.

Putting personnel changes and financial moves aside, since they’ll be the most talked about in the coming weeks, what does the big DC news mean for the fans?

In my opinion it’s the best thing that could have happened to comic book fans. Here’s why.

Film, television and video game projects on the West Coast put them smack dab in the center of that industry. This is where the deals are made and usually where they eventually develop so why not be close to home? Nelson said they explored all prospects in their decision. That included moving everything to New York, which would have been the least sensible option. Geoff Johns and Jim Lee are already living in California and need to continue developing their connections there. The digital department, while intrinsically linked to publishing proper, doesn’t necessarily need to be living next door to them. And seeing as how Lee is heading that up as well it’s only logical to move that aspect over to the West Coast allowing his focus to remain in one place.

Most importantly, this big announcement keeps DC Publishing exactly where it is and removes all the extra distractions. Fans have often complained DC doesn’t spend enough time focusing on what’s right in front of them – the comics. Now they can. With (perhaps) DiDio holding down a smaller fort in New York maybe we’ll start to see improvements in those areas we’ve felt the comics have been lacking. Remember when you could count on a book coming out the same week every month?

It is a big move and it isn’t. After all, this is exactly what it looked like DC was heading towards for almost a year now. It’s more of an affirmation than anything else but it’s the right one in my opinion. Having a plan and a firm direction are the first steps to accomplish your goals and the success of DC Entertainment means more successful entertainment for fans.

What do you think? Did DC Entertainment make the right call?  

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