Bob Harras once again has the job title of "Editor-in-Chief," except this time it's at DC Comics.In a surprise announcement Monday afternoon, DC Comics co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio named Harras as the publisher's "Editor-in-Chief, VP," overseeing DCU, Vertigo, and Mad Magazine. Harras had been serving as DC's "Group Editor, Collected Editions." During his tenture at that position, "Absolute" volumes have increased in frequency, collected editions of Vertigo titles have followed closer after the release of individual issues, and the Watchmen trade paperback made the New York Times Best-Seller List. DC hasn't had an "Editor-in-Chief" since Jenette Kahn held the position from 1981 to 2002. DiDio joined the company as "Vice President - Editorial" in 2002, and was promoted to "Vice President -Executive Editor, DC Universe" in 2004. Along with Lee, he was named co-publisher in February of this year. Harras was Editor-in-Chief at Marvel Comics from 1995 until 2000, when he was succeeded by the company's current E-i-C, Joe Quesada. Prior to that, he worked as the group editor of Marvel's X-Men family of titles during their '90s boom period, including overseeing the launch of the Lee-illustrated X-Men #1, which this past July was named "highest selling single comic book" by Guinness World Records. Harras served as Editor-in-Chief during an often challenging time for Marvel, who filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 1996. Two of Marvel's lasting legacies during his time as editor-in-chief are the Marvel Knights imprint, which gave Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti's Event Comics creative control of several Marvel properties including Daredevil and Black Panther; and the conception of the "Ultimate" line of titles, which will see see their 10-year anniversary next month. Starting in 2001, Harras worked under Lee at DC imprint WildStorm as contributing editor. Harras has also worked as a writer, including a lengthy stint on Avengers in the '90s and the 2005 DC series Breach. Last week, DC Entertainment announced a "bi-coastal realignment," which included moving the company's multi-media and digital content production aspects to a Warner Bros.-managed property in Burbank, Calif., 80 staff layoffs or relocations, and closing WildStorm as a separate division. The publishing arm of DC Comics will stay in New York City. DC's full press release follows: Press Release New York, NY, September 27—Robert Harras has been named Editor-in-Chief, VP, DC Comics, it was announced today by DC Comics Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio. Harras will oversee editorial for DC Comics, DC Universe, MAD Magazine and Vertigo and will be based in New York City, reporting directly to the Co-Publishers. Harras becomes the company’s first Editor-in-Chief in nearly 10 years since the position was held by Jenette Kahn from 1981 to 2002. “Bob Harras’ personal and creative integrity is respected and renowned throughout the comic book industry,” said Jim Lee, DC Comics Co-Publisher. “As an editor, he provides invaluable insight into storytelling and character.”
“We could not be more excited to make this announcement,” said Dan DiDio, DC Comics Co-Publisher. “Bob is a tremendous evaluator of talent, character and story. He is a proven leader who brings a keen understanding of the marketplace to the position.”Prior to being named Editor-in-Chief, Harras was the Group Editor, Collected Editions at DC Comics. Before joining DC Comics, Harras was the Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics from 1995 to 2000.