Earlier this week, news emerged that WarnerMedia and DC Comics were undergoing a massive reorganization, resulting in a number of layoffs in the world of publishing, with CCO & publisher Jim Lee confirming that there are no plans for DC to stop publishing comics. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the entire world of comic book publishing was upended, as a majority of books were no longer arriving in comic book shops while some pivoted to releasing titles on digital platforms exclusively, though Lee confirms that, amid both the pandemic and these behind-the-scenes shakeups, the cornerstone of the company is still comic books.
"Absolutely. One hundred percent," Lee confirmed with The Hollywood Reporter about whether DC will still publish comics. "It is still the cornerstone of everything that we do. The need for storytelling, updating the mythology, is vital to what we do. The organization leans on us to share and establish the meaningful elements of the content that they need to use and incorporate for all their adaptations. When we think about reaching global audiences, and we see comics as helping drive that awareness and that international brand, it's very much part of our future."
He added, "That said, we will be reducing the size of the slate. But it's about looking at everything and looking at the bottom 20 percent, 25 percent of the line that wasn't breaking even or was losing money. It's about more punch for the pound, so to speak, and increasing the margins of the books that we are doing. It was about aligning the books to the franchise brand content we've developed and making sure that every book we put out, we put out for a reason."
The world of comics has seen various ups and downs over the past century, with the peaks and valleys often reflecting the state of the economy at the time. In the past two decades, thanks in large part to the strength of comic book movies, the publishing world has been stronger than in previous decades, though the publishing struggles of recent months, in conjunction with company-wide challenges, resulted in questions about the publisher's future.
In any given year, various titles will be scrapped or cancelled, yet Lee ensures that titles are still moving forward as planned, regardless of recent reports.
"There is no pencils down notice," the exec confirmed. "Everyone has been notified to keep working on all the projects that we've already greenlit and started. To that extent, there is no change."
Stay tuned for details on the future of DC Comics.
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