Famed comic book artist and DC chief creative officer Jim Lee took to social media earlier today to talk with fans about the shakeup that has seen him promoted while Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns stepped away from DC Entertainment.
Johns, for his part, inked a deal as a writer/producer through Warner Bros. and will continue to work closely with DC, albeit as an outsider rather than their boss. Nelson left Warner Bros. altogether after more than 20 years at the company.
"Thank you all for the kind words of support and encouragement the past two days!" Lee tweeted. "Working at DC has been a dream job (20 years counting!) and nothing is more thrilling than new challenges and opportunities. My good buddy Geoff Johns and his awesome team have set the bar high but we are all excited for what’s to come! Geoff’s been a great colleague and collaborator and I know what he has planned and guys—it’s just amazing. A M A Z I N G ! ! ! I also want to acknowledge and thank Diane Nelson for her many years of leadership and for being a friend, inspiration and mentor. She’s the one who brought me into the newly formed DC Entertainment as co-publisher 9 years ago and I literally wouldn’t be here without her. Last but definitely not least, I continue on as Publisher alongside Dan DiDio. No one has more passion or energy for what we do than Dan and the events we have planned for this year and into the future are gonna be just astounding."
He ended the message by urging fans to tune into last night's episode of Late Night With Seth Meyers, on which Batman scribe Tom King was a guest.
Lee was promoted to Johns's former post as chief creative officer, a role which likely means Lee will have less time to draw comics and will spend more of his time charting a course for DC as a publisher. Ironically, it was a desire to stop managing and move back into drawing comics that led Lee to sell his WildStorm studio to DC in 1998.
The announcements were made today by Thomas Gewecke, Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, who is serving as DC’s interim head following the exit of DC president Diane Nelson, who left Warner Bros. this week. Nelson had been on hiatus since March.
Lee is a friendly and popular public face for DC, with both fans and retailers. His presentations at retailer summits helped pave the way for an ambivalent marketplace to embrace DC's 2016 Rebirth initiative, which kicked off with Johns's DC Universe: Rebirth #1. That issue planted the seeds for stories still playing out now, and some which will come as part of a planned pop-up imprint for Johns.