Earlier this week came a huge swing of the ax at WarnerMedia, and with it were major layoffs at DC Entertainment. Among the changes were the removal of editor-in-chief Bob Harras, editors Mark Doyle, Brian Cunningham, and Andy Khouri, VP of marketing Jonah Weiland, senior VP Hank Kanalz, and VP of global publishing initiatives and digital strategy Bobbie Chase. Another major loss was the entirety of the DC Direct collectibles office with everyone reportedly laid off. So what does this mean for the future of that integral arm of DC? Jim Lee has the answer.
"When we started, we were one of the first companies, if not the first, to go out and create a business that catered to that specialty market," Lee told The Hollywood Reporter in a new interview. "That success has brought in a lot of competitors and a lot of companies that are now in that space. So it’s about evolving the model. We want to produce those collectible and serve those fans, but we will probably shift to a higher price point collectible and more of a licensing model, working with manufacturers we already work with."
He continued, "From a consumer point of view, there will not be a change or drop off in the quality of the work they are seeing. Behind the scenes, how we create it and how we get it to them is going to change. We still have our principal lead of DC Direct, Jim Fletcher, with the company. He will be showcased in a fun panel with J Scott Campbell at Fandome."
Lee's break down basically confirms what fans likely assumed with the initial news, naturally DC collectibles will still be produced and sold, but licensed out to other companies rather than produced in house. We've already seen some of this as McFarlane picked up the DC license for action figures, delivering unique figures like characters from Sean Murphy's Batman: White Knight stories, The Batman Who Laughs, and the Superman Unchained armor.
The prolific comic creator also confirmed to the trade that he remains the publisher at the company despite reports to the contrary earlier this week. Lee went on to confirm however that his responsibilities at DC are bigger "than ever before."
"I will continue to be involved as intimately with publishing as I have from the get go," Lee said. "Nothing has changed there. And that’s to focus on the creative content, the content strategy how many books we should be publishing, the formats. We are bringing in a general manager to the organization. My role, the way it was envisioned 10 years ago, was that I would always have a partner that would focus on the operational side. The general manager we’re bringing in has a wealth of marketing experience, global partnership experience, general business development experience. That person will start in September."