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Thoughts On DC Comics Leaving New York City

When DC Entertainment was first announced, many were wondering just how long DC Comics would maintain a presence in New York City. Well, the other shoe has officially dropped and DC Comics will be moving the whole company to California in 2015.

Besides my concern over the various workers who will now have to make a decision of leaving New York or leaving DC, it is also a sad reminder of the changing nature of the publishing industry. It used to be that you couldn’t NOT have a company based in New York City and now it seems to be more the exception than the rule. I certainly don’t begrudge DC for the decision, as it likely DOES make more sense for the company to be centralized together in one place and that place was clearly going to eventually be California, but still, I’ll hope you can all forgive me for being at least a little nostalgic about this change.

33 Comments

Wow.

I am life-long Californian and this makes me sad. The Big Two were always NYC based publishers. It was a bigger part of the identity of Marvel (obviously), but it was hardly irrelevant to identity of DC.

I hope this causes a minimum of disruption on those directly effected.

I got to visit the offices twice (for fun!) back in the late 90’s. They were across from David Letterman’s studio (and Mujibur & Sirajoul). Each floor was a different theme. It was very cool.

In LA it’s going to be so much easier to focus group new ideas before releasing them to the public. Who knows? Batman may finally start showing more skin.

There’s a mural in the DC offices that shows all of DC’s most famous characters drawn by the artist most associated with that character, many of whom are no longer alive. I hope that the mural is movable and will travel to California with DC as the thought of it being destroyed by the next tenant is heartbreaking.

LouReedRichards

October 29, 2013 at 3:47 pm

See, the comics world is STILL trying to catch up to stuff Kirby did over 40 years ago!

I too have visited both Marvel and Dc in my old life as a Videogame Executive. I definitely find this sad news especially considering that Marvel is KILLING DC right now in films and TV (not animation though) and I think many DC lifers who do make the switch will be crestfallen if this whole experiment that began when Levitz retired and the creative talent were promoted to Chief Creative Officers turns out to be as bad as the GL movie. I’m a DC fan–always have been and I can honestly say that I’m not quite sure what they are doing right now.

Some people thought Warners ignoring DC all these years was a bad thing.

MyFutprint, you really think Marvel is killing in TV? I don’t know too many people who are still enthusiastic about Agents of SHIELD but Arrow seems to be pretty well regarded, even amongst diehard Marvel fans (I don’t watch either show, so I can’t offer much of a personal opinion)

@LouReedRichards: LOL! Well played.

SHIELD has somewhere between two and three times the viewers that Arrow has in America. I do think it’s fair to say that DC has had a lot more success on TV historically, except for when Hulk was on TV (and DC jumped into movies), but right now Marvel is way up in both.

it sucks for anyone who has built a life in New York and who has to relocate. it also sucks for any talent who works for more than just DC comics and needs to go back and forth between publishers to get work. I suppose we have Skype now if the editors are willing to use that in place of having in-person meetings, but you would lose any semblance of a collegial atmosphere.

I am curious about how they are going to get their comics to Diamond for distribution if they move everything to the other coast. maybe they are going purely digital.

You think Marvel is beating DC on TV? Marvel has only had three TV shows it it’s entire history hit a second season: Hulk, Night Man and Mutant X. Most of you have never heard of the last two. Don’t feel bad. You missed nothing. Superman ALONE has had TWENTY SIX seasons of live action programs.

Next year: FOUR DC shows on broadcast TV: Arrow (which ran circles around SHIELD in terms of quality even before they revealed that Ra’s Al Ghul was going to be on the show this season), Gotham, Constantine and the Flash. Warners has been handing out whole trade collections to network execs to show them what to expect visually. That’s how Constantine got picked up: by handing out every JLD and Hellblazer trade in print to network executives.

WB has two other Arrow spinoff plans, after Flash in planning stages. There is also HEAVY cable interest in two more DC properties. One of which is in a bidding war between three cable nets right now based on the strength of the comic.

Meanwhile, Marvel’s follow up to SHIELD: Captain America’s girlfriend.

Crickets chirping

Marvel’s ‘winning’ like Charlie Sheen.

@ Sean:

The two shows are on very different networks with very different expectations. Compared to its expectations, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. is rapidly becoming a disaster. For example, look at this article from the L.A. Times (http://tinyurl.com/mu2g3bg). It is losing its time slot and its demo to the modern day Matlock: NCIS.

By the standards of its (lower) expectations, ARROW is a modest hit.

ARROW is everything DC Comics today aren’t: fun, well-written, and fast paced.

I feel a little sad about them moving. But, the location never really mattered.

On the other hand, I really dislike the direction the company is going in, so I think this is a terrible move.
I disliked:
+New 52
+Man of Steel
+treatment of writers and artist
+Their PR stunts lately- their Harley art search

I am the minority though, they are selling like hot cakes lately, so works for them.

Image is west coast based and does fine getting their product to Diamond, Lufio. This isn’t the dark ages when materials had to be transported via horse and buggy.

This is going to mean less talent sharing between the companies, which in turn will probably mean less similarity between their books.

It also completes the transformation of DC into the 2010s version of 90s Image.

End of an era. I’ve lived in Southern California longer than any other place and it’s still weird to think of comic publishers working out of Burbank or something.

Disney is bound to follow suit with Marvel if the Warner Brothers move works out for them. I just can’t picture Marvel outside of NYC, though. I just can’t.

I’m guessing that Julie Schwartz would be missing his local bean soup haunt like crazy.

please, Dan DiDio, could you move to Coast City?

Dean Hacker, thanks for explaining (before I got a chance to) why SHIELD is in trouble despite having scoring relatively high ratings. Here’s another piece that goes into it: http://tinyurl.com/lj5cw29

The countdown to the end of DC is here. Now it will survive at the whims of Warner Bros. executives, one of the most poorly run companies in America today. Disney buying Marvel already reminded WB they had a company, leading to all the beautiful changes so far.

Oh, wow! SHIELD is coming in behind the best-rated show on network television? By a ridiculously outdated, demographically skewed metric that doesn’t measure streaming or DVR? Gosh, they must be sweating bullets!

LouReedRichards

October 30, 2013 at 8:42 am

@ Richard Bensam
Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week, try the eggplant parmesan and don’t forget to tip your server. ; )

@ Michael P

It is a problem considering that AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. is intended to perform based on that outdated, demographically skewed metric. ABC is one of the legacy broadcast networks, after all. ARROW is built for a time-shifting, streaming audience. Different standards for success.

Creatively, I am sure that S.H.I.E.L.D. will be fine in the long-run. Joss Whedon helmed shows are generally slow to find their sea legs. ANGEL took a while to find its core cast. DOLLHOUSE was a vastly better show ten episodes in. The problem is how many people will have tuned out by the time the show gets good.

I wonder if this will mean books in the DC universe will shift to more West Coast locations? (Or if established cities will start to pick up more of a West Coast feel.)

@Michael
I’ll believe DC has four shows on the air when DC actually has four shows on the air. DC always has TV projects in the works, but many of those projects also never made it to TV. (Though it does show that DC tries harder with TV than Marvel. Or at the least tries more often.)

Hey, Human Target made it on the air. Briefly. And I’m not hating; I’m the guy who watched that show.

Hey, I liked Human Target, and despite the massive changes from s1 to s2, was actually still pretty good.

Of course, it wasn’t really a Human Target show, but….

This is weird news, man. But DC Comics has left me so cold lately, and apparently the good stuff (the digital first, like Li’l Gotham and Batman ’66) is coming from the Left Coast, so maybe these former Wildstorm people will whip the rest into shape. And maybe my favorite characters will come back some day in the way I actually liked them.

Dean:

Nielsen is actually making moves to start tracking desktop and phone streaming viewers:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/28/tech/web/nielsen-tv-ratings-online/

Human Target made it on the air twice, don’t forget. Which says something, but I’m unsettled to think what.
Was Mutant X actually a Marvel show? It definitely wasn’t tied in with the X-mythos–the superhumans weren’t natural mutants, they were the result of John Shea’s genetics research, IIRC.

Mutant X was indeed a Marvel show. Avi Arad was an executive producer.

No, it wasn’t tied to the X-mythos. Fox had exclusive rights to X-Men, and Marvel was quite likely trying to dodge that when making Mutant X.

According to Wikipedia, Fox sued Marvel, Tribune Entertainment, and Fireworks Entertainment. Marvel counter-sued Fox. Production of the show was allowed to continue as long as there was no connection between Mutant X and X-Men. Marvel and Fox reached a confidential settlement, but Fox continued its case against Tribune and Fireworks. Tribune sued Marvel for fraud and breach of contract, saying that Marvel had encouraged them to connect Mutant X and X-Men, misrepresented the license, and that Tribune had lost millions due to Fox’s litigation and having to alter storylines and characters.

I was also just reading recently that Howard Chaykin had been involved with Mutant X (showrunner, maybe?).

Um, just to mention that…

Chaykin wrote several episodes of Mutant X. He was actually doing a lot of TV scripts at the time, including The Flash.

Marvel and Fox reached a confidential settlement, but Fox continued its case against Tribune and Fireworks. Tribune sued Marvel for fraud and breach of contract, saying that Marvel had encouraged them to connect Mutant X and X-Men

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