It looks like something seen on the horizon earlier is now taking effect. ComicBook reported the AT&T management’s getting rid of several staffers at DC, including some very notable and notorious names:
DC Comics has reportedly experienced a major shake-up, with editor-in-chief Bob Harras and several other editors among the employees laid off and Jim Lee removed from his publishing role. ComicBook.com has learned that several employees including 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 are all out of the publisher. Lee remains at the company as DC’s Chief Creative Officer, but ComicBook.com has learned that he no longer holds the title of publisher. Lee’s new role will be to act as a liaison between DC and other brands of Warner Media. ComicBook.com has also learned that Warner Bros is in talks to bring in a new general manager “from the world of esports” to lead the division, but talks have not yet finalized. More cuts are also expected. ComicBook.com has reached out to DC Comics for comment but has not received a reply as of press time.
[…] DC has faced several challenges in recent years, ranging from the unsuccessful launch of a planned Generation event meant to unify the various eras of the DC Universe into a more cohesive continuity to the poor PR related to the company’s Black Label, a “mature” line of comics featuring a mix of in-continuity and out-of-continuity stories. As the company lost market share to rival Marvel Comics, Warner Bros. fired longtime DC Comics publisher Dan DiDio earlier this year. DC has also suffered from mixed performances at the box office, with underperforming movies leading to Geoff Johns, whose career was built on the success of his comics, stepping down as an executive from DC Entertainment. Johns remains a producer for Warner Bros. and co-wrote the screenplay for Wonder Woman 1984. Warner Bros. also shuttered publication of MAD magazine in 2019.
The dismissal of Khouri is definitely fortunate, and in his case, well deserved. He was one of the worst far-leftists they ever employed, serving as doorway for SJWs into their employ, and led to the end of the Vertigo imprint with not a bang, but a whimper. Interesting that Weiland, the former owner of CBR, got a job working with them, for all the good it did them. As for Harras, there may have once been a time he was capable of doing good at Marvel, but when he became EIC, he ruined everything with more crossovers galore, and poor editing. He may have put the keys in the ignition for the worst to come when Joe Quesada took over.
And as for Johns, what true “success” did he have as a comics writer? It’s not like his comics sold skyrocketing numbers, so much as they did emphasize violence and other over-the-top elements, along with meaningless nostalgia. And he was co-writer for Countdown to Infinite Crisis, the pre-crossover special where Max Lord was changed into an outright crook, so I guess it figures he’d copy-and-paste from his past work almost wholesale. No wonder I so do not look forward to this WW sequel film. Why should anybody in the know want to put money in Johns’ pockets?
Speaking of WW, their marketing really screwed up when they release this SJW pandering variant cover:
— DC Nation (@thedcnation) August 7, 2020
This is how they’re trying to promote the movie? With such a horrible, sleazy and lazy approach to art pandering to “body positive” propaganda? Needless to say, this is just as much an insult to Gal Gadot as it is to William Marston. Anybody who’d waste money on this in hopes it’ll become valuable on the speculator market someday is out of their minds. This is one of the most disgusting, rock bottom art commissions they’ve ever green-lit. It’s not “rad” at all. It’s just sick.
There’s a bit more on DC’s layoffs from the Hollywood Reporter, which says their streaming TV service is being trimmed:
The majority of staff of the streaming service DC Universe has been laid off, as has editor-in-chief Bob Harras and multiple other executives on the publishing side.
Monday’s WarnerMedia layoffs have affected a significant number of high-level figures at comic book powerhouse DC, multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. […]
Insiders also say the majority of the staff of the streaming service DC Universe has been laid off, a move that had been widely expected as WarnerMedia shifts its focus to new streaming service HBO Max.
“DC Universe was DOA as soon as the AT&T merger happened,” said one source.
DC Universe launched in May 2018, and is home to live-action series such as Doom Patrol, Titans and Stargirl, as well as animated offerings including Young Justice and Harley Quinn. Some of those shows have now started to stream on HBO Max.
Also a victim of the layoffs: DC Direct, the company’s in-house merchandise and collectibles manufacturer. The division has been shuttered after 22 years, another move that was rumored when Warner Bros. Consumer Products began taking a more active role in DC merchandising.
Whether these productions continue, it probably won’t be on a special channel of their own. The worst example of a project has to be Harley Quinn, because it’s yet another example of how a villainess is being elevated to a status better suited for heroes. We could do without this, just like we could do without so much promotion of Batman ad nauseum coming at Superman’s expense.
DC may survive this current cutdown, but it’s clear all the terrible directions they took over the past 2-3 decades brought them down this far. And if they really are intent on hiring an e-sports manager to run the business, that’s not bound to improve their fortunes. Certainly not if it turns out to be somebody who did work at one point in e-sports, Heather Antos. If she’s hired for even a simple editing job, that’ll just compound their disastrous path.
Robin, I’m a dc editor and I love your work. The reaction to the WW cover on Twitter was provoked by a small group of trolls and is not representative of the larger, sophisticated and enthusiastic readership I’ve come to know. Your art is inspiring and your response is wonderful.
— Andy Khouri (@andykhouri) August 9, 2020
Eric July responds.
Originally published here.