Jim Lee, the superstar artist from the 1990s who rose through the executive ranks of DC to reach the top rungs of the company, has had better weeks.
Monday, WarnerMedia enacted deep and painful company-wide layoffs. DC, the home of heroes such as Batman and Wonder Woman, saw the scythe cut 20 percent of its staff, with many senior editors let go and a reorganization implemented that sent shockwaves through not just the company but through the comic and DC fan community.
“This week has been a really heavy difficult time not just for me, but for the entire organization,” Lee told The Hollywood Reporter . “We’ve said goodbye to people that have been huge contributors and who have helped define and make DC what it is today.”
As soon as the layoffs news hit Monday, the rumors soon began in earnest: AT&T, which acquired Time Warner in 2018 to form WarnerMedia, wants out of the comics business. Other rumors suggested DC will no longer put out comics and that Lee would be demoted from his role as publisher and chief creative officer.
So Lee is in the midst of a reorganization that will take the next two or three months to play out while the team is still putting on the finishing touches on Fandome, WarmerMedia’s blockbuster fan event set for Aug. 22.
“We are still in the business of publishing comics,” Lee said, adding that there is no work being halted.
Yes, there will be more Batman — John Ridley, who won an Oscar for penning 12 Years a Slave, is writing a Batman mini-series (“It will have a huge impact on the rest of the line,” Lee says) — and there will also be the return of Milestone, a label that features under-represented heroes and creators.
And does Lee still have the title of publisher? “Yes,” the artist-turned-exec responded.
For more of Lee’s THR interview. click here.