The word from freelancers at Long Beach Comic Con this weekend is that DC Comics are going to be making the great trek from East Coast to West Coast on a permanent basis. While I’d heard conflicting rumours about various moves of office under the new DC Entertainment regime, this weekend seemed to see them coalescing into one consistent form, a move expected en masse, to the Warner Bros offices in Burbank, Los Angeles.
A number of freelancers seem to believe this as fact. I’ve also received an-official-as-you-can-get denial from a senior DC employee that DC Comics will move to the previously-rumoured Columbus Circle location in New York. I was previously made aware that there had been pressure on DC from Warner to cross the coast in previous years, successfully resisted by the now-departing Paul Levitz. And then there are the terribly persistent rumours that the new publisher of DC Comics will be a West Coaster and won’t take the job on the East Coast.
So what will this mean if it comes to pass?
Currently the proximity of Marvel and DC offices in New York means that there are strong social ties between their employees no matter how much their seniors have fostered a separateness. They drink together, exchange stories and personal lives, date each other, play baseball and every now and then steal an employee or two. This social aspect of the business may dramatically change as a result and would mark a major turning point oin the history of the comics industry in America.
Also, some employees won’t want to make the trip, especially those with families, or those firmly settled in and around New York. For Marvel, on an expansion streak with Disney money plumping its coffers, they could pick and choose from the employees left behind. But for New York employees that make the trip, it will be a dazzling opportunity to come face to face with the mightiest of media machines on a regular basis. The networking opportunities would increase dramatically.
Meanwhile, for Wildstorm employees this could be a dream or a nightmare. For some, an increased physical proximity of this DC imprint and studio to the mothership will be unsettling and they may find less autonomy. However, for some, this many be an opportunity to move up and out into DC Comics without moving coasts. And if, as has been rumoured, a senior Wildstorm figure becomes publisher of DC Comics, opportunities may improve remarkably.
And for DC, there may be more tangible evidence in the roles their comics play in creating big bold brash movies with the merchandising and licening possibilities that come with that.
As to when? No idea, if at all. Some say an announcement to be made this year, some say San Diego next year will be the catalyst. But everyone seems to agree that it’s coming. Of course they could be whipping rumours around in a frenzy from people prone to spread them when there has been no official comment or clear direction and everyone is fearful for the future. Panicky knee-jerking rumours with possibly no root in reality.
For now, anyway…