Okay, so the weekend was rocky. But yesterday’s articles have brought more people to the surface willing to talk – either about themselves, their workmates or their ex-workmates about The Big DC Move West. As ever Bleeding Cool would like to reassure potential sources that we never reveal a source and treat all approaches as confidential, not passing information on without the source’s permission.
Now, some of this is hearsay. Some of it second hand information. All of it comes from involved people – but some of it may still be wrong. I’d ask that you use your judgement when reading. If you have none, use someone else’s.
1. I’m told that some of those who have been asked to choose between moving to Burbank or losing their job at DC Entertainment have until October 15th to make their minds up. It’s one of the biggest decisions someone can make, moving from one coast to another, especially for those with families. And some have got two weeks. However those who choose to leave can work at the company for some time while they look for new work.
2. Steve Rotterdam’s departure came as quite a surprise to some, especially on the other side of town. That he tried to resign twice, once under Levitz, once under Nelson, only both times to be reminded that he was under contract may have had something to do with it. As well as a level of duplication with John Rood’s appointment as one of the High Five.
3. Editor Matt Idelson’s position with new EiC Bob Harras may not be as cushty as some may have presumed. While a well regarded editor at both companies company, and a man who has survived previous purges, apparently he was notable for consistently taking Mark Waid’s side during editorial arguments at Marvel with Harras, and certain Marvel ex-colleagues have expressed concern.
4. Licensing is one of the departments moving west. As well as Cheryl Rubin, many people working under her appear to have been offered relocation but most did not take it, Kevin Kiniry being one of the few who has. And much of that was over Cheryl not moving – she has inspired a great deal of loyalty and it seems many stayed at DC because of her. Warner Bros Consumer Products have made a number of attempts to absorb this department over the years, which were at the time resisted by Jeanette Kahn and Paul Levitz over both quality control and revenue implications.
5. And yes, a number of DC Direct will be leaving. Most seem to have been offered LA relocation but most aren’t able to accepted it. Georg Brewer who developed and supervised DC Direct products will be gone.
6. As most art directors and designers work for both Licensing and DC Direct, they have pretty much all been offered LA relocation. Not Mark Chiarello who reports through Editorial and likely will continue that way where he is. His influence has significantly increased at New York as a result.
7. Collected Editions, the previous purview of Bob Harras, appears to have been folded into Editorial. Probably where he can keep a close eye on it. I hear that editor Anton Kawasaki from that departnment has now gone.
8. Licensed Publishing is expected to be going to the West Coast, but the editor is on vacation so no one knows.
9. International Licensing will stay on at New York – and indeed DC New York are advertising for a new manager.
10. Hank Kanalz is expected work alongside Jim Lee at Burbank. Expect him to get quite the increase in profile as a result.
11. Accounting has been gradually moving over to Burbank over the past year – further moves are seen as a continuance of that rather than a sudden change.
12. Production that’s strictly concerned with the publication of comics, including lettering, stays in New York. At least for now.
13. I still haven’t heard much about editorial adminstration. This may become more vital in the move towards focusing on digital publishing and how that affects talent, contracts or royalties. Will the modernisation of contracts have to be modernised all over again? And if so… from New York or Burbank? The proximity to creators may make a difference here.
DC Comics did not choose to comment – which is quite normal. But until pressed, they didn’t even respond to enquiries. Which is not normal…
Maybe I’ll find out what’s going on when I get to New York.