Yesterday, Bleeding Cool began running news about an impending restructuring at DC Comics, updating through the day. The big meeting happened last night at DC’s headquarters in Burbank, with a memo issued later in the day.
Bleeding Cool earlier reported that Mark Chiarello, John Cunningham and Eddie Scammell were among the layoffs, which THR later confirmed.
Mark Chiarello, was the artist on comics such as the award-winning Batman/Houdini: The Devil’s Workshop and Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, and was the colourist on the first Hellboy comics from Mike Mignola. Moving into editorial, he worked alongside Archie Goodwin at Marvel, before moving to DC Comics, where he created art-driven comics such as Batman Black and White, Solo, Wednesday Comics and teamed up Jim Lee and Jeph Loeb for Batman: Hush. He also co-authored the book The DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics with Todd Klein. Aside from DC he is co-author of Heroes of the Negro Leagues. As Senior Art Director at DC Comics, he has taken a special interest and responsibility for the lines covers and variant covers.
John Cunningham has worked in marketing at DC Comics for 13 years, joining in 2005 as VP Marketing, and rising to SVP Sales Trade Marketing. He came into his own the other year when promoting the Zoom and Ink all ages and young adult lines to the American Library Association last year, currently about to come to fruition, as well as going to bat for DC Comics’ decision to spoil Batman #50 in the New York Times.
Eddie Scannell, VP Consumer Marketing moved to DC Comics from Warner Bros Games four years ago, and was Director of Product Management at Warner Premiere before, with over eleven years at Warners in total, after working at NFL before that.
There are four other redundancies yet to be declared by anyone.
The memo, authored by DC President Pam Lifford states that DC Comics will be divided into three streams. Editorial, Production & Manufacturing, and Publishing Support Services.
SVP Editor-In-Chief Bob Harras, previously editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, has been at DC for nineteen years. He will take over art direction duties as well as global publishing and editorial scheduling.
Production & Manufacturing will continue to be run by Alison Gill, SVP Manufacturing & Operations, previously VP Manufacturing.
Hank Kanalz, co-creator of Youngblood with Rob Liefeld back in the day, and editor at Malibu Comics, worked at Warner Bros theme parks in the nineties, before moving to Wildstorm as VP and General Manager before DC bought Wildstorm. He has been SVP Editorial Strategy & Administration for over four years, and will now be running Publishing Support Services, a new business unit consisting of all departments that support the sales, marketing and promotion of DC’s books.
The decision to move DC Collectibles to become part of the Warner Consumer Products Toy team may be a controversial one, and Bleeding Cool’s Jeremy Konrad has analyzed that move.
We have been told that while no other editorial changes or layoffs were made, that we are to expect changes for the summer, once this new management team has settled in.
Here’s some comics industry reaction to the news – especially to Mark Chiarello’s departure:
Disappointed to see Mark Chiarello and John Cunningham being laid off from DC Comics.
— Ryan Kelly (@funrama) January 24, 2019
Raising a glass to artist/art director Mark Chiarello, who was let go from his longtime post at DC Comics. Mark’s brainchild, Wednesday Comics, deserves some kind of special award on its own but Mark has produced amazing covers and illustrations throughout his career. pic.twitter.com/cPEzxC8yeU
— Chris Ryall (@chris_ryall) January 24, 2019
Mark Chiarello was also my editor in my whole Detective Comics variant run being one of the coolest people I’ve already worked with.
— Rafael Albuquerque (@rafaalbuquerque) January 24, 2019
It’s going to be strange thinking of DC’s art direction and design department without Mark Chiarello involved. Never had the chance to work directly with him (although I’m sure he cast his eye across all my work). His vision and the craft he brought to DC has been immense.
— Tom Muller (@hellomuller) January 24, 2019
Sorry to hear about the layoffs at DC. Best wishes to Mark Chiarello and John Cunningham.
— Stuart Moore (@stuartmoore1) January 24, 2019
On the DC news of the day:
Mark Chiarello, is one of the best illustrators ever to work in Comics.
He was also a vocal supporter of Winter Men throughout years of trying to get it made.
Originally, in early DC development, he had even agreed to be the cover artist.
— Вяеtt Lешis 📝 💬 (@TheWinterMen) January 24, 2019
If there is any sanity left out there, Mark Chiarello should be without a gig for, like, five minutes.
— Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin) January 24, 2019
Deliriously envious of whoever is scooping up former DC EVP and painter @MarkChiarello no doubt in the next 5 minutes.
— Jewish Cartoon (@JewishCartoon) January 24, 2019
Good luck to all. And may the force be with you, Mark…