INTERVIEW: DiDio & Lee on "Dark Knight 3," Vertigo's Future & DC's Evolving Readership
This past Friday, Pat Quinn, SCAD Atlanta Associate Chair of Sequential Art, invited me to observe GENERATE, the school’s version of 24-hour comic day. (SCAD calls it GENERATE to allow any other of the school’s departments that wants to participate can do their own 24-hour challenge). The event kicked off at 10 AM on Friday. Students participating in GENERATE are challenged to create a 24 page black and white print ready comic in 24 hours from a blank slate. This year, they introduced an option for students to form a team to produce the book, those who chose that option had to also color the comic.
This weekend’s Special Edition NYC has brought confirmation on an earlier report by Bleeding Cool that two former DC editors have found new jobs at other publishers.
Katie Kubert, former editor of Batman, Detective and Batman Eternal, left DC Comics Friday after five years for a job as an editor at Marvel. Kubert appeared today on the Marvel’s Next Big Thing panel at Special Edition NYC, where her new job was announced and she discussed being a third-generation Kubert (her grandfather is legendary artist Joe Kubert, while Adam and Andy Kubert are her uncles).
Meanwhile, Valiant has confirmed to ROBOT 6 that former DC Assistant Editor Kyle Andrukiewicz has joined them as an assistant editor. Andrukiewicz worked on titles like The Movement, Animal Man and The New 52: Future’s End.
With DC Comics’ upcoming move from New York to Burbank, California getting closer and closer, it isn’t surprising to hear of current employees finding new opportunities with other publishers – if indeed that’s the reason why they left. Last month Comic Book Resources confirmed that Bob Wayne will leave his position as senior vice president of sales at DC Comics prior to the scheduled move in April 2015.
Students of DC Comics’ publishing history can probably rattle off at least a few editors from the company’s first few decades. Whitney Ellsworth edited the Batman and Superman books in the 1940s and ‘50s before becoming a producer on the Adventures of Superman television series. In the Silver Age, Mort Weisinger presided over an exponential expansion of Superman’s mythology, including all those varieties of Kryptonite, the introductions of Supergirl, Krypto and the Legion of Super-Heroes, and ongoing series focused on Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen. Similarly, as editor of the Batman titles, Jack Schiff supervised one of the character’s most recognizable periods, filled with colorful mysteries and giant-sized props.
Of course, the phrase “Silver Age DC” is virtually synonymous with Julius Schwartz, who worked with writers Gardner Fox and John Broome and artists Carmine Infantino, Mike Sekowsky and Gil Kane on rebuilding DC’s superhero line. One could argue fairly reasonably that without them DC Comics as we know it today might not exist (and neither would today’s Marvel).
However, while Ellsworth became DC’s editorial director in 1948, Schwartz Schiff, and Weisinger weren’t in similarly lofty positions. Today we readers hear a lot about “editorial control” and the dreaded “editorial interference,” charges aimed largely at the men at the top: Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras, Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee and Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. We hear a lot from them (illuminating and otherwise) about the general direction of the company. We also hear a good bit from various writers and artists, including Johns and Lee, regarding specific titles.
Nevertheless, on the management tier in between are the books’ editors themselves; and that’s the area about which I’ve become rather hazy. Therefore, I started looking through New 52 credits boxes, and supplementing this research through the Grand Comics Database, to see who was editing what.