DC Comics has had a rough year. In the shadow of the AT&T purchase of Warner, they have fired their Publisher (Dan DiDio) with two editors-in-chief and many people on staff that had been with the company for decades. The decision of former DC President Diane Nelson’s to move DC Comics from relatively expensive offices in Manhattan to the insanely expensive offices in Burbank factored in the release of so many high-priced staff. It really puts pressure on the comic part of the company to make money to justify the move.
Then with the Covid 19 and working from home, it did not justify the costs of that empty building in the eyes of AT&T. Bleeding Cool and other comic-based websites are reporting that DC Comics is planning to reduce serialized print publication, increase digital publication, and license comic book publication to other publishers. While nothing is confirmed those same sources are saying that Marvel, IDW, and Dynamite have all approached DC to show interest in publication rights but the prices were too high.
Penguin Random House, who already exclusively distributes DC graphic novels to bookstores as well as to comic shops the world over, and who have the figures on just how well they sell, have decided that, yes, the license fee is worth it. Also, we are led to believe they have been hiring a number of staff for their graphic novel lines. But this is only for Graphic Novel publishing and not the serialized comic.
Of any individual who might be in the market for DC rights, it’s claimed that The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman is in talks with AT&T to purchase DC Comics. The claim was made last month by former DC Comics artist Ethan Van Sciver who commented on a Bleeding Cool article about a potential DC Comics buyout, something that Van Sciver first said was going to happen over a year ago.
With all this going on it seems like a “Last Stand” for the AT&T-owned DC Comics to prove themselves lucrative enough for the communication giant to keep. We’ll see. Infinite Frontier #0 is out this Month with Infinite Frontier #1 to follow in July. By the middle of the year, we should know more.
Furthermore, if that does not please AT&T and they don’t keep publishing DC Comics, it is reported that there is a collaboration of some of the biggest influencers in 2021, with a combination of personal wealth and raised capital, that is making an approach to AT&T not to buy DC Comics outright from AT&T/Warners, not to touch the movies, the TV, the games or the merchandise — but solely the rights and ownership — of the comic book side of the publisher. To be able to create and publish the DC Comics line as they would like.
This group would buy the publishing rights to the DC characters and would be people who really, really, really like DC Comics. Let Warners do the movies and TV shows, but take all the cumbersome work of actually publishing comic books off their hands, while Warners are free to adapt if they wish. Sounds crazy but it is a real possibility in today’s world. Talk about a fresh approach and getting back to the fan-driven world, this sounds like something whose time has come.
However, this plays out we will be there for you the comic book fans for better or worse. Visit Comics Talk often and know what we know that comics are a great media when done right.