DC Comics Publishing Relocating to Burbank from NYC

By October 30, 2013

The two titans and pillars of the ongoing comic book industry have always had their roots firmly planted in America’s largest city. For as long as most can remember, DC and Marvel have been lobbing little jabs at each other across town, with creators walking down the streets of Broadway itself to reach the DC offices. What better way to immerse yourself creatively in a fantasy city like Gotham or Metropolis than to walk on the very streets of the real place that inspired them? For 75 years, DC has made its home in the Big Apple. Now, that’s all about to change.

A few years ago, Warner Bros. formed DC Entertainment, a division which would consolidate management of all the DC properties (characters, publishing, animation, television, interactive) into one organization, and conceivably better facilitate the characters of DC Comics within the larger organization at the studio. DCE has had offices in Burbank, California since it began, looking over the animation, television, and video game productions in the same city that WB resides in. Now, it looks like they’re consolidating even further by bringing the publishing arm of the company – which has been active in New York since it was started back in 1934 – over to the West Coast to be better organized into DC Entertainment.

Diane Nelson, DCE’s President, sent out a letter to all of DC’s employees about the move. It’s not imminent, as it’s not expected to happen until 2015, but her letter did address many concerns that employees were likely to have about their respective futures with the company, specifically saying, “We will have more than a year to work with the entire company on a smooth transition for all of us, personally and professionally.”

DC Entertainment Logo

Some may not see this move as a big deal, but one person that has come out publicly about it is Joe Quesada, the Chief Creative Officer over at Marvel, who has some surprisingly tender feelings about it. In an email to Newsarama, Quesada expressed sadness about the legacy of DC being sent to another city. He said,

“To me, comics are New York City and New York City is comics. We all know that the first character to put his underwear on over his pants was created in Cleveland, but it was New York City that gave him his start. It was New York City that provided the spotlight and it was here that he and all those that followed in his footsteps became famous. So to see a piece of that publishing tradition shift to the West coast saddens me, because it’s the end of an era and yes, while I’ve always loved to tweak our crosstown pals, New York City will admittedly be a little diminished by DC’s absence.”

Newsarama is in contact with a number of current comics professionals compiling what they think of the move, which can be seen here. Could this be a sign of greater things to come for DC Comics on film and television, or is this simply a move to maximize efficiency? Hopefully those answers will come out sooner rather than later, but in the meantime, do you think this is a good or bad move on the part of DC Entertainment?

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.