Overview

The End of Wildstorm

Headline - Press release

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After nearly 20 years, Wildstorm, home of The Authority, Gen 13, Stormwatch and the WildC.A.T.S., closes its doors.  Following an earlier announcement by DC that stated its multimedia and digital business department would be moving to the west coast, co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio released a message announcing that Zuda and Wildstorm would be folded into DC's main body.

While no specifics were given on which titles would live on, Lee and DiDio did state that the characters would be taking a break to redefine what it was that made them unique.  While this undoubtedly means that we won't see the characters for a while, they co-publishers announced that they, along with Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer, did have plans for them.

Vertigo and MAD Magazine, DC's other imprints, remain intact. 

The two press releases can be found below:

DC ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES BI-COASTAL REALIGNMENT STRATEGY; MULTI-MEDIA AND DIGITAL BUSINESSES RELOCATE TO LOS ANGELES WHILE DC COMICS PUBLISHING TO REMAIN IN NEW YORK CITY

(September 21, 2010 – New York) DC Entertainment, as part of its ongoing strategy to integrate the DC Comics business, brand and characters into Warner Bros. Entertainment’s content and distribution operations, will relocate its business functions related to and supporting multi-media and digital content production to Burbank, California. DCE’s publishing operations will remain in New York, continuing DC Comics’ 75-plus year legacy of leadership in the comic book arena. These announcements were made today by Diane Nelson, President, DC Entertainment.

“These organizational changes reinforce the strengths of DC’s greatest legacies – most importantly its people and its creative talent – and offer greater opportunity for maximum growth, success and efficiency in the future,” said Nelson. “Our two offices will stretch and build their respective areas of focus, while prioritizing and aggressively striving to connect and cooperate more strongly than ever before between them and with their colleagues at Warner Bros.”

“This strategic business realignment allows us to fully integrate and expand the DC brand in feature films as well as across multiple distribution platforms of Warner Bros. and Time Warner,” said Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, to whom Nelson reports. “We are creating a seamless, cohesive unit that will bring even more great characters and content to consumers everywhere.”

The relocation process is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011, with DCE’s businesses related to the development and production of feature films, television, digital media, video games and consumer products as well as the company’s administrative functions relocating to a Warner Bros.-managed property in Burbank, CA. DC Comics’ publishing operations, which have been the bedrock since the company’s inception with an annual output of over 1,100 comic books, 300 graphic novels and MAD magazine, will remain in New York. The bi-coastal business units will work more closely together to continue elevating the powerful DCE brand.

DC Entertainment was founded in September 2009 to fully realize the power and value of the DC Comics brand and characters across all media and platforms. The senior management team responsible for shepherding DCE through this reorganization is comprised of Nelson, Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer; John Rood, Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Business Development; and Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, Co-Publishers of DC Comics.

A message from Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, DC Comics Co-Publishers

The changes happening behind the scenes this week are part of a greater campaign to reshape DC Comics and build a company for the future. Our responsibility as Co-Publishers is to find a balance between short term opportunities and long term vision; between our strengths in traditional print formats and the infinite potential beyond print; between our characters’ rich legacies in the past and the bright promise for the future they hold.

As we’ve said before, there’s much to celebrate about DC. The foundation for long-term success is already here.

The DC Universe features the modern adventures of the World’s Greatest Superheroes, as envisioned by an exciting mix of new and fan favorite comic book creators. Vertigo is committed to publishing cutting edge, creator owned comic books and graphic novels by a wide array of creative voices.

One of our first decisions of the Co-Publishers was to up the publication of MAD Magazine from a quarterly periodical to a bimonthly one. In the wake of that decision, the magazine has seen increased sell-through growth. And we’re thrilled that MAD’s brand of madcap humor now stretches across media, with a highly-rated television show on Cartoon Network. The Usual Gangs of Idiots are an important part of this company and pop culture.

As we move forward, we also have to acknowledge the need for change.

After taking the comics scene by storm nearly 20 years ago, the WildStorm Universe titles will end this December. In this soft marketplace, these characters need a break to regroup and redefine what made them once unique and cutting edge. While these will be the final issues published under the WildStorm imprint, it will not be the last we will see of many of these heroes. We, along with Geoff Johns, have a lot of exciting plans for these amazing characters, so stay tuned. Going forward, WildStorm’s licensed titles and kids comics will now be published under the DC banner.

After this week, we will cease to publish new material under the ZUDA banner. The material that was to have been published as part of ZUDA this year will now be published under the DC banner. The official closing of ZUDA ends one chapter of DC’s digital history, but we will continue to find new ways to innovate with digital, incorporating much of the experience and knowledge that ZUDA brought into DC.

We’ll be further expanding our digital initiative and making a lot more news in this space. As part of that transformation, the WildStorm editorial team will undergo a restructuring and be folded into the overall DC Comics Digital team, based in Burbank, which will be led by Jim Lee and John Rood. With nearly two million free downloads and hundreds of thousands of paid downloads, our digital foray is already reaching a new audience worldwide. We could not be more excited by the successful launch of our Digital Publishing products in June, which exceeded all sales forecasts and will be building on our early success with new applications for DC material on all major formats and hardware, partnering with Warner Bros Digital Distribution. It has extremely been rewarding to hear anecdotal stories of lapsed readers returning to the art form and of brick and mortar stores gaining new customers who sampled digital comics.

We remain, as ever, dedicated to working with the greatest creators this industry has to offer, while inspiring generations of creators and readers to embrace this medium that we all love.

Jim Lee and Dan DiDio
DC Comics Co-Publishers

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