About a third of DC Comics editorial staffers are being laid off, Jim Lee demoted as publisher, editor-in-chief Bob Harras gets the ax, and DC Universe streaming service is gutted. Also, DC Collectibles may have been shelved.

from The Hollywood Reporter"DC Comics, DC Universe Hit By Major Layoffs"

from The Beat: "DC Layoffs Reportedly a 'Bloodbath'"

from CBR: "DC Entertainment Hit Hard by WarnerMedia Layoffs"

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Bleeding Cool is calling this "The New DC Implosion": "Jim Lee, Bob Harras, Marie Javins In New DC Comics Implosion Rumors"

I had been expecting the DC Universe streaming service to be folded into HBO Max. I think the new ownership is also looking to dump thing that aren't making a profit, which is very likely most of the comic book titles.

I hope they don't go to publishing comic books only occasionally to maintain trademarks. Unfortunately, we (and they) have learned that comic book movies and TV shows have little effect on the sales of comic books.  A big reason for this is that comic books are for the most part hidden in secret places called comic book stores. If the new ownership cares (a big if) they could try to get comic books back into mainstream stores* at less than $5-to-6 price points where their exciting covers could be seen by new customers.

*not just in a percentage of Wal-marts.

I'm not surprised at folding DC Universe into HBO Max; it's redundant to have both. 

A friend of mine found this take on things (he didn't say where he got it):

only skimmed the articles so I may have missed details, and while I have a business degree, I don't deal with corporations and they have a different set of rules for some things. That said, my knee-jerk reaction (having not taken any time to deeply consider anything) is this;

All the print stuff is being rolled into a single production arm, so the people who make the kid books, the YA novels and OGN's, and monthly floppies will all be under the same chain of command. That's not a bad thing, in and of itself. We're being told the floppy line will be cut down, so the monthly books featuring the Big Names will stick around while most everything else gets cut. So books like Action, Flash, 'Tec, and Wonder Woman will remain while titles like Outsiders and Hawkman will be cut. Titles like Superman/Batman, Supergirl, and Nightwing might survive on a case-by-case basis.

So that basically means we won't have more Batman books on the shelf, but there will be less of everything else. Hell, if I read it right and they cut 40% of the line, it likely means less Batman too, though Bat books and books with Batman in them will likely end up as a larger percentage of DC's output than what we have already.

DC's creator bullpen is going to shrink, and only the best selling creators or those who get in good with the boss will remain. So people like Snyder and Taylor and Bendis are probably sticking around, but lesser known creators are likely gonna be left behind.

When the dust settles, this might mean more DC focused OGN's, novels, and kids books, and while the usual suspects like the Trinity will still see plenty of action here, the loss of the floppies likely means we'll see a little extra effort put into secondary characters; the company won't want to leave these characters in limbo for too long and many IP's have already proven they have value in these non-LCS markets, like Raven who had a OGN that sold quite well in bookstores. So, we might lose (for example) Nightwing's monthly book but may get a Nightwing OGN instead.

For the immediate future, we'll see less of everything. In my level of business you don't make cuts like this and then launch a big new initiative or keep the same number of products in the system, and I imagine it's the same with the big corporations. But once the economy stops falling apart, DC/WB/AT&T will likely push out as much new content as they can get away with, with a wider range of characters and IP's so they can start recovering their bank accounts.

Doyle being let go likely means the end of Black Label, but we may still see some books *like* Black Label in the bookstores, as OGN's.

Jim Lee's new position sounds like a consultation to me, I feel like he'll be there to help ensure the bookstore people understand what the LCS audience wants.

I suspect we'll see a push into digital books, as there are a lot of cost saving measures there and you can potentially reach a much wider audience. At a guess, they'll handle this differently than they have their previous digital-first books; that's a market that plateaued quickly and remains well below floppy and bookstore sales, so if DC wants to succeed here they need to change their game a lot.

I think the next year or two (maybe longer) will have fewer books on the shelf at both the LCS and bookstore levels. We'll probably see a spike in digital first/only titles in 8-12 months, but still fewer comics than we've been used to.

It won't be the end of the world, or the end of comics. Not even the end of DC. They've survived implosions before and will survive this one, if only because they're so valuable as larger media adaptations. But the next year or more is gonna be pretty lean with less to pick from. This may be a massive blow to the LCS, but that'll depend on what other publishers do and whether or not DC fans keep spending money at their shops. The LCS is already in a tough position after quarantine, but if we keep spending as much money as we normally do, the LCS will probably manage to muddle on. If we don't replace our DC pull with other titles then the LCS likely won't survive.

And....I dunno. This isn't my kind of business and I need time to consider all the possible ramifications. But I wouldn't say the sky is falling. DC is not about to be bought by Disney, they're not going to stop making comics completely. They're just going to make a lot fewer comics, likely try to branch into healthier markets with better profit margins, and put more work on fewer shoulders. Focus will continue to shift from the floppy market to digital and bookstores. Basically, this is just the next phase of the trajectory we've been on this year.

The only DC book I am reading these days is  Far Sector.  Sure hope that isn't cut off in mid-story.

I'm reading a fair number of DC books -- but fewer and fewer of their most central ones, as I left Batman once King left, have developed a really strong distaste for the Joker, and Death Metal doesn't appeal to me. So of the central stuff, I only read the Bendis books, and even those feel kind of peripheral: like Bendis is at one end of a tug of war and Snyder is at the other, and Snyder is winning. (Otherwise we'd be seeing Event Leviathan: Checkmate instead of Death Metal right now.)

Of what I'm reading, my biggest fear is for Legion of Superheroes, Hellblazer, and Suicide Squad. I suspect Far Sector will finish: Jemison's finished writing it, there's only 5 more issues, and it's pretty obviously a great book to have in their library, but from a quality and a PR standard.  

One thing to look for: Some of these DC refugees might band together to form their own company, in the way that Aftershock did a while ago.  Something to keep an eye out for in 2022.

Refugee Comics? Outcast Comics? Bloodbath Comics?

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

One thing to look for: Some of these DC refugees might band together to form their own company, in the way that Aftershock did a while ago.  Something to keep an eye out for in 2022.

I buy way more back issues than new ongoing anyway, so the only DC titles I'm getting now are Batgirl and the revival of Batman Adventures. The former is ending and the latter is a limited series, and I don't know what will replace them on my roster, or if anything will.

A follow-up from Bleeding Cool: "After the Bloodbath -- The Start of a New Two-Year Plan for DC Comics?"

I find it very noteworthy that the Editor in Chief was among those let go and far as I can see there isn't anyone making any attempt to either question, attack or defend his run at the job, nor is there any clear indication of who, if anyone, will fill that specific role.  This strongly hints that commentators perceive these events as having causes from outside DC Comics itself and the publisher itself is not necessarily at fault in anyone's eyes.

The timing is also interesting.  By happening just twelve days before DC FanDome, these layoffs can't help but empty and stain the event to some degree, while at the same time making it noteworthy to a degree that it otherwise could not hope to achieve.

This was a very clear indication that DC will from now on operate at significantly diminished autonomy and be a lot less inviting towards unproven comic book properties and creators.  It also hints at an even greater emphasis on digital media and bookstores over LCS distribution and on graphic novels and trade paperbacks over 32 page ongoing or even limited series.

Hopefully it will also translate into less frequent and less bombastic events.  They have been harming DC and comics as a while for a good while now.

All in all, not an entirely surprising turn of events.  I wonder if 5G has been officially cancelled.  I would be very surprised if it happens to materialize in a recognizable form at any near future time.

I'm pretty sure 5G will never see the light of day as intended, though parts of it might show up as unrelated plots in different books here and there. Sooner or later, no idea goes completely to waste.

As for Bob Harras -- he largely stayed out of the spotlight, so there's not a whole lot to say about him in regard to the books themselves. The main thing I've seen people saying about him is at least the guy who merely demoted Eddie Berganza when he should have fired him is gone. 

But yeah, these cuts have very little to do with the ins and outs of DC itself -- they were throughout Warner Bros, and are so wide-ranging they can't really be said to be a reflection of anyone's job performance.

I figured 5G was dead once Dan DiDio was fired, that was his baby.  According to Bleeding Cool, the series that was a part of 5G Generations has been cancelled but one of the stories from Generation One will appear in Detective #1027.

I was digging the Black Label stuff I read. I hope it sticks around, but I dunno.

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