After the news broke that DC would be closing their New York Office in 2015 in order to move their Publishing Division to their Burbank, California location one word came to mind: expected.
How the announcement came about may be a little suspect, but this is a move that was a long time coming. For those that don’t know (and it’s probably only a few) Warner Brothers owns DC Comics, and they are one of the largest media/movie companies in the U.S. They are stationed out of LA, where pretty much every other major studio is, so it’s not really a surprise that they would want everything to be under one roof in that location. Honestly, I am surprised that this move wasn’t made earlier. As much as they wouldn’t like to admit it, Marvel and Marvel Studios are currently setting the bar in Film, with TV soon to follow (partially thanks to Disney). If I were a betting man, I’d say putting everything under one roof is Warner’s way of taking more control to utilize the vast library of DC’s characters. Having all the knowledge and resources at your fingertips versus across the country is definitely a smart move. It will give them the ability to mine their characters’ histories in order to find the best way to expose them to the public. They may be in movies, TV, games or more. For me, it just makes sense.
The company has stated numerous times that no one is being fired, and that this announcement was made with plenty of lead time in order to give everyone the opportunity and time needed to make the move if they so choose. I am sure there are going to be some that won’t make the move and DC is obviously aware of this; you are bound to lose a few when you move across the country. Over time people and their families make roots in a community and it definitely becomes harder to uproot as the years fly by. The higher-ups will undoubtedly make the transfer, while people further down the totem pole may not. It is these people that this decision weeds out, and hopefully they are given some sort of severance package if they choose to leave. Even though the writer and artist might be the most important jobs for putting out a book (since they are the ones creating it), there are numerous other people that do have a hand in bringing that book to life. This is something we as readers often forget.
But, as a normal comic book fan, you may be wondering how is this going to affect you? In the end, not really at all. The days of the “editorial bullpen” are long gone; most writers and artists are scattered all over the world and with the wonder of technology can scan and email their work quite easily. There are even writers and artists that have never met in person until they attend a convention together; this arrangement wouldn’t have even been a possibility years ago. Like I said before, the need for creators to be under the same roof just isn’t relevant anymore. That is what needs to be taken from this; it’s the people behind the curtain pulling the strings and overseeing the books that this affects, not the creators themselves.
Am I saying that we shouldn’t care about these people? No that is not what I am saying at all. What I am trying to get across is that this move won’t really affect the books per se, and in turn doesn’t directly affect us as readers. DC, as opposed to Marvel, has been under more of the microscope lately with some of their head scratching moves. This action may seem shortsighted and callous, but if they handle it correctly and truly give everyone the ability to move, then I say no harm no foul. DC is a company that needs to make decisions that are right for them, and if this is the right decision then who am I to say they are wrong? Yes it sucks that people are potentially going to lose their jobs, but that happens every day, and in this specific case it would be by their choice. Just like DC has to do what’s right for them, their employees have to do so as well. In the end I wish them all the best, and I’m sure we’ll hear more about this story as we get closer to the move. In the meantime…