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The Wednesday Waffle Issue Twelve: More bloodshed at DC and some happier stories


DC GETS A NEW EDITOR IN CHIEF


The changes continue at the top of DC Comics, following on from the absolute bloodbath back in August when a whole bunch of long term staffers were shown the door.

During that round of changes Marie Javins and Michele R. Wells were appointed as co-Editors in Chief. Now Javins gets to go solo as she is named sold and permanent Editor in Chief of DC Comics.


This is good news. Javins seems to be pretty forward looking and has a direction in mind for the company. Given how directionless DC has appeared to be since Dan DiDio was let go way back before Lockdown any vison has to be an improvement. Javins does seem to have a decent attitude, saying in a press release:


“As a young girl devouring comics of Wonder Woman, Nubia, and Supergirl, I never dreamed that decades later, I’d be at the helm of the mighty DC Comics, I’m incredibly honored by this responsibility, and will dedicate myself to supporting and challenging DC’s extended family of staff, talent, retailers, and partners around the world in our quest to tell innovative visual stories that both reflect and expand our world—and in some cases, our galaxy and multiverse.”


It's good to know that whoever will be in charge of a publishing house as important to the culture of Anglophone comics actually has a knowledge of, and love for the material. Her focus seems to be on diversity - she was the editor behind Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles and Superman Smashes the Clan for example, both of which were unselfconciously diverse, but also (and this is more important) really, really good. And whatever some corners of comics fandom may think, diversity is the way to go.


Why do I think that? Well, back in the late nineties my I was a member of a yahoo email group - a sort of email based proto social network. We were a bunch of comics fans and we were mostly a bunch of white, middle class dudes. Even then we were painfully aware that if we were the only demographic that comics were appealing to then the medium was doomed in the long term. We joked that at some point around 2080 the last ever comics fan would be cremated on a pyre made up of his collection because nobody else had read a comic in thirty years.


Many other publishers have since recognised the issue and begun to produce comics aimed at different audiences - I'd point you at Image, Vault, Boom! and Aftershock as good examples. Marvel has had a bit of a go, but a little ham fistedly, and DC has paid lipservice to the idea. Now perhaps it might go for it.


That's not to say that the kind of thing they're currently putting out - which continues to appeal to middle aged white men like me - has no place. Catering to a wider audience doesn't (and shouldn't) mean abandoning the audience you already have after all. But the success of the smaller, indie publishers noted above demonstrates that widening your scope can not only bring in a wider audience, it can also broaden the horizons of your existing fan base.


If that's where Javins is going, I wish her luck.



BUT THE DC BLOODBATH CONTINUES


Of course you might be wondering, if she's no longer jointly Editor on Chief, what is Michele R. Wells going to be doing. Well, as of yesterday, the answer would appear to be "looking for another job" because she's been told she no longer has a role at DC. A whole bunch of other senior staffers have also been shown the door.


We're not going to get into the depressing details here, except to note that losing your job in the current climate is a pretty hard thing to have to deal with - although it's not an unusual position for somebody to find themselves in right now. Our best wishes go to everyone finding themselves out of work in the middle of a global pandemic.


More coverage on this story can be found