BREAKING: DC Comics To Cut Staff by 20%

Well, earlier today when it was announced that the DC Entertainment was keeping the comic book division in New York City and moving the digital and multimedia divisions, lots of people yawned and complained about the non-news.

And then more details started coming out and the non-news became more and more ominous with each announcement.

First, DC Entertainment confirmed that the WildStorm and Zuda lines were being shut down.

Now, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, President of DC Entertainment Diane Nelson has confirmed that as a result of the reorganization, 20% of the 250 people who work at DC Entertainment will be laid off. That's 50 people who are now out of work.

This is sad news, which, unforunately, is the reality when companies reorganize and restructure. We know a lot of talented, hardworking people at DC Comics, and hope for the best for all of them.

UPDATE: Upon further inspection, we noticed that the 20% figure is not a quote from Diane Nelson, but was written in the LA Times blog as fact without being directly attributed to anyone from DC. So based on the LA Times as the source of the number, and with no one at DC confirming a number to the layoffs, we are prepared to say that it isn't necessarily fact. While there will very likely be more layoffs, there's been no annoucement about who, what, or how many there will be, if any at all.

As always, when we know more, you will too.

Comments

  1. Woomer Woomer says:

    Awful news, but not surprising at all. Good luck to all those who find themselves laid off.

  2. robbydzwonar robbydzwonar says:

    This economy just keeps getting worse and worse!!

  3. rjspring rjspring says:

    Sad news indeed, best of luck to those now unemployed…

  4. jackietam jackietam says:

    Jesus…

  5. Mike Romo mikeromo (@rikemomo) says:

    I had no idea that only 250 people worked at DC. that’s crazy.

     best of luck to all of those that got laid off. Totally sucks…

  6. Journal Journal says:

    I wonder what percentage are artist and writers and what percent is staff. The news is sad, best of luck to all those on the receiving end of a pink slip.

  7. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    That’s staff, not writers or artists.  Those are freelance positions, even when under contract.

  8. RobAbsten RobAbsten says:

    Implosion 2.0. Party like it’s 1978! Woohoo!

    I’m rereading my Adam Warren-penned run of Gen 13 tonight to commemorate. That ended – spoiler alert – with the whole team getting killed off. At least that was entertaining. This is just sad. 

  9. cahubble09 cahubble09 says:

    Wow … that hurts … so the business side of DC Entertainment will be managed by Warner Bros then? I wonder if there will be additional news regarding less popular DC titles.

  10. This sounds suspiciously like the "Marvelcution" of 1996. Many a good person’s head rolled then, too. This is a consequence of corporatizing our little comic industry for maximum value yield, I guess.

  11. AMuldowney AMuldowney says:

    I want a Jason Wood article about all of this, badly.

  12. stuclach stuclach says:

    That’s too bad.

  13. redlibertyx redlibertyx says:

    Although this is sad news for those fifty people — and I am sorry for them — I don’t necessarily know if this really is a "bad" thing.

  14. s1lentslayer s1lentslayer says:

    And they still won’t be able to figure out their trade paperback program.

  15. John Siuntres was right.

  16. Realdude says:

    That’s really sad. BTW, WORST picture to attach to this story. It looks like Nelson and Johns are happy about it. ‘Screw y’all’. LOL

  17. edward says:

    Wow. 20% is an enormous chunk of the business. 

     But i have to say I’ve been buying considerable less comics for a while now so i guest it makes sense and it’s all my fault….. and somehow Josh’s too 

  18. So, is this because of poor sales?

  19. JesTr JesTr says:

    That really sucks! I wish them all well.

  20. Dan Dan says:

    That sucks – seeing people lose their jobs because of this incredible need for company synergy is just not right.

  21. pyynk pyynk says:

    Ouch.

  22. Patman2 Patman2 says:

    oof…..now that just sucks

  23. i thought dc would have more than 250 people too. 

    im in the media/publishing business and have been for 15 yrs, and the two companies ive been with have gone through repeated re-orgs and layoffs.  its impressive that dc stayed fairly "same" all these years.  especially during the current recession.  between comics and the eventually evolution to digital, im pretty certain that we will still have our favorite characters stories told in a serialized form, and the time warner will find a suitable way to monetize our hobby to their liking.  it always sucks when people lose their jobs, i did last october so i know what they are going through. (i landed ok last dec).

     i have faith that johns, lee and yes didio can continue to make the dc characters fun for us.

  24. Man, that really sucks.  Hopefully they all land on their feet.

  25. froggulper says:

    That really sucks.

    You can rationalize it by saying 1) That it’s not creators that they’re getting rid of, 2) That Wildstorn and Zuda were pretty lackluster lately anyway, and 3) That the August sales numbers were down because there were no major events going on…

    …And all that may be true, but this is something different: cold hard reality that the comics industry isn’t healthy.

    So maybe when they tell us that they need to start charging $4 a book or more than $0.99 for a digital comic, they’re not lying or being greedy.

  26. Conor Kilpatrick conor (@cskilpatrick) says:

    @froggulper: They’re not lying or being greedy with their prices. We have been saying that forever and now people will finally realize we aren’t kidding. (Creators have been saying it too.)

  27. This is all YOUR faults!  YOU the readers!

     

    Your mothers warned bad things would happen if you kept touching yourselves!

     

     

    the Tiki 

  28. zombox zombox says:

    This is the only announcement that DC made that holds any interest. My sympathies who will now be on the hunt for a position. It should be noted that DC is only doing what it has to to stay competitive and save costs (which are then passed on to us).

  29. bad news……especially during these hard times…

  30. vadamowens vadamowens says:

    That’s awful!

  31. UncleBob UncleBob says:

    :(     Like every industry, like everyone I know

  32. blulew23 blulew23 says:

    Sorry for those without jobs right now. Here’s hoping they all land on their feet.

  33. UncleBob UncleBob says:

    I don’t like this news accompanied by the picture of the two smiling people…

  34. horrible news.  very disappointing.

  35. RaceMcCloud RaceMcCloud says:

    Hey guys, welcome to the party; it really sucks.

  36. rnield rnield says:

    Nooooo!

  37. @unclebob……agree

  38. Franktiger Franktiger says:

    So wonder what’s gonna happen to the Wildstorm characters, some of which are pretty badass like Mister Majestic, Midnighter, and Deathblow; and especially some of those characters that have become pretty much classics in my mind like Grifter, Spartan, and Zealot.

    Maybe teams like the Wildcats and the Authority will crossover to the DCU in some major DC comics event.

  39. vadamowens vadamowens says:

    @franktiger You never know.  I would assume that whatever they do, DC will sell it, but keep it seperate from the DCU.

  40. Franktiger Franktiger says:

    @vadamowens:  you think so?  The Authority or Wildcats vs the Justice League, who wins?

    Batman vs Midnighter:  Midnighter

    Superman vs Apollo:  ?

    Wonder Woman vs Engineer:  Engineer

    Zatanna vs The Doctor:  Doctor

    Green Lantern vs Hawksmoor:  GL

    Hawkgirl vs Swift:  ?

    Who takes on Jenny Quantum, Firestorm?

  41. abstractgeek says:

    I’ll bet a chunk of this is Wildstorm (and possibly Zuda) Wildstorm was a separate company with its own offices in CA. There were probably a lot of overlap in operational and editorial positions. I’m actually a little surprised DC had that many employees. This doesn’t specifically say those people are part of the publishing side. I imagine a good chunk of the 250 were in financial, administrative and licensing positions. A lot of those jobs would likely be taken over by already overworked individuals within Warner. This has been the case all across entertainment (and most other) companies for the past few years. 

  42. Conor Kilpatrick conor (@cskilpatrick) says:

    Guys, take the WildStorm discussion to the proper article. This is the layoffs article.

  43. JohhnyNormal JohhnyNormal says:

    ….and that is how corporations work. Throw more bodies into the belly of the beast ! Next announcement will herald the coming of more managers to streamline business and further maximize profits….

  44. Damn.

  45. Neb Neb says:

    It definitely sucks, but maybe this could lead to the formation of new brands, publishers, or even more quality indy projects.  When one door closes, another opens….

  46. stuclach stuclach says:

    I just noticed your update.  Bleeding Cool has a post about it, too.  The LA Times has become one of the highest quality tabloids on the market today, hasn’t it.

  47. Preacher Preacher says:

    Kudos for taking the time to update.  Good news reporting.

  48. Maybe the one bright spot is that we can also look forward to 20% less big events and crossovers? I guess this would only qualify as a mini-crisis. Hopefully they can all be ret-conned into new jobs soon.

  49. Jason Wood Wood says:

    Just one quick comment re: the numbef of people at DC. Remember, DC and Marvel are largely freelance entities. So 250 employees is aside from the hundreds of for-hire writers, pencilers, inkers, letterers, color artists, printers, shippers, etc… They both outsource most of their creative process, they both outsource their printing, they both outsource their warehousing and logistics, they both outsource their retail. FWIW, Marvel had 300 employees (give or take) the last time it publicly reported the number before becoming part of Disney.