I don’t usually make a big post on Thursdays because I don’t usually have time, but this was a special, if late in posting, case.
If you happened to be near Image chief Todd McFarlane’s office door recently, I think you may have heard fall-down laughter coming from the other side. This would be because WildStorm, the former Image imprint that moved to DC, will soon be at an end.
This is part of the big shake-up at “DC Entertainment”, where the focus seems to be on the expanded media (which is odd when you consider rival Marvel has more expanded media than DC, which just seems to whore out Batman). There’s the big move to California to be closer to their Warner Bros. masters (except for the comics wing which will remain in New York, although I wonder for how long), and another imprint, Zuda, now going away entirely after having the website recently shut down. (There is still a blog, but that’s it.) So what does this mean for readers?
One of the founding studios of Image Comics, Jim Lee’s WildStorm imprint was bought by DC Comics in 1998 and as of late seems to have been mostly a home for video game license comics. A few of the titles are still original and WildC.A.T.S. (Covert Action Teams) is the only title I recognize from the creation of WildStorm.
It may not be that surprising to see WildStorm go under (between the current status of the line, not to mention DC’s past treatment of imprints), but what about the comics? Many of them are alleged to be moved to the DC banner, with some fan talk of Vertigo being uses for creator-owned titles, but again, we heard that about Milestone, and all we’ve gotten thus far is a Justice League crossover and Static popping up in Teen Titans, making it obvious to some that DC simply knew the character was still marketable since the cartoon remains popular so long after its cancellation. Could this be true for the WildCATS, even though their cartoon didn’t fare quite so well?
The big question, however, concerns Kurt Busiek’s Astro City series. As I write this I have found no evidence that a deal has been made concerning the series, which followed WildStorm from Image.
Also lost is Zuda Comics, which started out as a decent experiment but fell flat. As one of the guys at my local comic store noted, with Zuda gone (the remaining comics will also be published under the DC and/or Wildstorm banner) DC has nothing to match the creator-owned “Icon” imprint of Marvel.
So why can’t DC maintain an imprint? Johnny DC/DC Kids is published under the regular DC banner, so you can’t tell them apart (other than they’re fun) if your a parent looking to find a safe comic for their kids. The CMX line of manga translations crashed and burned. And now WildStorm and Zuda. I ask again, why can’t DC maintain an imprint, and what trouble does that spell for Vertigo? I guess only time will tell.
Some other chatter from Zemanta and some stuff I found myself.
- How DC Comics Killed Wildstorm (bleedingcool.com)
- Game-based comics from Wildstorm to continue under DC Comics banner (news.bigdownload.com)
- Warner Bros moving some DC Comics digital jobs to Hollywood (reuters.com)
- The latest DC Entertainment shakeups: What we know (Robot 6–I mostly grabbed this for the responses at the end of the article)
- DC Changes Good For Fans (Newsarama blog That’s My Cape)
- Comic Book Resources interviews with DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson and co-publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee.