Jim Lee Says Comic Book Industry Is Collapsing; DC Will Save It


jim lee comic book industry collapsing

Jim Lee tells us what most of us already know in that the comic book industry is collapsing in on itself.

Movie Pilot reports on the DC Comics Comic-Con panel featuring DC co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio.

“We have to stop the collapse of the comic book industry,” Jim Lee says, with the article noting DC has a plan to save it.

Update: Jim Lee is stating that the quote isn’t correct; however, it really doesn’t change what follows in the rest of the article.

Update #2: The original quote comes from a transcript from the Comic-Con panel that Newsarama attended. Screen grab here:

jim lee collapse

Original article continues:

How DC Comics plans fixing the industry includes making the comics matter first. It’s reported DC will no longer take second stage to the movies, but that the comics should be where fans first meet these characters.

“Comic books have become the second or third way to meet characters like Batman and Superman, and we want to change that,” DiDio says.

One plan DC Comics has is to make more of what they call “evergreen” stories, which are stores that never grow old and stand the test of time, with Alan Moore’s Watchmen as an example or Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns (I’ve always been a big fan of Crisis on Infinite Earths myself).  

Jim Lee drops a bomb in that they are bringing on board Neil Gaiman, which is pretty huge! It’s also said the plan is to get more big-name writers, but only Gaiman’s was mentioned.

The article notes:

Jim Lee explained that they want to give their creators a challenge: to tell “the best Superman story, the best Batman story, the best Justice League story.”

new 53 dccomics

Regarding why the comic book industry has been collapsing, the blame lies on both DC and Marvel. DC relaunched back in 2011 with the New 52, which at first was a huge success. We read and reviewed every single issue and liked about 95% of the titles. However, things started to fall a part by the fourth or fifth issue of just about each title. It became clear there was vast editorial interference, and there was even interference from the movie studio (legendary creator George Perez complained about Man of Steel execs interfering with his Superman). Fans resisted the changes and DC has since gone back to the originals and at the same time is launching new and fresh stories and characters such as their Dark Matter initiative and Dark Knights Metal

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Likewise for Marvel Comics, they took a turn for the worse when Axel Alonso became EIC in 2011. Pertinent to Cosmic Book News readers is that Alonso butchered Marvel Cosmic, cancelling Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy and the complete Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning line, the titles that inspired the new multi-billion dollar Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Wolverine was killed off; Fantastic Four cancelled. Under Alonso has also seen Marvel Comics replace their core characters with politically correct versions and titles have seen relaunch after relaunch with tons of variant covers. Marvel has since started to return to the fan-favorite characters and hopefully it’s not too late. It should be said the downfall of Marvel Comics should also be blamed on Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter, his creative committee which consists of Dan Buckley, Alan Fine, Joe Quesada and Dan Buckley, and to a lesser extent head of Marvel TV Jeph Loeb (ruined Nova and cancelled Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes), corporate stooge SVPP Tom Brevoort, VP of Marketing David Gabriel, and former Marvel Comics editor turned head of Marvel Animation Stephen Wacker (regularly harassed fans at message boards and butchered Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy as well.) 

I’ve been covering the comic book news for almost ten years, and I like what DC has to say. Hopefully they can give the comic book industry a much needed punch in the gut.