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DC Entertainment

DC Entertainment

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Published by: Derrick on Jul 26, 2012
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DC Comics1
DC Comics
DC Comics
Logo used since 2012.
Type
Subsidiary of Warner Bros.
Industry
Comics
Founded
1934, by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson (as National Allied Publications)
Headquarters
1700 BroadwayMidtown ManhattanNew York, New York 
Key people
Diane Nelson (President)Dan DiDio (Co-Publisher of DC Comics)Jim Lee (Co-Publisher of DC Comics)Bob Harras (Editor In chief)Geoff Johns (Chief Creative Officer)John Rood (Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Business Development)
Products
See list of DC Comics publications
Owner(s)
Time Warner
Parent
DC Entertainment, Inc.(Warner Bros. Entertainment)
Divisions
VertigoWildStormZuda Comics
Website
http:/ 
 
 / 
 
www.
 
dccomics.
 
com
DC Comics, Inc.
(founded in 1934 as
National Allied Publications
[1]
) is one of the largest and most successfulcompanies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DCEntertainment
[2]
a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner. DC Comicsproduces material featuring a large number of well-known characters, including Superman, Batman, WonderWoman, Robin, Aquaman, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern and the Flash, along withsuperhero teams Justice Society, the Justice League, the Teen Titans, and the Doom Patrol as well as antagonistssuch as Lex Luthor, the Joker, the Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Catwoman, Sinestro, the Penguin, Two-Face, General Zod,Brainiac, Harley Quinn, Darkseid, and Lobo.
[3]
The initials "DC" came from the company's popular series
 Detective Comics
, which featured Batman's debut andsubsequently became part of the company's name.
[4]
The title can be considered a redundant initialism. Originally inManhattan at 432 Fourth Avenue, the DC Comics offices have been located at 480 and later 575 Lexington Avenue;909 Third Avenue; 75 Rockefeller Plaza; 666 Fifth Avenue; and 1325 Avenue of the Americas. DC currently has itsheadquarters at 1700 Broadway, Midtown Manhattan, New York City.
[5]
Random House distributes DC Comics' books to the bookstore market, while Diamond Comic Distributors suppliesthe comics shop specialty market.
[5]
DC Comics and its major, longtime competitor Marvel Comics (currentlyowned by Time Warner's main rival The Walt Disney Company) together shared over 80% of the Americancomic-book market as of 2008.
[6][7]
 
DC Comics2
History
Origins
Entrepreneur Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson's National Allied Publications debuted with the tabloid-sized
 New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine
#1 in February 1934. The company's second title,
 New Comics
#1 (cover dateDecember 1934), appeared in a size close to what would become comic books' standard during the period fans andhistorians call the Golden Age of Comic Books, with slightly larger dimensions than today's. That title evolved into
 Adventure Comics
, which continued through issue #503 in 1983, becoming one of the longest-running comic book series.Wheeler-Nicholson's third and final title,
 Detective Comics
, advertised with acover illustration dated December 1936, eventually premiered three months late with a March 1937 cover date. The themed anthology series wouldbecome a sensation with the introduction of Batman in issue #27 (May 1939). By then, however, Wheeler-Nicholsonhad gone. In 1937, in debt to printing-plant owner and magazine distributor Harry Donenfeld
 —
who also publishedpulp magazines and operated as a principal in the magazine distributorship Independent News
 —
Wheeler-Nicholsonwas compelled to take Donenfeld on as a partner in order to publish
 Detective Comics
#1.
Detective Comics, Inc.
was formed, with Wheeler-Nicholson and Jack S. Liebowitz, Donenfeld's accountant, listed as owners. MajorWheeler-Nicholson remained for a year, but cash-flow problems continued, and he was forced out. Shortlyafterward, Detective Comics Inc. purchased the remains of National Allied, also known as Nicholson Publishing, at abankruptcy auction.Detective Comics Inc. soon launched a fourth title,
 Action Comics
, and the premiere of which introduced Superman(a character with which Wheeler-Nicholson had no direct involvement; editor Vin Sullivan chose to run the featureafter Sheldon Mayer rescued it from the slush pile).
 Action Comics
#1 (June 1938), the first comic book to featurethe new character archetype
 —
soon known as "superheroes"
 —
proved a major sales hit. The company quicklyintroduced such other popular characters as the Sandman and Batman.On February 22, 2010, a copy of 
 Action Comics
#1 (June 1938) sold at auction from an anonymous seller to ananonymous buyer for $1 million, besting the $317,000 record for a comic book set by a different copy, in lessercondition, the previous year.
[8]
The Golden Age
National Allied Publications soon merged with Detective Comics Inc. to form
National Comics
, which in 1944absorbed an affiliated concern, Max Gaines's and Liebowitz's All-American Publications. That year, Gaines letLiebowitz buy him out, and kept only
 Picture Stories from the Bible
as the foundation of his own new company, ECComics. At that point, "Liebowitz promptly orchestrated the merger of All-American and Detective Comics intoNational Comics... Next he took charge of organizing National Comics, [the self-distributorship] Independent News,and their affiliated firms into a single corporate entity,
National Periodical Publications
".
[9]
National PeriodicalPublications became publicly traded on the stock market in 1961.
[10]
Despite the official names "National Comics" and "National Periodical Publications", the line used the logo"Superman-DC" throughout (the DC logo could be seen on their covers and ads as early as 1940), and the companybecame known colloquially as DC Comics for years before the official adoption of that name in 1977.
[11]
The company began to move aggressively against what it saw as copyright-violating imitations from othercompanies, such as Fox Comics' Wonder Man, which (according to court testimony) Fox started as a copy of Superman. This extended to DC suing Fawcett Comics over Captain Marvel, at the time comics' top-sellingcharacter. Despite the fact that parallels between Captain Marvel and Superman seemed more tenuous (CaptainMarvel's powers came from magic, unlike Superman's), the courts ruled that substantial and deliberate copying of copyrighted material had occurred. Faced with declining sales and the prospect of bankruptcy if it lost, Fawcettcapitulated in 1955 and ceased comics publication. Years later, Fawcett ironically sold the rights for Captain Marvel
 
DC Comics3to DC
 —
which in 1973 revived Captain Marvel in the new title
Shazam!
featuring artwork by his creator, C. C.Beck. In the meantime, the abandoned trademark had been seized by Marvel Comics in 1967, disallowing the DCcomic itself to be called that. While Captain Marvel did not recapture his old popularity, he later appeared in aSaturday morning live action TV adaptation and gained a prominent place in the mainstream continuity DC calls theDC Universe.When the popularity of superheroes faded in the late 1940s, the company focused on such genres as science fiction,Westerns, humor, and romance. DC also published crime and horror titles, but relatively tame ones, and thus avoidedthe mid-1950s backlash against such comics. A handful of the most popular superhero-titles (most notably
 ActionComics
and
 Detective Comics
, the medium's two longest-running titles) continued publication.
The Silver Age
In the mid-1950s, editorial director Irwin Donenfeld and publisher Liebowitz directed editor Julius Schwartz (whoseroots lay in the science-fiction book market) to produce a one-shot Flash story in the try-out title
Showcase
. Insteadof reviving the old character, Schwartzhad writers Robert Kanigher and JohnBroome, penciler Carmine Infantino, and inker Joe Kubert create an entirely new super-speedster, updating and modernizing the Flash's civilian identity,costume, and origin with a science-fiction bent. The Flash's reimagining in
Showcase
#4 (October 1956) provedsufficiently popular that it soon led to a similar revamping of the Green Lantern character, the introduction of themodern all-star team Justice League of America (JLA), and many more superheroes, heralding what historians andfans call the Silver Age of comic books.National did not reimagine its continuing characters (primarily Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman), butradically overhauled them. The Superman family of titles, undereditor MortWeisinger, introduced such enduring characters as Supergirl, Bizarro, and Brainiac. The Batman titles, under editor Jack Schiff, introduced the successfulBatwoman, Bat-Girl, Ace the Bat-Hound, and Bat-Mite in an attempt to modernize the strip with non-science-fictionelements. Schwartz, together with artist Infantino, then revitalized Batman in what the company promoted as the"New Look", re-emphasizing Batman as a detective. Meanwhile, editor Kanigher successfully introduced a wholefamily of Wonder Woman characters having fantastic adventures in a mythological context.DC's introduction of the reimagined superheroes did not go unnoticed by other comics companies. In 1961, withDC's JLA as the specific spur,
[12]
Marvel Comics writer-editor Stan Lee and legendary creator Jack Kirby ushered inthe sub-Silver Age "Marvel Age" of comics with the debut issue of 
The Fantastic Four 
.
[13]
Since the 1940s, when Superman, Batman, and many of the company's other heroes began appearing in stories together, DC's characters inhabited a shared continuity that, decades later, was dubbed the DC Universe. With thestory "Flash of Two Worlds", in
 Flash
#123 (September 1961), editor Schwartz (with writer Gardner Fox and artistsInfantino and Joe Giella) introduced a concept that allowed slotting the 1930s and 1940s Golden Age heroes into thiscontinuity via the explanation that they lived on an other-dimensional "Earth 2", as opposed to the modern heroes'"Earth 1"
 —
in the process creating the foundation for what would later be called the DC Multiverse.A 1966 Batman TV showon the ABCnetwork sparked a temporary spike in comic book sales, and a brief fad for superheroes in Saturday morning animation (Filmation created most of DC's initial cartoons) and other media. DCsignificantly lightened the tone of many DC comics
 —
particularly
 Batman
and
 Detective Comics
 
 —
to bettercomplement the "camp" tone of the TV series. This tone coincided with the famous "Go-Go Checks" checkerboardcover-dress which featured a black-and-white checkerboard strip at the top of each comic, a misguided attempt bythen-managing editor Irwin Donenfeld to make DC's output "stand out on the newsracks."
[14]
In 1967, Batman artist Infantino (who had designed popular Silver Age characters Batgirl and the Phantom Stranger)rose from art director to become DC's editorial director. With the growing popularity of upstart rival Marvel Comicsthreatening to topple DC from its longtime number-one position in the comics industry, he attempted to infuse thecompany with new titles and characters, also recruiting major talents such as ex-Marvel artist and Spider-Manco-creator Steve Ditko and promising newcomer Neal Adams. He also replaced some existing DC editors with

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