Collected Editions Group Editor Bob Harras named DC Editor-in-Chief

Monday, September 27, 2010

A little bit of excitement today about the announcement on DC Comics's Source blog that Bob Harras, who for the past couple years has been group editor of DC Comics's collections department, has been named editor-in-chief of DC Comics.

While I was not too enthusiastic about Harras' JLA: World Without a Justice League, I have heard good things about his editorial tenure at Marvel.

And, though Harras' new position puts him in a long management line that also includes Dan DiDio, Jim Lee, and Geoff Johns, I can only hope that Harras having been in charge of the collections group means something good for DC's trade program, which has often seemed -- in interviews with DiDio and others -- like the afterthought of DC Editorial, even as they continue releasing newer, shinier, and pricier collections.

No doubt the major news sites will have interviews and such with Harras coming up, where they'll address the crossover between his new editorial and old collections position -- but I did want to pause and recognize Harras' promotion as something that might, potentially, be good for the trade waiters.
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  1. He wrote BREACH, a bloody good, short-lived series. Which has no bearing on his editorial skills, of course. But I remember Tom Brevoort saying a couple of years ago that DC could go places if they let Harras be an editor there, rather than just someone who handles the TPB line.

  2. Didn't he run Marvel in the 90's? When it went to bankruptcy? I'm a little worried right now.

  3. According to his Wikipedia page, Marvel was already in financial trouble when he took over.

    Not to mention that DC (and Marvel) could probably lose money on the comics side but still be kept alive by their parent companies who are exploiting the characters for movies, TV shows, and merchandising.

    I find it funny how many comments on DC's Source blog about this news are "welcoming Bob Harras to DC." They seem to be focusing on his stint at Marvel and ignoring the fact that he's been at DC now for what, 8 years?

  4. @D. Mark Simms: I'm starting to dislike The Source's commenters, honestly. They tend to be snide. Then I get annoyed. Then I make an ass of myself. Not good all around.

    I doubt DC will ever be in that much financial trouble; maybe it's just me, but they've always struck me as a bit more stable a company than Marvel.

  5. Hey, another thumbs up for Harras' work on Breach. Great art by Marcos Martin on that book. I can't say how great a change this will be, but the addition of another seasoned voice to DC editorial probably won't be a bad thing.

    If he's the man responsible for getting the Hitman trades back on the schedule then he's THE man!

  6. I forgot about Breach, about which I also heard good things. If DC wants some cross-marketing, maybe a Breach collection will be in the offing (highly unlikely, I think).

    But I remain that the fact that Harras comes out of the collections group has to be a good thing; as Hix says, Harras had to have a hand/know about/sit in on a meeting where the decision was made to collect more Hitman (and Warren Ellis seems pleased with all this), collect Legion Lost, etc. So -- whereas we haven't yet seen an interview with Harras, and I am hoping someone asks him about any cross-over between his collections and editorial job -- I'm hopeful that this at least means collections is on DC Editorial's radar.

    I can't turn up the exact quote right now, but I'm remembering when Dan DiDio basically said that if people were waiting for collections, he wasn't doing his job. I get that, but I'd rather someone up there considering how to make DC's collections (even) better.

  7. Unfortunately that spells the end of good things for Mark Waid collections. If I remember correctly there was a bit of friction between Harras & Waid regarding the premature ending of WAID & WIERINGO'S FANTASTIC FOUR. I hope that does not mean issues of Mark Waid's run on FLASH, IMPULSE, JUSTICE LEAGUE TASK FORCE, L.E.G.I.O.N., LSH/LEGIONNAIRES/VALOR, !MPACT COMICS collections never see the light of day.

  8. Harras was long gone from Marvel when
    Waid was writing Fantastic Four. His creative differences with Harras happened during his short X-Men run and his second Captain America run. As I recall, there was a Red Skull-centric issue that got heavily rewritten, to the extent that Waid took his name off the credits.

  9. Not even if Mark Waid was married to the head of DC trade program would we see half of those trades - Impact just ain't going to sell.

    Speaking of trades - the new Winick Red Hood book is bucking the trend and going straight to trade paperback, not hardcover!

  10. I admire your trade paperback wishlist, Aalok, but I think collections of Justice League Task Force (as much as I might want it, too), LSH/Legionnaires/Valor (ditto), and Impact Comics were all kind of longshots anyway.

    Hix -- And yet Knight and Squire goes straight to hardcover. Strange; I would've expected Red Hood to do the same.

  11. DC would quite rightly see Cornell as one of their stars of the future - just look at the buzz about his Action run with Lex Luthor. I originally thought going straight to HC for "The Black Ring" was crazy talk, but the book is a critical hit, plus those Sandman dollars are coming in next month.

    It does look like we'll never see The Great Ten collected though, sigh.