Bob Harras named Editor in Chief of DC Comics

September 27th, 2010 by | Tags:

From DC’s The Source blog:

New York, NY, September 27—Robert Harras has been named Editor-in-Chief, VP, DC Comics, it was announced today by DC Comics Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio. Harras will oversee editorial for DC Comics, DC Universe, MAD Magazine and Vertigo and will be based in New York City, reporting directly to the Co-Publishers. Harras becomes the company’s first Editor-in-Chief in nearly 10 years since the position was held by Jenette Kahn from 1981 to 2002.

“Bob Harras’ personal and creative integrity is respected and renowned throughout the comic book industry,” said Jim Lee, DC Comics Co-Publisher. “As an editor, he provides invaluable insight into storytelling and character.”

“We could not be more excited to make this announcement,” said Dan DiDio, DC Comics Co-Publisher. “Bob is a tremendous evaluator of talent, character and story. He is a proven leader who brings a keen understanding of the marketplace to the position.”

Prior to being named Editor-in-Chief, Harras was the Group Editor, Collected Editions at DC Comics.

Before joining DC Comics, Harras was the Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics from 1995 to 2000.


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20 comments to “Bob Harras named Editor in Chief of DC Comics”

  1. So how bad is this?

  2. That bad huh?

  3. Bad because we’re not getting the fresh new voice we need (my reaction) or because of something about Harras, a man I know very little about, specifically?

  4. Well it’s only fair. Quesada started out good and went batshit insane. Now it’s only fair DC have to suffer somewhat. Equal amounts of suck will keep things balanced.

  5. Harras is the guy who ran Marvel from 1995-2000, and the X-Men office for years prior to that, and oversaw the runs of various comics that sent me screaming away from comical books in 96ish.

    @Capo Del Bandito: How did Quesada go insane? Marvel’s across the board quality is relatively high in comparison to DC Comics.

  6. @david brothers: Guessing he’s gonna cite One More Day and OMIT, aka the worst thing to happen to the world, etc.

  7. I see that Dukie is familiar with the Clone Saga.

  8. I think Harras gets a lot of undeserved shit, especially since a lot of his major fuck-ups were either Tom DeFalco’s fault or stemmed from a lot of interference from the boys up top.

  9. I enjoyed Fatal Attraction, Age of Apocalypse, and Onlsaught. There, I said it. Everything else X he was involved in… eh. I just finished re-reading my Uncanny run a few days ago and the majority of it is from Harras’ tenure. Operation: Zero Tolerance particularly crapped out in the last two or three issues. Maggot, Cecilia Reyes, Marrow and the Neo are awful, annoying characters. Colossus got a great death issue, though.

  10. This move by DC doesn’t move me one way or the other, but your visual reaction just about cracked me up.

    You folks seem to know more about who’s responsible for what, behind the scenes, than I ever have. Here’s hoping it works out for the best.

  11. @Lugh: I don’t know that I would call OMD and OMIT the worst thing in the world, but I do feel the need to say this: At some point during the interminable mess that was the Clone Saga, I stopped reading Spider-Man. JMS’ run got me back into the book, and then when Quesada decided that One More Day had to be rammed down our throats, I stopped reading again.

  12. That sigh was great! He scored in the upper 6 figures! 534344 points has gotta get him on the scoreboard.

  13. @Prodigal: I was being sarcastic. I mean yeah they sucked and all but I think it’s time people just gave it a rest. Then again this is superhero comic fandom where people still bitch about pieces of entertainment from like 20 years ago, even (especially) people who didn’t read them.

  14. Most of the hate towards Harris was that, under his tenure on the X, he got rid of Claremont, got a bunch of artists-as-writers, then lost the artists and we were stuck with stories that were tonally different than Claremont’s stories or just almost pastiches of Claremont stories. Nicenza and David both came out of these X-Titles, so all was not lost. But Harris was really thought of as being a bad EIC if he couldn’t keep the consistency of the X-titles (which, in retrospect, would be tough if you lost the main draw (the art of Lee and Liefeld and the writing of Claremont, it would be difficult).

    Harris also was the editor when Marvel imploded, mostly because of the spectator market. He had a lot of crap put up on him for starting this trend of foil, bagged, holographic, cardstock, etc type covers. People also didn’t like that he didn’t come up through editorial, but rather was a failed comedian that supposedly had little experience before he became editor. People saw him more as the figurehead for the corporate interests in Marvel than a viable editor and chief.

    He did a lot but was also an editor that presided over the bankruptcy of marvel, so it doesn’t really make me enthusiastic either way. He doesn’t seem to have a strong editorial voice, or at least a voice you can pick out. I wish him the best, but I feel like we’re going to get more of the same.

  15. Oh man, the late 90s were NOT good years for Marvel.

  16. oh hey, SA.com smilies.

    Why don’t you have :doom:?

  17. @A.o.D.: What’s the late 90s for you though? 1998 onward were pretty great.

  18. A great interview with Mark Waid where he talks about his feelings about Bob Harris circa 2000 from Warren Ellis Come In Alone:


    WE: Word has it that you’re no longer welcome at Marvel after a statement you made on my Forum about Bob Harras. What’s your take on Bob’s time at Marvel in your experience?

    MW: Yeah, that’s at least temporarily true. Apparently, the fact that Bob was fired for unfair and wrong reasons one September rather than for all the tens of hundreds of RIGHT reasons he’d racked up in the seven years PREVIOUS gave a lot of staffers a sudden change of heart. Amazing. Overnight, they forgot what a two-faced, cowardly liar Bob had been and what crap they’d all had to suffer through because of his shortcomings as a manager. Instead, everyone was lighting candles for Bob. Jesus. You want to know the truth? In my humble =koff= opinion, Bob did as much to help destroy the comic book industry during the 1990s than any other single human being alive. Yes, even more than Gareb. I’d even let Ron Perlman out of Hell before I’d pardon Bob. For years and years and years, the editorial philosophy at Marvel was to make each and every comic book as labyrinthine and confusing as creatively possible. Marvel had the single highest-profile comic book in the Western hemisphere–X-MEN–and Bob did everything imaginable to make it completely incomprehensible and inaccessible to new and/or casual readers. Everything.

    “But, Mark…” I hear the whine. “But, Mark, Bob kept the X-books best-sellers in the industry during his tenure.” Technically true–but let’s look at the sales figures. Over the last six years, the sales margin between the X-books and their nearest competitors has dwindled from about three-to-one to barely 1.5-to-one. Woo-hoo. Cigars, everyone.

    Here it is in a nutshell: Did you see that stupifyingly atrocious piece-of-crap X-MEN sampler comic in TV GUIDE? My rage had no words. It was a textbook example of how NOT to write and draw something a prospective first-time reader could possibly understand or enjoy or want to see more of. Hell, I’ve been reading comics for 34 years and I had to read it three times to figure out what was going on. TV GUIDE. Eight million households. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for new market exposure. And everyone connected with it failed miserably. Fire them. Fire them all. We’re DYIN’ here. We cannot afford to blow ANY opportunity to find new readers.

  19. The late 90s brought us that abomination known as Teen Tony. I was scarred for life.

  20. Holy good lord, do I love Mark Waid when he’s-a-rantin’! AND RAVING!!!

    In all seriousness…for a minute…I was pretty surprised but indifferent when I heard about this news, but then I came here and read this laundry list of reasons why it’s BAD news.

    Then I also remembered how I felt during those times as a comic reader. The Clone Saga revelation coupled with lousy X-Men stories (The Neo?!) nearly chased me away from comics completely, and I had been obsessed with them. Grant Morrison’s timing couldn’t have been better for me personally, because his writing UNCANNY X-MEN brought me right back only a few months after I “took a break”.

    In the highly-regarded words of WWE.com, I wish DC Comics the best in their future endeavors…