DC Comics Closes NY Offices; Moving To Burbank

by Armand Vaquer

Above, DC Comics will be located near Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

DC Comics is closing their New York offices today and moving to Burbank, California.

Former DC president Paul Levitz posted the following at Facebook reflecting on the move:
DC is officially closing it's New York offices today, climaxing the progressive move to Burbank over the last few years. They've been kind enough to invite me to a final lunch at the office with so many old friends to commemorate the occasion. 
Rather than write about what the DC office in NY has meant to me personally, let me take today to write about what it's meant to NY, and vice versa. 
The various DC offices over the past 80 years have been a gateway for New York's young people, originally mostly from immigrant or disadvantaged backgrounds, to bring their gifts to entertain the world. Kids like Shelly Mayer, Joe Kubert, Carmine Infantino, Alex Toth, Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson, Irwin Hasen--and in a later generation, Neal Adams, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Howard Chaykin, George Perez, Denys Cowan--and so many, many more, came knocking on the doors and found an outlet for their talents. Based in a city that long opened its doors to the world, DC opened up to people with passion for creating stories and artwork, and to a generation or two of people who came to New York "to get into comics." It wasn't the only comics company that did this, but it was the most consistent presence--the only leader in the field to have stayed in the front of the pack for over 75 years, creating opportunities in the greatest city on our continent. 
It's not only writers and artists who came through the DC offices and prospered. A tally of the young New Yorkers who spent an early part of their careers at DC and went on to interesting lives would include publishing pioneer Byron Priess, a host of editors, leading licensing executives, and graphic desgners. 
The offices have also been a magnet for business change in the comics field. The idea that comics could be original periodicals was first made real and practical in a DC office, as was the first truly successful graphic novel publishing program in America. And would comics have been that same if NY English teacher Phil Seuling hadn't had easy access to offices to pitch his direct sales idea? The comic shop may have been born in California, but the systems that fed it started here. 
Has all this connecting been made obsolete in the era of the Internet and global interdependency? Maybe. There's certainly an argument that today you can run anything, anywhere. 
But New York won't be quite the same without a DC Comics, and as a New Yorker whose life was shaped by his city and by the DC offices, I can be sad about that.
During my days as a regular reader of DC's line-up of comics back in the 1960s, the address their editorial offices were located was 575 Lexington Ave., New York, New York. For some reason, that address always stayed with me.

1 comment:

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