September 27th, 2010 | comics talk
I read today from various sources — let’s send Heidi Mac the traffic, for the hell of it — that my old friend Bob Harras has been made editor in chief of DC Comics.
I was around back in the 90s when Bob Harras was editor of the X-Men group of comics, directly editing the two main titles and running a team of editors on the rest of that sprawling line. And back then it was sprawling, and we thought it couldn’t get any bigger, and then it did. And he was writing AVENGERS, as I recall, and wasn’t a shabby superhero writer. It was a difficult office to run. There was a lot of weird inside politics, a lot of egos and agendas, and a lot of vultures looking to pick off creators (and creators trying to take each other out). And, of course, the pressure of having the best-selling comics in the commercial field and needing to keep them that way. And yet Bob always seemed supremely relaxed. He and I had one or two big fights — and I was younger, far nastier and angrier and shot to kill, back then — but, no matter what names I called him, the next time I spoke to him he was always equanimous, forgiving and affable.
Then he was made a Group Editor, as Marvel was divided into The Five Families Of New York, five Group Editors doing the work of one EIC. And when that went horribly wrong, Bob was the last man standing — or reclining in his office, anyway — and became the single EIC, during some of Marvel’s darkest years businesswise. For various reasons, I think that must have been the hardest job in commercial comics.
In a tumultuous time at DC Entertainment, which I must remember to start calling it, the steady presence of Bob Harras is very probably what is required. Best of luck, mate.