(February 6, 2002 – Burbank, CA) - Twenty-nine-year DC Comics veteran and writer of more than 300 published comic book stories with cumulative sales of more than 10 million copies, Paul Levitz has been named President & Publisher, DC Comics, it was announced today by Barry M. Meyer, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. (DC Comics is a division of Warner Bros.) Levitz, who moves up from his 12-year post as Executive Vice President & Publisher, assumes the responsibilities of DC Comics’ longtime and highly respected President & Editor-in-Chief Jenette Kahn (see separate release). Levitz will not replace himself; instead he will add Kahn’s responsibilities to his current duties following a transition period. In addition to overseeing all the business and editorial operations of DC Comics and MAD Magazine, Levitz will also be charged with serving as a liaison across all Warner Bros. divisions and outside third-parties to aggressively and effectively extend and exploit DC Comics’ iconic characters and brands in all arenas, including feature films, television, home video, consumer products, online and specialty publishing. “Today is a momentous day in the comic book world; the ‘first lady’ is passing the torch to the ‘dean,’” said Meyer. “Jenette and Paul have been making comic book history for more than a quarter of a century. I know of no one more capable, more talented or more fitting than Paul Levitz to take over the reins from the extraordinary Jenette Kahn.” DC Comics, the world’s largest English-language publisher of comics, is the home to some of the world’s most recognized characters and valuable brands, including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the other members of the Justice League of America. Some ten blockbuster feature films, numerous live-action and animated television series, multiple direct-to-video titles, untold entertainment in every medium from books to online and countless product licenses have been drawn from DC’s world-renowned superheroes. DC Comics, which has been in continuous publication for more than 60 years, publishes close to 1000 titles a year for worldwide distribution. In addition to its perennially popular superhero lines, the company has broken new creative ground in recent years with the launch of its mature-reader Vertigo imprint and the acquisition of WildStorm Productions, a cutting-edge independent comic publisher. The revamped, still-irreverent MAD Magazine is also part of the DC Comics family. “DC Comics has been an important part of my life since I learned how to read, and even more so during the almost 30 years I’ve gotten to play with the greatest fantasy characters of all,” said Levitz. “I’m honored that Barry Meyer selected me to replace my longtime colleague and friend, Jenette Kahn, and I look forward to building on the wonderful traditions of this very special company.” In his nearly three decades with the company, Levitz has written comic book stories featuring the majority of the classic DC characters, including “Batman,” “Wonder Woman,” and the “Superman” newspaper strip. His most popular titles were scripted during his 13 years of writing “The Legion of Super-Heroes,” including a story entitled “The Great Darkness Saga” selected by the readers of “Comic Buyers’ Guide” as one of The Top 12 Comic Book Stories of the 20th Century. He also supervised the brand management of Batman licensing during a record-breaking decade for DC Comics and was key in the company’s acquisition of WildStorm Productions. Levitz rose through the ranks. Prior to being Executive Vice President & Publisher, Levitz served as Executive Vice President, DC Comics from1984-89. This post was preceded by a two-year stint as Vice President, Operations; two years as Manager, Business Affairs, and four years as Editor and Editorial Coordinator. Levitz joined DC Comics in 1973 as an assistant editor, after spending a year as a freelance writer of text features for the company. Levitz entered the comics industry in 1971 as the editor/publisher of “The Comic Reader,” the first mass-circulation fanzine devoted to comics news. He published TCR for three years, winning two consecutive annual Comic Art Fan Awards for Best Fanzine. His other fan activities include editing the program books for several of Phil Seuling’s legendary New York Comic Art Conventions, and he worked briefly at Sea Gate Distributors (the original distribution company created to serve the early comic shops) during its first year of existence. One of the comic book industry’s foremost experts, Levitz served on the editorial board of the first edition of “Who’s Who in American Comic Books,” the first major effort to document the credits of the often-anonymous creators of early comics.
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