Following closely on the heels of DC’s announcement that their President Jenette Kahn would be stepping down, within minutes actually, DC announced that a replacement has already been found; Executive Vice President and Publisher Paul Levitz has been promoted to the position of President and Publisher of DC Comics.
DC noted that Levitz will keep his previous duties with the publisher and add Kahn’s responsibilities following a transition period. According to DC, in addition to overseeing all the business and editorial operations of DC Comics and MAD Magazine, Levitz will also serve as a liaison across all Warner Bros. divisions and outside third-parties.
“Today is a momentous day in the comic book world; the ‘first lady’ is passing the torch to the ‘dean,'” said Barry M. Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. in the release. “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 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 in the release. “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.”
DC Comics provided the following biographical details on Levitz tenure in the industry.
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 from 1984-89. 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.