Marvel Lays Off Staff in Cost-Cutting Measure

Comic Book Resources has learned that Marvel Comics is expected to lay off as many as 15 people today in what's being characterized simply as a cost-cutting measure, and not based on performance.

The layoffs come from the editorial and production departments, and include editors Alejandro Arbona and Jody LeHeup. A Marvel spokesperson offered no comment in response to our inquiries.

The cuts arrive just two weeks after the company let go Chief Operating Officer Jim "Ski" Sokolowski, who had held that position since fall 2008. Even before today's layoffs, Marvel had five editorial vacancies it had yet to fill from staff departures in the past year.

Arbona, a "Wizard" magazine alum, began working at Marvel in 2006 under "Daredevil" and "Sensational Spider-Man" editor Warren Simons. He most recently edited such titles as "Invincible Iron Man," the War Machine spinoff "Iron Man 2.0" and "Casanova."

LeHeup, who edited "Deadpool" and "X-Force," is probably best known for overseeing the Eisner Award-nominated "Strange Tales" anthology series.

CBR will have more on this story as it develops.

UPDATE 12:08 p.m. PDT: Writer Matt Fraction wrote this afternoon on Twitter that, "I am thrilled to announce that CASANOVA will continue to retain the excellent editorial services of mr @Alejandrobot," referring to Arbona. "Casanova" is creator-owned, published through Marvel's Icon imprint.

UPDATE 12:15 p.m. PDT: CBR has confirmed that Rachel Pinnelas, an assistant editor in the Spider-Man office, is also among the layoffs.

UPDATE 12:46 p.m. PDT: Production artist Damien Lucchese was also laid off. Writer, and former Marvel employee, Jim McCann was quick to announce on Twitter that his newly unveiled Image series "Mind The Gap" will feature Lucchese's "incredible design & production talents."

UPDATE 2:22 p.m. PDT: Marvel editor Jordan D. White has offered the closest to an "official" confirmation of today's layoffs, writing on Twitter: "We lost a few incredible people at Marvel today, and I will miss working with them. They were great at their jobs and I wish them the best."

UPDATE 4:38 p.m. PDT: CBR has heard that a final tally of employees laid off by Marvel today is 11. 3 in Editorial, 4 in production, 2 in the trades department and 2 in digital compositing. Heidi MacDonald at The Beat is also reporting names of several of the employees, including Taylor Esposito and Damien Lucchese and Special Projects' Production Coordinator Jerry Kalinoski as well as decades-long production employee Scott "Pondscum" Elmer.

UPDATE 6:33 p.m. PDT: One last update: CBR has been informed the two digital compositors, Maritsa Patrinos and Eric Bloom, worked on-site, in conjunction with production.

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