The name "DC Comics" came about from the success (and longevity) of the popular comic book, Detective Comics, which debuted with #1 in 1937. The company was originally founded in 1934 and called "National Allied Publications," publishing various collections of newspaper strips of what became known as 'comic books. '
Shortly afterward the company grew due to mergers and acquisitions of other publishing companies and distributors, finally ending with the company being called 'National Periodical Publications, Inc.," in 1944 (the company went public in 1961).
It was then purchased entire in 1967 by the Kinney National Company, which then bought up Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, combining the properties and settling on the name Warner Communications, even though the comics themselves continued to be labeled "National Periodical Publications" (which was the subsidiary name) on the inside, and "DC Comics" on the covers.
Warner Communications merged with Time Inc., in 1989, the combined company being called Time Warner. Further flow-chart shuffling occurred when Warner Brothers moved DC Comics in 1999 to become a subsidiary of DC Entertainment, Inc.
DC Comics, 1966
"The suit-wearing editors at DC discussed Marvel in their meetings, and finally decided that it must be the crude artwork, and the bad puns, that the kids liked. There's no accounting for taste, they grumbled, and tried to get hip by pasting so-called go-go checkerboard patterns at the tops of each comic. Instead of Lee's snappy "Bullpen Bulletins," DC instituted a news update page called "Direct Currents" that might as well have been written by accountants. They introduced a "New Look" version of the dying-on-the-vine Batman, replacing horrendous alien-invader stories with horrendous self-parody that Susan Sontag , in the New York Times, singled out as a textbook example of "low camp." It was Marvel gone wrong, with only Stan Lee's puns and none of his heart: Spider-Man has Aunt May, and so now Batman got an Aunt Harriet, but instead of familial drama there was only arch, idiot-savant modishness."
Page 69, Marvel Comics the Untold Story, by Sean Howe. Published by Harper Collins, 2012.
July 28, 2011 Update: The cosplayer dressed as the Stephanie Brown Batgirl was interviewed about the incidents at the DC Comics panel at the San Diego ComicCon. The DC Women Kicking Ass site has the interview with "Kyrax2, the Batgirl woman." Here's a brief excerpt:
"The room became extraordinarily hostile to me very, very quickly. People started booing and yelling at me to sit down. I shrugged and said, “Well, now I’m going to get yelled at.” I wasn’t upset so much as I was *confused*. Didn’t these people want to see more kick-ass women? If they loved these characters so much, why were they getting angry at me for asking DC why there weren’t more of them? "
July 24, 2011:
"Gail Simone, DC Comics staff writer, would like to meet the Batgirl cosplayer who has been attending DC Comics panels at San Diego Comic Con & asking questions about female representation in books & staff. This woman has been condescended to & dismissed by the (male) DC staff she has been speaking to.
If you know this Batgirl or know someone who knows this Batgirl, please try and make sure this message gets to her! Gail is at Comic Con until Sunday night."
Related: Interesting comment at the Gailsimone twitter account: "Anyone who can't see that the female fan base is growing is just not reading the Internet or going to conventions."
More about this at tumblr
DC Comics Reboot Blues
Sept 2011 - decreasing print runs at DC Comics
Average run on a title in 2006: 44,0000 copies. In 2011: 24,000 copies.
(If you would like a truly depressing comparison, consider these numbers from 1960:
1960 Comic Book Sales Figures
Average Total Paid Circulation as Reported in Publishers' Statements of Ownership
(This info from the very handy web site Comic Chronicles)
Title Publisher Average paid circulation
1) Uncle Scrooge Dell 1,040,543
2) Walt Disney's Comics & Stories Dell 1,004,901
3) Superman DC 810,000
4) Superboy DC 635,000
5) Mickey Mouse Dell 568,803
6) Batman DC 502,000
7) Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen DC 498,000
8) World's Finest Comics DC 476,000
9) Looney Tunes Dell 459,344
10) Action Comics DC 458,000
Those million-plus numbers look good, but even better is the "average" run for any given issue from the seven top companies:
Average sales of the top 48 comic book titles from these 7 companies: 315,853
To read about current average print runs, Read More.
Original page October 2012 | Updated November 11, 2012