In the past year we've seen the New York Times bring us a variety of comics news, such as January's announcement of Frank Miller on "All-Star Batman & Robin." Today, the New York Times has revealed that DC Comics will be unveiling a new logo to replace the familiar "DC Bullet" used by the publisher since the mid-1970s.
According to the report the movie is both a face lift and a marketing strategy. "We're talking about a multibillion-dollar brand," Warner Brothers executive vice president for corporate business development and strategy Kevin Tsujihara told the New York Times. "There was a level of concern that we weren't fully utilizing the power of DC."
The logo will be featured prominently on the covers of all comics, plus it'll be featured on toys, direct-to-video cartoons, DVD releases of TV shows like "Birds of Prey" and will also appear on programs like "Smallville," "The Batman," "Teen Titans" and "Justice League Unlimited." An animated version of the new DC logo will also be used in the film "Batman Begins."
Updated 5/9/05 10:50 AM PST - DC Comics issued a press release announcing the new logo, post below, along with the cover of the first comic to sport the new logo, the May 25th release "DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy" #1.
Official Press Release
DC Comics, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company and the world's largest English-language publisher of comics, unveiled a new DC Comics company logo today that will appear on comic books, graphic novels and, for the first time ever, on films and television series based on DC properties. The new DC logo will make its first appearance on a DC Comics cover May 25 when the company publishes DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy #1 and will then appear on the entire DC line the following week. An animated version of the new DC logo premieres June 15 with the release of Batman Begins, the highly anticipated Warner Bros. Pictures film directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes and Morgan Freeman.
For more than 70 years, DC Comics has provided entertainment for every age group and interest. In 2005, DC Comics is entering a new phase of growth with the launch of an exciting line-up of new publishing projects, feature films, television programming, licensing ventures and collectible products. The new logo, created by Josh Beatman of Brainchild Studios, highlights DC Comics' ambitious media plans for the future and represents the latest step in Warner Bros. Entertainment and Time Warner's commitment to maximize the value and exposure of DC Comics.
"DC is a unique and powerful asset whose characters have long been exceptional performers for Warner Bros. with billions of dollars in cumulative sales," said Kevin Tsujihara, Executive Vice President, Corporate Business Development & Strategy, Warner Bros. Entertainment. "This new logo and branding program is a statement that the DC brand is a strategic asset and vital tool in our approach to creating and developing films, television, merchandising and games."
"For generations, comic book fans have been loving supporters of the DC brand: voting us their favorite publisher, counting on us to provide a universe of imagination and entertainment, and looking for our mark as an invitation to try new characters and titles," commented DC Comics President and Publisher Paul Levitz. "With the introduction of our new logo and a comprehensive branding program, we're inviting our fans in all media to continue to count on the DC brand standing for the best comics, classic characters and a fantastic creative experience."
2005 marks a particularly exciting year for DC across all media, including:
- Theatrical releases. In February, Warner Bros. Pictures released Constantine, directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz and Tilda Swinton. Based on the comic book Hellblazer, the film was the first to be based on a property from DC's Vertigo imprint and has grossed more than $200 million worldwide since its release. In June, Batman Begins will explore the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight's emergence as a force for good in Gotham City. This fall will see the release of another major motion picture based on DC comic books, V For Vendetta (based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd), starring Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving, produced by Joel Silver and the Wachowski Brothers from a script by the Wachowski Brothers. Production is also underway on Warner Bros. Pictures' Superman Returns, directed by Bryan Singer and starring Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey.
- Television programs. There are currently a record five television shows on the air based on DC Comics properties: The WB Network's hit drama Smallville (produced by Warner Bros. Television), three acclaimed Cartoon Network programs-Justice League Unlimited, Teen Titans and Krypto the Superdog-and, appearing on both Kids' WB! and Cartoon Network, The Batman. Warner Bros. Animation produces all of the animated series based on DC characters that air on Cartoon Network and Kids' WB!
- Home video. Warner Home Video has amassed an extensive library of DC Comics related releases, including DVDs of theatrical releases (including Superman: The Movie and Batman), live-action television shows (including Smallville, Wonder Woman and Lois & Clark), animated television shows (including The Batman, Static Shock and Challenge of the Super Friends) and direct-to-video projects (Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker and Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman).
- Video games. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, DC Comics and Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) will release a Batman Begins video game day and date with the film on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, the Nintendo GameCube(tm) and Game Boy® Advance. Electronic Arts is also developing computer and video games based on Superman.
- Comic books. Each month, DC Comics and imprints Vertigo and WildStorm publish more than 75 comic books, including perennial favorites Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and The Flash, and critically acclaimed series such as 100 Bullets, Y the Last Man and Ex Machina. In 2005, several of the comic industry's premier talents are bringing their distinctive talents to DC's iconic characters. In July, DC will unite two legends, Frank Miller (Sin City, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) and Jim Lee (Batman: Hush, Superman: For Tomorrow) for the new series All-Star Batman & Robin. The ongoing series will pair all-star creative teams with all-star characters to create memorable and dynamic adventures. In October, DC will publish Infinite Crisis, the most eagerly anticipated sequel in the history of comic books, to be written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Phil Jimenez. And in December, DC will unveil All-Star Superman by Grant Morrison (JLA) and Frank Quitely (X-Men).
- Graphic novels. DC will publish two powerhouse hardcover books this fall, Identity Crisis, a superhero murder mystery by New York Times bestselling writer Brad Meltzer, and The Quitter, a coming-of-age graphic novel by Harvey Pekar (American Splendor).
- Manga. CMX, DC's new imprint of manga graphic novels publishes all genres of manga including horror, fantasy, science fiction and adventure titles. Later this year, CMX will add the international bestselling Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne to its list, alongside titles such as Gals! and Monster Collection: The Girl Who Can Deal With Magic Monsters (based on the successful fantasy trading card game of the same name).
- DC Direct. DC Direct, DC Comics' own toy and collectibles brand, markets and distributes a wide variety of collectibles for pop culture enthusiasts, comic book fans and toy collectors alike. The product line includes action figures and statues of DC's most popular characters, including Batman, Superman, Green Lantern and Sandman, as well as collectible statues based on Cartoon Network's hit shows Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and Puffy AmiYumi.
- Global brand alliances. The DC brand reaches into all forms of pop culture, through relationships with powerful partners including Coca-Cola, Converse, Dolce & Gabbana, Hasbro, Mattel, Microsoft Xbox®, Monolith, Nintendo, Pepsi, Rocawear, Sony, Upper Deck, and Verizon. Warner Bros. Consumer Products licenses all of DC's major properties and this year a massive licensing program for Batman will dominate the retail environment.
As both a distinguished publisher and a vital creative development source, DC is a unique asset in the media world for both Warner Bros. Entertainment and Time Warner. DC has the ability to create properties that appeal to a wide-ranging audience, from preschoolers (Krypto) to adults (Constantine), and everyone in between. For decades, DC characters have permeated pop culture around the world and cutting edge graphic novels such as Watchmen and Sandman have altered the public's idea of the medium. 2005 marks the beginning of the next stage of the ongoing evolution of one of the media world's gems, DC Comics.