DC and Marvel Lose Digital Comics Executives at the Same Time
In what ICv2 has correctly characterized as a "curious coincidence," a state of affairs now exists by which DC Comics' former head of digital content, Ron Perazza, is now ideally positioned to replace Marvel's outgoing head of digital content, Ira Rubenstein. The latter has resigned to take a position at Fox, while the former declined a recent promotion and a move to Los Angeles to remain in New York City, where Marvel is based. At Marvel, Ira Rubenstein oversaw the creation of the publisher's Digital Comics Unlimited service, which offers thousands of comics from the Marvel archives in a subscription model by which fans can access the material on a web browser. Rubenstein also facilitated the company's content deals with digital sales distributors like comiXology, and launched Marvel content on a wide range of popular sites and channels like Xbox Live, Netflix, iTunes and YouTube. According to Variety, he's leaving for Fox to become that company's Vice President of Digital Marketing.
The creator of DC Comics' Zuda webcomics imprint and part of Jim Lee's digital brain trust, Ron Perazza decided recently not to accept promotion and relocation to Los Angeles, preferring to stay in New York, where Marvel is now looking for a digital comics guru. Neat.
Given the recent news that electronic books are now outselling traditional print books at Amazon, it seems more crucial than ever that the major comic book publishers solidify a digital strategy. Now is definitely not the time to have vacancies in these positions.