It has been almost fifteen years since I was last in the DC Comics offices at 1700 Broadway. Back then, the company spanned five floors, but over the years that has been whittled down to three. Come April, it will be none, as the company moves its operations out to California.
As this will be their last holiday season in New York, Manufacturing VP Alison Gill decided invite some "alumni" to her department's annual party. That list of folks included yours truly and since there are still a few people there who I know from the old days, I decided to accept the invitation.
I arrived a bit early and Alison graciously guided me through all three floors. Turned out there were more than a few people that I knew and I was greeted numerous times with smiles of delight and surprise. The most-often-made comments were along the lines of "I remember you with glasses and/or a mustache and/or hair!"
Virtually all the production work done on comics is electronic these days, so the folks in my former department sit at desks with computers rather than at art tables. In fact, there was not a page of original art in sight anywhere I went.
Gone as well was the stat room, which was a mainstay back when we had to rearrange art manually. And the film library -- all the negatives used to make printing plates for the comics dating back to the 1950s -- had long ago been shipped to a facility were it is midway through a five-year project of digitizing everything.
When we completed my tour, Alison and I sat and chatted for a few minutes and then headed over to a nearby pub for the party. I spent some time chatting with more familiar folks there, but then said my goodbyes in order to meet Chuck and Rebecca at Penn Station.
And there, just in case I hadn't had enough reminders of the twenty-five years I'd worked at DC, the Long Island Railroad was delaying and cancelling trains due to police activity. As it had on a number of past occasions, the commute home, which should have taken an hour, took two and a half.
|BobRo in the 1990s|
|The Answer Man, late 1970s|