Batman is moving out of Gotham.
DC Entertainment’s publishing arm is planning to move out of New York City — the company’s original home since before Superman first jump-started the comic book industry in a single bound in 1938.
The move to Burbank, Calif., expected to take place in 2015, was announced to the staff in an internal memo from DC president Diane Nelson Tuesday afternoon — an email that was posted on comic news site Newsarama a few minutes later.
“Everyone on the New York staff will be offered an opportunity to join their Burbank colleagues,” Nelson stressed in the memo.
“There is nothing more to share at this time, this is a not an imminent move,” a rep for the publisher said in confirming the move the News.
Though the company has been based in New York since Major Malcolm Wheeler -Nicholson founded it as National Allied Publications in 1935, the balance of power in the industry has shifted from Metropolis to Hollywood in recent years.
Aside from being the original home of Batman’s publisher, New York City provided the inspiration for the fictional Gotham City.
The bulk of DC Entertainment moved out to Burbank in 2010 to be closer to parent company Warner Bros, and rival Marvel has a studio out on the West Coast, too. Included in this final move are DC’s comics division, the company’s Vertigo imprint and MAD magazine.
“We all smelled it in the air a long time ago, there’s such a focus on film and television nowadays, why wouldn’t they want the people making the decisions [on the characters] out on the West Coast,” says legendary Batman artist Neal Adams.
“The actual comics are becoming a smaller and smaller part of the business. I hope they’ll still be around in a few years.”
A successful Superman comic book might sell 100,000 copies. “Man of Steel” earned $663 million worldwide at the box office this summer.
There also hasn’t been a centralized comic book bullpen since the days when Clark Kent banged out his Daily Planet articles on a typewriter. Now, writers and artists send in their work from around the world by email.
“It may symbolically feel like the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn, but it’s not like comic book fans were visiting the DC offices anyway,” says Adams.