John Nee will be taking over as Publisher of Marvel Comics. As Publisher, Nee will be in charge of both Marvel Comics' digital and print comic series, overseeing quality control, marketing, and budget-management.
A veteran of the production side of the comic book and gaming industry, Nee has a long and distinguished career. He was President of Wildstorm Productions when the Image Comics imprint was sold to DC Comics by Jim Lee. Brought into DC Comics as a Vice President in 1998, he oversaw the development of the Wildstorm line and the CMX manga imprint, eventually being promoted to Senior Vice President of Business Development. Nee left DC Comics in 2010 to co-found game company Cryptozoic Entertainment, which he also served as Chief Executive Officer. Cryptozoic found tremendous success developing games based on popular properties, including Adventure Time, Rick and Morty and The Walking Dead.
ComicBook.com broke the news, which was formally announced by Dan Buckley - President of Marvel Entertainment. Buckley praised Nee's career, describing what made him perfect for the position of Publisher:
"John’s has a comprehensive background that makes uniquely qualified for this role. He has a depth and breadth of experience in gaming, consumer products, prose publishing, collectibles, and most importantly comics."
Buckley went on to lay out precisely what duties Nee will be taking up as Marvel Comics' Publisher:
"As the publisher, John will lead our business strategy for publishing as a whole and focus on growing the comics and prose business. All business aspects of publishing report up to John. Creative and editorial planning will still have oversight from C.B. Cebulski, Joe Quesada, and myself."
Nee's hiring is only the latest in a series of shifts that are shaking-up the management of Marvel Comics. Despite being recently ranked the #1 Comics Publisher in the world by Diamond Comic Distributors and Marvel's film division dominating the box-office, the company still lost money in 2017, and there are rumors it may be shutting down its animation division completely. While technically topping Diamond's sales charts for the year with Marvel Legacy #1, the company's publishing wing still saw sales on the whole drop. The company is also lagging behind when it comes to digital comic sales and in the trade-paperback market, where Marvel failed to have a single title make the list of 2017's Best Selling Graphic Novels.
Hopes are high, however, that John Nee may be the man to turn the tide for Marvel Comics. It remains to be seem, however, what changes Nee plans to make for the troubled publishing wing. For his part, Dan Buckley is optimistic about Marvel's future, promising great things to come in 2018:
"There are a lot of moving pieces from a tactical and strategic execution standpoint, but the simple answer is that we need to deliver compelling stories about our great characters that are produced by the best talent. These plans will reveal themselves over the coming weeks and months."