Writer Paul Jenkins said "DC is in the toilet right now," and "[T]he worst part of all is that they bully their creators," in a long interview with Bleeding Cool explaining his reasons for leaving DC last week.  Jenkins first announced his departure in a post on Comic Book Resources, saying, "I’m going to remove myself from working for the foreseeable future with Marvel or DC, and I’ll be working exclusively from now on with BOOM! Studios.  I’m finally going to make myself happy again in the process." 

"The Big Two have removed their focus away from the creators and toward the maintenance of the characters," Jenkins said in his post, in which he lauded the creative freedom he had at BOOM!. 

But in the Bleeding Cool interview, Jenkins takes off the gloves, describing conflicts with editors at DC.  "I am appalled at the way in which creators are being bullied," he said, "and somewhat freaked out at the things I saw in my own time there.  I encountered more lies and veiled threats--more attempts to justify dysfunctional behavior and systems--than I have ever encountered in my career."

It’s affecting DC’s books, he said, which are being "destroyed by editorial interference perpetrated by unqualified project managers."

Jenkins was more charitable with Marvel, which he said is now interested only in cross-overs and not a fit for his writing.    

Jenkins is one of a long line of creators that have left the Big Two in recent months, some quietly, like James Robinson (see "James Robinson Ankles DC Comics"), and some more vocally, like Rob Liefeld (see "Liefeld Takes Swipe at DC Editor").

What is certain is that it’s hard to remember a time when so many significant creators were so publicly estranged from the two biggest employers in the comics business (with DC getting a bigger share of the vitriol).  Part of it is certainly that the balance of power has shifted, and now that the Big Two’s corporate owners are doing better at exploiting their properties, comics mean less than maintaining the characters that fuel those exploitations.  Another reason may be that the alternatives are doing better, with Image showing that it can support the biggest hit in the business, The Walking Dead, for its creator, at the same time as other hits from popular creators (e.g., Saga) also do well.  Digital is also providing another way to reach fans, as Chris Roberson, who left DC in a public way last year, has shown (see "Monkeybrain Launches Digital-First Line"). 

But it’s hard to shake the thought that the corporate ownership of the Big Two, and the stakes of the game now that their parents are making comic-based movies that cost medium-sized nine-figure numbers (Man of Steel reportedly cost $375 million to make, distribute, and market worldwide), may be fundamentally altering the kinds of comics they make and how they relate to the people that make them.