Jenette Kahn was publisher and/or president of DC Comics for 26 years. It was a man’s world then and it kinda, sorta still is–but Kahn paid that situation little mind. She knew what needed to be done and did it. When the Comic Con faithful gather each year they owe a collective debt of gratitude to Kahn, who joined DC Comics at age 28 and absolutely blew the thing up. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman would never be the same post-Kahn. And then there was Watchmen, Hell Blazer and Sandman.
Jenette Kahn is credited with transforming the comics from a business primarily aimed at kids into an art form that appealed to adult imaginations–and, importantly, adult discretionary spending. Below is an hour with Kahn from last year at the Chicago Humanities Festival. If you love the genre you shouldn’t miss it. Kahn left DC Comics in 2002 to co-found Double Nickel Entertainment, a film production company. (Double Nickel may refer to Kahn’s age at the time of the founding–55.) Long before that she graduated from Harvard University.