One of my first ‘business’ tasks at DC was helping to create the annual production schedule for 1974 or 1975, after proofreader Gerta Gattel retired. Gerta was a meticulous woman, had been responsible for a variety of schedules the company used. For whatever reason (the fact that I could keep track of such things in my fanzine? spreading the work around?) then-VP Sol Harrison asked me to help.
Impossible as it is to imagine from today’s perspective, when a combination of innovation, chaos, and constantly evolving mini-series make it appear that all comic publishers’ schedules are done in chalk, in those days, it was relatively likely that the year’s schedule could be designed, printed out, and left unchanged for most of the year. Maybe one title or two would get cancelled unexpectedly, and perhaps there’d be one burst of “everything is going monthly” or some other change.
One of the main tasks of the annual schedule was to balance out the special issues, by this period “giants” that would have extra pages filled with reprints, but usually keep the typical amount of original material in the front. The overall plan was to have a specific amount each month, in a pattern which had descended from the older G-numbered 80 Page Giants. Another was to orchestrate the 8x a year titles, a frequency DC used for a couple of decades that would end soon after. These came out every six weeks, reliably, so they basically appeared in two cover date months and then skipped the third.
If you wondered why WEIRD WAR TALES had a Giant in January, 1975, it was probably at least partially my fault.