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[illo by Jim Rugg]
Matt Bors and the Nib have created another job for a cartooner! The editorial cartoon segment of Medium is hiring an assistant editor::
The Nib has been around for almost a year now, publishing more than 20 comics a week, and we are continuing to grow. We’re looking for someone to join me and associate editor Eleri Harris as an editorial assistant to help run a comics vertical on a start-up publishing platform with big ambitions.
This is a part time position for 15–20 hours a week. So a few hours a day. We work remotely so it doesn’t matter where you’re based.
This sounds like an ideal position for…half the comics industry. Don’t swamp the site with your applications.
Medium, a platform for longer content, was launched last year by Twitter founder Ev Williams, and has been kicking around the Bay area Start Up arena for a while. They made news (well news at The Beat anyway) when they hired prize-winning editorial cartoonist Bors to edit their cartoon section, The Nib, and more when they hired an assistant, Eleri Harris. And now a whole staff. God bless start ups.
Several job openings at Marvel — both in Burbank and New York.
You’ll notice that several of them are in the games division. I’ve confirmed that a couple of weeks ago there were some layoffs at Marvel Interactive due to some restructuring, including the VP of games, TQ Jefferson. The number of people who left was in the single digits and reflects a new way of working with licensing partners, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Although this seems like weird timing in light of the huge success of Guardians of the Galaxy, obviously they are hiring new people who fit in with the new direction. Marvel Interactive mostly dealt with mobile games and the like including that Facebook Avengers game that people still give me gifts for even though I haven’t played it in two years. Gaming is a pretty volatile industry, as I’m sure everyone in it knows. Anyway, good luck to those job hunting, whatever the reason!
Hello people, as you may have noticed the Indie Sales Chart has been getting later and later, and that’ usually a sign that the writer is moving on. After a pioneering stint, Chris Rice and his good friend Paul Mellerick are riding into the sunset to enjoy a life of Pimms Cups and garden parties.
So that means we need a new sales chart person to cover the indies!
Chris will provide guidance and his database to the lucky gal or guy!
Think you’ve got what it takes? Email me with “INDIE CHART ANALYST” in the subject to comicsbeat at gmail dot com
PLease note that as of now this is an unpaid volunteer position.
Monkeybrian co-publisher Alison Baker has been one of the smart people in and around comics for a while, and now IDW has done something smart themselves by hiring her as their Director of Operations. (Greg Goldstein remains Chief Operating Officer.) Baker’s background in media and operations gives her the kind of wide ranging experience that The Beat, personally, likes to see come into comics. Congrats to Allison!
IDW Publishing is very pleased to announce that Allison Baker will be joining the publisher as Director of Operations. Allison’s primary role will be coordinating and expediting the operation of IDW Publishing’s ever-increasing production schedule, working directly with the Editorial and Production departments, as well as the newly formed IDW Games division.
Allison is the co-publisher and co-founder of Monkeybrain, Inc., originally founded as a traditional print independent book publisher specializing in science fiction & fantasy and nonfiction genre studies. In 2012, Monkeybrain launched a new creator-owned digital comics line, Monkeybrain Comics, which has garnered several Eisner Award nominations, including an Eisner Award win for Best Digital Series in 2013.
“I’ve been impressed with Allison’s skill set since we started working with her, publishing the Monkeybrain titles,” said Ted Adams, IDW CEO and Publisher. “When this position opened up, she was the first person I thought of, and I’m excited she was able to accept it. We’re all looking forward to what she can bring to the table at IDW.”
“I am beyond thrilled to be joining the IDW team,” said Allison. “IDW publishes so many fantastic comics for so many different kinds of readers, and really strives to discover new ways to deliver them to audiences. A diverse comics field is a healthy one, and I’m delighted to be a part of that in any way I can.”
The most important qualities in an ideal Director of Operations are flexibility and a wide range of expertise. Allison’s experience in both the publishing and entertainment industry certainly fit the bill. She held the position of Director of Operations for Robert Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios from 2002 to 2005, and for the last eight years served as Director of Production at Joe Slade White and Co., an award-winning political media consultancy firm that produces radio and television spots for political campaigns, initiatives, and corporations on city, state, and national levels. Most recently, Allison has become well known for writing the column “Allison Types” for Comic Book Resources.
ViaEXCLUSIVE: Monkeybrain’s Allison Baker Joins IDW as Director of Operations – Comic Book Resources
Word on the street is that Valiant has a lot of new stuff coming down the pike, and perhaps to run the paving machine for both the street and the pike, they’ve promoted Warren Simons to Editor-in-Chief. His previous title was Executive Editor. Since the company’s relaunch in 2011, Wimons has been in charge of book including X-O Manowar, Harbinger, Bloodshot, Archer & Armstrong, Unity, Rai, and more. In his new role as Editor-in-Chief, Simons will continue to preside over all day-to-day operations of Valiant’s editorial department, and manage Valiant’s growing editorial team, which was just boosted by the addition of former DC assistant editor Kyle Andrukiewicz. CBR has the promotion interview that has a nice snapshot of Valiant’s progress so far:
Over the next month or so, we’ll have announcements coming up that will be some of the biggest books that Valiant’s ever done. We have some absolute monsters coming down the line. I can’t get into it too much, but I will say that I am extremely, extremely excited for what we have. It’s a couple different projects I’m working on — the scripts have been terrific, we have some monster artists lined up. So I feel like the best is yet to come. We’re really happy with what we accomplished, I’m really happy with the books. But I want to make sure that the comic we put out tomorrow is better than the one we put out yesterday.
Everyone we talked to who works for Valiant in recent weeks has seemed pretty complimentary about working for the company, and Simons should be taking some of the credit for that.
Alert the media! Everyone was excited last year when Award-winning cartoonist Matt Bors got hired by the Medium to edit an actual comics page, The Nib, the cartooning world stood up and cheered at an editorial cartoonsits getting a paying job. And not he’s turned around and hired another cartoonist! Tasmanian transplant Eleri Mai Harris has just been hired as Associate Editor for The Nib and will help with finding contributors, editing comics as well as penning her her comics.
The Beat first met Harris at Career Day at CCS, where was was studying, and were immediately impressed by her background—print journalism—and how she had applied it to comics. Journalistic comics are a growing field, and it’s the smart people like Bors and HArris who are making it happen.
You can see Harris’s own comics at her site. I like this one about the history of the New Hampshire primary. Comics help us learn!
World traveller, gourmet and beer enthusiast CB Cebulski is moving to an international business development role at Disney/.Marvel. In between tweeting and (in the past) blogging about eating everything from wagyu burgers to porcini larvae, and traveling the globe, Cebulski has filled the role of talent scout and developer at Marvel for years, going to shows from Atlanta to Zagrab to Singapore to somewhere in China I can’t even spell to find comics talent. CEbulski told Bleeding Cool:
I have indeed accepted a new position within Marvel. One that will keep me in NYC, I’m happy to say. But not on fewer planes; I may be traveling even more now. My job has been slowly and naturally shifting away from Publishing, more towards international business development over the years as is, and that’s more of where I’ll be focusing my efforts within the company going forward. I won’t be leaving Publishing totally behind, but working more across all of Marvel’s lines of business from here on out.
One area where I will unfortunately have to pass the baton is talent recruitment. I will no longer be the guy out in the artist alleys at cons looking for pencilers, painters, inkers, colorists and designers. Someone else will soon be stepping into that position. But I’ll still be out there on Twitter offering advice when and where I can and doing my best to help people get their foot in the Marvel door. That’s just something that’s in my blood. I’ve had all my dreams come true by working at Marvel and still want to help others have the same experience.
All the hopeful writers and artists can rest assured, they will be in the most capable of hands. And I’ll be keeping an eye on things, just like the Watcher always… oh, wait…
Over the years, Cebulski’s role increasingly transitioned to working directly on Disney-related matters for Marvel—given his nutty travel schedule I was beginning to wonder of he secretly worked for the CIA—so the move seems like a natural. He definitely help pioneer the idea of comics as a global profession, however, and the many European and Asian artists working at Marvel and elsewhere are proof of the worldwide reach.
I’m so no matter what his role at Marvel, Cebulski will continue to send us food pics from everywhere. And congrats on what sounds like a promotion!
Clearly DC was not taken aback by Bob Wayne’s official announcement of his retirement, as the new SVP of Sales and Business Development was waiting in the wings. 16 year WB vet and former Warner Home Entertainment VP Derek Maddalena will fill the role, and as the PR suggests, pick up some tips from Wayne before he takes the role over in Burbank. ICv2 has some well-reasoned analysis of the hire, as Maddalena wisely has no social media trail to Google. I’d throw in that Maddalena comes from WB topper Kevin Tsujihara’s former domain in home vid and digital, so I’d guess that they are pals.
As many have noted after looking at this photo provided by CBR, Maddalena will, at least, fit in with the shaved head, bearded look favored by so many in the comics and retailing industry. This is a good start as Wayne’s shoes will be very difficult to fill. As one industry type I was chatting with over the weekend at BEA noted, “even when Bob told retailers ‘Here’s some horrible crap” they clapped and cheered.”
DC Entertainment announced today that Derek Maddalena has joined the company as Senior Vice President, Sales and Business Development. The announcement was made by DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, to whom Maddalena will report.
Maddalena joins DC Entertainment from the Warner Home Entertainment Group where he was Vice President, Sales & Trade Marketing for Home Video and Digital Distribution. A 16-year Warner Bros. veteran, Derek brings with him considerable experience in creating comprehensive cross-divisional sales strategies and a wealth of knowledge of the vast WB film, TV, and animation libraries.
“Derek’s strong familiarity with DC Entertainment’s characters and stories through his work on the entire DC catalog film library and most recently last year’s Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics original documentary make him a great fit for this new position,” stated DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee.
The Co-Publishers continued “We look forward to working with Derek to expand readership in both physical and digital channels, create comprehensive sales strategies to strengthen and broaden DC Entertainment’s reach with our existing valued distribution partners, and work with WB division partners to maximize opportunities for DC themed content.”
“As a lifelong fan of DC Entertainment’s characters and stories I’m thrilled to join the company and look forward to working closely with Dan, Jim and the team to further grow the business and bring comics to an even broader audience,” stated Maddalena.
In the coming months Maddalena will work closely with Senior Vice President of Sales Bob Wayne and the teams in Burbank and New York to ensure a seamless transition of the sales and business development functions.
This week saw digital comic publisher Graphicly announce that they have been acquired by Blurb, a book publisher who will be subsequently folding the comics section of Graphicly. The question, however, is if the move means that the many creators – self-publishers and small-press – who used Graphicly will be paid the money that the company owes them, or if the acquisition effectively ends this avenue for small-press comics.
Note: Graphicly have not yet responded to my requests for comment.
Over the last few years, Graphicly have slowly been shutting down their comic-related operations – you may remember that they used to own iFanboy, but withdrew from the site last year. They have since downplayed their comics work frequently, as their attention seems to have shifted internally from one purpose to another. This week’s news marks a final step away from being involved in comics, as the announcement states that within thirty days they’ll have withdrawn all their comics content.
Publishers have been told by the company that they will be added to a list creditors, and will ultimately be paid off with the money raised from the acquisition. But what’s interesting is that, as far as I’m aware, many creators and small-press publishers haven’t actually been paid by Graphicly at any point in their existence.
Speaking to Marc Ellerby, the writer/artist who also co-founded Great Beast Comics in the UK – which offer books by well-known people like Isabel Greenberg, Robert Ball, Adam Cadwell and Dan Berry - he told me:
I published Ellerbisms with them in January 2013, a few months after the paperback came out. It’s done quite well, reaching #2 in the UK Kindle chart for graphic novels. Despite this, I have never received any payment from Graphicly despite repeated emails of enquiry.
This was backed up by several other sources, including this piece over at Bleeding Cool by Rich Johnston. A common theme amongst writers, artists and publishers on social media was that they had never seen any money from Graphicly. From the piece by Johnson, Dave Dellocese says:
While it wasn’t monumental cash we’re talking about, I will say it’s disappointing. Graphicly’s whole pitch was ‘one fee’ to them for conversions to various platforms and anything you sell is your profit (After fees like iTunes, Nook, etc). While it may not have been mortgage money in our case, there was money spent to do this and the money we earned in return remained in limbo.
The idea of Graphicly was that the people making comics paid a one-off fee to host their comics there, and Graphicly would provide a boost of attention for them – the more places people can find your comics, the more places people have a chance to buy and read your comics. Every sale you then made would go straight to you, without Graphicly skimming anything from the top.
In terms of attention and spotlight, writer Mike Garley told me that publishing on Graphicly had been a success for him:
I published a couple of issue #1s (VS Comics and Dead Roots) through Graphicly in December 2012. The process was problematic as well as being fairly costly from the get-go. I was hoping that the increased exposure would help get my comics in front of more people, and in fairness I was pretty happy to hear how many people picked up copies.
Anybody seeing your comics is good news, but -
BUT – and it’s a big but – I’ve never received ANY money from sales. The analytics were poor and made tracking sales difficult so it was difficult to prove anything and they [Graphicly] were always aloof through email.
With no real way to chase the matter I stopped using their services.
Which mirrors previous statements in the Bleeding Cool article – the system for tracking how many sales you make through Graphicly wasn’t functioning in any kind of coherent fashion for the people tracking them. As a result Graphicly were able to downplay any requests for owed money.
That is, if they responded to you at all – as Ellerby says:
In general, there was zero contact from the company.
With the acquisition from Blurb now taking place, there have been suggestions that Blurb will now use the assets from Graphicly and venture into digital comics themselves – although the company currently denies this, a second Bleeding Cool article (who are being typically strong in their reporting of creators rights issues) suggests that there is more going on than we’re being told.
Regardless of what Blurb may be intending though, let’s focus on Graphicly. The common experience being stated over Twitter and on comment threads responding to the news is that many people who hosted their comics there never saw a penny. Digital comics are a developing industry, and we have companies like ComiXology, Sequential and Madefire trying to establish and grow a market. We’re also seeing initiatives like Thrillbent and Monkeybrain offer small-press writers and artists the chance to hit a bigger market, grow an audience, and find a little funding.
We also seem to be in a time where nobody knows if Graphicly will pay the money they owe to a large number of creators. As Garley now says:
As much as I hate to say it, I doubt that anyone will see any money from them now.
There is every chance that Graphicly will come out in the following weeks and compensate people fairly. There’s every chance they won’t. Please let The Beat know your own experiences with Graphicly, whether they be positive or negative.
Along those same lines, DC’s Burbank office is totally ramping up — although not in editorial, where the biggest defection is coming. and in some pretty big jobs — a VP of Development, a VP of publicity (possibly the position Alex Segura’svacated when he went back to Archie?) Even interns if you want to be the next Joe Kubert or Paul Levitz.
Communications Coordinator - Entertainment and Media Industr…
Of all these, the VP, Development sounds the most interesting—it’s a lot like Gregory Noveck’s old position, but souped up for the media era:
Supports portfolio/publishing development and synergy for DC Comics, Vertigo and MAD Magazine, working alongside CCO and Franchise Management.
Works directly with Publishing to insure synergy within company.
Reviews proposals, outlines and scripts from editorial, determining their media potential.
Keeps Creative Affairs team current, informed and involved in development across all divisions and helps in transition from development to production.
Writes and develops pitches, character and concept summaries based on DC Comics properties for all DCE platforms.
Reviews archives for under-utilized assets in order to capitalize on market trends and popularity.
Works on the strategic slate of development in television, animation, film, games, digital programming, theme parks and live theater including the following:
•Cable: Internal strategic slate planning, expanded to external development to pilot.
•Network television: Internal strategic slate planning, expanded to external development to pilot.
•In live action television, specifically, discusses and provides notes regarding character usage looking at the entire DCE portfolio and makes recommendations for modifications as appropriate.
•Represents DCE in local television and other relevant WB strategic development meetings. •Animation: Internal strategic slate planning, including Direct-To-Videos.
•Film: Internal strategic slate planning.
•Video Games: Internal strategic slate planning. •
Digital: Internal strategic development slate.
•Theme Park: Strategic development slate, working with VP, Creative Services.
•Live Theatrical Ventures: Development.
Organizes and prioritizes work of self and subordinates.
Maintains DCE synergy on all projects.
Researches and coordinates various projects as assigned.
Performs other related duties as assigned.
- College degree in Media or other applicable related field.
- College degree in Art or related field or equivalent professional experience desired.
- Minimum of 8+ years’ professional experience required in television development/production.
- Experience with writing notes on treatments/scripts/outlines/concept documents required.
- Experience with character, story and property long-term planning required.
- Previous experience managing others required.
- In depth knowledge of television industry, including the development and production processes.
- Ability to create and develop written materials.
- Must be a conceptual thinker.
- Proven and effective collaboration and relationship building skills.
- Familiarity with current DCE projects.
- Proven and effective supervisory skills.
- Proven and effective organizational skills.
- Proven and effective problem-solving and team building skills.
- Must be able to maintain project confidentiality.
- Must be enthusiastic, energetic and a team player.
- Must be flexible.
- Must be able to handle multiple tasks.
- Must have the ability to work under time constraints and work independently.
- Work extends beyond traditional work hours.
When DC announced their move to Burbank, I was told the first name on the list of people who weren’t going was SR VP of Sales, Bob Wayne. Wayne was already near retirement age, and had been dealing with some health issues. Plus he pretty much invented everything that we know about the current direct sales market…so why add another disruptive move to his CV when he’d done it all already?
It’s being reported that Wayne confirmed his retirement following 28 years of service at DC at the recent Diamond Summit—despite the same website previously reporting he was moving. Well, this time I chose to believe the reports.
Bob is just about the last of the founding father of the comics shop era to remain in a position of power, and once he leaves everything will truly change. It was going to change no matter what, so I hope Bob enjoys his VERY well deserved retirement to Texas at long last. (I’m told Diamond retailer summits used to be held in Texas just so Wayne could visit his old haunts.)
It’s pretty impossible to overstate the importance of Bob Wayne to the direct sales market. He was the single most influential voice to comics retailers. At a previous summit, I noted that a picture of an actress in a bikini elicited tepid enthusiasm, while a photo of BOB WAYNE ON THE COVER OF MAD MAGAZINEdrew raucous cheers.
Why the mad love? Bob understood comics retailers and their issues as no one else did, and spoke their language. Perhaps it was his background as a shop owner himself in Texas, he knew the sweat of unpacking boxes and the excitement of seeing a new issue of your favorite character. Setting up an actual department to call up retailers and get them to order more copies of books? Offering returnability on risky issues? Giveaways like posters, co-ops, Green Lantern rings? All things that Wayne invented or championed. While Marvel adopted a more “tough love” approach to retailers—and remained the #1 publisher most months—Wayne and his people were always there to listen and to hold hands. It’s not a question of why they weren’t number 1 during Wayne’s tenure, but how much bigger the gap with Marvel would have been had Wayne not been there.
For conspiracy theorists, there’s also the fact that things Bob Wayne didn’t like—formats, genres—tended to be looked at as risky long after other places had proved they weren’t. Whether this was just Bob’s caution or his canny reading of retailers’ likes and dislike is up to historians to judge.
Wayne’s departure from DC when it moved as, as mentioned, pretty much a given among everyone I’ve spoken with. I’m sure DC’s Burbank managers already have a “replacement” plan although Bob is definitely irreplaceable. I know a bunch of folks from the sales department are making the move, so there will be some continuity. I understand there is a new DC exec who replaced the departing John Rood, but when I asked back in December I was told that DC’s retail operations would stay under co-publisher Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. However I was also told that “Bob Wayne isn’t going any where!” so…
I don’t get the feeling that the Burbank Warners establishment has any desire to deal with the quirks and individualized complaints of comics retailers—where every bent corner requires an apology and a pledge—and WB is ditching every other magazine department, so we’re unlikely to see anyone every develop this particular skill set again.
One thing is for sure, nothing about comics retailing will ever be the same. With Bob’s retirement, it’s like when Gandalf went to the Grey Havens. The little hobbitses will have to fend for themselves in the Age of (Studio)Men.
On a personal note, although we’ve had our testy exchanges, as did everyone who knew Bob, he’s one of my oldest friends in the business, and I’ll never forget the time he drove me and some pals to Stonehenge. Or our lunch at that dreadful restaurant in Bristol on the same trip. Or many other things, like him showing me a pile of cookies at a San Diego con. I hope he gets the relaxation and rest he deserves. And I know he’ll be watching the unfolding of comics with a wry grin and a tart observation. I hope we get to hear a few of them!
Peter Levin, a behind the scenes type who has had a hand in everything from Deadline to Angry Birds to Nerdist to Comixology, is joining Lionsgate to oversee their video game and interactive activities. It will be a bit more visible than a lot of his roles, but he has a lot to work with — franchises like The Expendables, Hunger Games, Divergent, etc etc etc (Although the game rights for some of those may lie elsewhere.) Anyway, expect more of the Levin touch from this move.
In a move to continue expanding its content into new lines of business, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the premier next generation global content leader, has named renowned games and digital media entrepreneur Peter Levin to be President of Interactive Ventures and Games, the Company announced today. Mr. Levin will report to Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer with dotted line reporting to Lionsgate Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Barge for all digital investments.
Mr. Levin will be responsible for expanding Lionsgate’s content creation into video games and other interactive ventures, including incubation of new properties, investment in existing games and digital media vehicles and leveraging Lionsgate’s franchises and other branded properties into the gaming space.
Mr. Levin most recently served as CEO and Co-Founder of Nerdist Industries, a multiplatform creator of digital content including a premium content YouTube channel, a news division, a sizable social media footprint and a network of podcasts. Previously, as executive advisor to Japanese media juggernaut Yoshimoto Kogyo, MAG Interactive, digital comic and graphic novel platform comiXology and Rovio Entertainment, Levin has been associated with some of the most valuable game franchises in the world, including Angry Birds.
“Peter is a perfect fit for our entrepreneurial culture, and he is ideally qualified to lead the continued growth of our content business into the video game space and other interactive digital ventures,” said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer. “Gaming has become one of the most explosive growth areas of the content business, and Peter’s mandate will be to build a portfolio of premium digital properties as we expand our leadership in films and television programming into digital content as well.”
The Company noted that consumer spending on mobile and social games increased by 130% last year.
“I’ve known Jon Feltheimer for many years, and the chance to become part of one of the most entrepreneurial, dynamic and visionary studios in the world is impossible to pass up,” said Levin. “As the home of intellectual property like The Hunger Games, Twilight and Divergent franchises and a diversified portfolio of television programming, Lionsgate’s opportunities to extend its leadership and innovation into the gaming space and other interactive platforms is limitless.”
Mr. Levin began his career in the Corporate Advisory Group at Creative Artists Agency and subsequently worked in the Corporate and Strategic Planning groups at the Walt Disney Company, where he also served as a senior producer for Disney Online.
He has also served as managing director of Lynx Technologies, a venture capital vehicle focused on early stage companies. Lynx’s investments included Applied Semantics (sold to Google), Gamespy Industries (sold to IGN), Ask.com (sold to IAC) and Atom Entertainment (sold to Viacom).
Prior to founding Nerdist, he was President and Co-Founder of Bellrock Media Inc., a mobile and broadband entertainment company creating and distributing premium content for mobile and broadband platforms throughout North America and Japan. Bellrock was backed by a consortium of Intel Capital, Dentsu, Softbank and DoCoMo.
Are you going to C2E2? The Beat is not for the FIRST TIME. Torsten will be there for all the inside story as only Torsten can cover it, but if you have a hankering to listen to people make awkward banter about upcoming comics and then race to feverishly type it up, you may be just the person we’re looking for! If you’d be interested in covering it for The Beat, email me at comicsbeat at gmail dot com.
I’m also looking for writers for San Diego. I cannot get you a hotel room or pay your airfare but you will get a four day press badge if you are accepted, and access to media events. I’ve begun putting together our team, and it’s going to be stellar!
We’re also looking for more regular writers, seeing as the last batch we had have all graduated to running major news sites, becoming online editors for newspapers and getting award nominations. So time for the next generation to step in. I view writing for the Beat as a partnership—I’m looking for fresh viewpoints and insights, and a passionate love for comics. In particular, I’d like to run more reviews—we get a ton of material here that just isn’t being covered, and although I know a lot of people think that reviews are a mugs game, I think well-written reviews have a place.
Sadly this is not a lucrative business, however I’m going to work up some kind of rev share model for payment. Be forewarned, the rev you share will not buy more than a peanut butter sandwich…which is what I had for dinner! See, partnership!
These are exciting times for comics and I’m excited to see the voices emerging to talk about this time. As always, I am especially open to diverse viewpoints. Comicsbeat at gmail dot com
Dynamite Entertainment, located in Mt. Laurel, NJ, has a couple of job openings. Requirements below — interested parties should respond to the address listed here.
Summary of Position
Dynamite is currently seeking an experienced salesperson familiar with comic book related material. No off site applications will be considered.
1.3+ years experience in the comic book field.
2.Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
3.Organizational and time-management skills to prioritize workload to meet required deadlines.
4.Strong communication, multitasking and organizational skills are essential.
5.Must be self-motivated with a strong desire to develop existing skills.
SUMMARY OF POSITION
Dynamite is currently seeking a bookkeeper experienced with project accounting, financial statements and financial analysis, order processing and royalty reporting. Strong communication, multitasking and organizational skills are essential. No off site applications will be considered.
1.Preparing financial statements
2.Processing accounts payable and accounts receivable
4.Managing bank and general ledger reconciliation including payroll processing
5.Preparing quarterly tax filings and royalty statements
6.Tracking fixed assets and preparing depreciation schedules
7.Additional tasks required by our Senior Accounting officer
1.Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or Finance
2.3+ years of experience
3.Must be proficient in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word and Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise.
[Eddie Berganza and Bob Harras seen in a video still from CBR.]
CBR has a pretty confident report that four of DC’s top brass will be moving to Cali when the big exodus happens in 2015: co-publisher Dan DiDio, editor-in-chief Bob Harras, Vertigo executive editor Shelly Bond and group editor Eddie Berganza. Even among those “in the know” confirmations of comings and goings have been hard to come by, although Berganza and DiDio always seemed like naturals. I never had any question that Bond would go because she’s a trooper all the way. Harras has been a big question mark, but as far as I know, his kids are pretty grown up, which is usually a big factor in going westward ho or not.
Not mentioned, Bobbie Chase, the managing editor, so make of that what you will. I don’t like to speculate about people here because this is a very personal matter, although all decisions have been made and, theoretically, announced.
Confirmed exits from DC since this all began include Mike Marts and Wil Moss to Marvel, and Alex Segura back to Archie. Vertigo’s Will Dennis seems to be on the NYC list, as is Mark Doyle who’s filling in on the Bat books in the interim.
It’s said to be very disconcerting for talent not to know who will be running what in a year’s time. And in general this whole year is just a big wheel spinning time for DC, as people prepare to uproot their lives and “interim” becomes a way of life.
A few folks have pointed out to me that the last batch of DC emigrés to the West Coast didn’t last long. The entire digital department moved west back in 2010, and then they all moved back or got other jobs, including Ron Perazza, now at Marvel, and Kwanza Johnson, now outside comics. It’s likely that was a personal matter for most, but it is ironic. Anyway, at least the office parties will be awesome.
When Marvel’s Lauren Sankovitch left Marvel to pursue West Coast job ops, we were all sad to be losing a fine comics editor. Happily she is still keeping a toe in the game, as this release from the CBLDF reveals that she’ll be editing this year’s Liberty Annual, a fund-raising anthology published by the fund each year. So yay for Lauren! We may hear her karaoke yet again!
Included in the CBLDF release is news of their expanded efforts with retailer members and a very successful fundraising drive at the recent ComicsPRO meeting. All good news, as the CBLDF does a fantastic job of keeping free speech issues at the forefront of comics.
Oh yeah, the other major news coming out of ComicsPRO, was the return of Paul Levitz, former publisher and president at DC Comics. Levitz stepped down as President a couple of years ago, although remaining on as a writer, but evidently his contract is over and instead of just sticking it out at his typewriter, he’s back at Boom Studios, joining their board of directors. What will he do there? According to the ABC story, “assist and consult with the publisher on various ideas, topics and pursuits” which is about as incredibly vague as you can get. Still, given that Levitz’s knowledge of the comics industry is second to none, do you really need to know more?
Levitz will continue with his writing, teaching and possibly scripting for DC.
Speaking of Levitz, he’ll be reading from his upcoming book on Will Eisner as part of Will Eisner Week, tonight at Parsons in NYC.
HBO Go co-founder Jeff DiBartolomeo has joined Comixology as chief technology officer. In case you hadn’t figured out that a) ComiXology hs the income for a significant hire and b) digital comics are a frontier medium.
DiBartolomeo said other companies had asked him “to recreate what we did at HBO Go, but I didn’t want to work for followers.” He said, “My background was perfect for Comixology. I began at HBO Go when it was a startup that started with a brainstorming session between three guys with a whiteboard.” He also emphasized that “HBO Go is a multiplatform distributor of content for mobile, Xbox, TV, and other platforms, and Comixology is much the same. It’s a different medium, but it’s also about how to give the consumer infinite possibilities for consuming media.”
His job as CTO is to “keep driving innovation in reading and shopping for comics and to improve the usefulness of the experience.” In addition, he’s responsible for “scaling up the platform domestically and internationally. My job is also to make sure the technology team itself is scalable. We’re moving from a startup mode to a new phase of explosive growth at Comixology.”
All right then.
Marvel’s SVP associate publisher Ruwan Jayatilleke has been let go, CBR reports. An 8-year Marvel veteran, Jayatilleke was promoted in 2011 and was behind many of their new business initiatives over that period, including the Stephen King and Halo graphic novels, and most recently, working on the digital and trade book businesses.
Although better known behind the scenes, Jayatilleke was a frequent message board poster, as a recent post here revealed. He was also looking forward to debuting Marvel’s new and still veiled #1 initiative at SXSW
While the factors behind Jayatilleke’s departure aren’t known, it’s part of a recent pattern of top level executive departures for Marvel, mostly due to budgetary decrees by legendary penny pincher chairman Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter. In 2012, SVP of Integrated Sales and Marketing, Publishing and Digital Media John Dokes was let go, and in 2011 it was Chief Operating Officer Jim Sokolowski. Being a high-level business exec at Marvel seems to be a fairly perilous job.
Jayatilleke was formerly at Scholastic and has a strong portfolio under his belt. As they say, he should land on his feet and we wish him well.
Consider it official, Joshua Fialkov is definitely off his Green Lantern books. DC’s Alex Segura has tweeted the new writers.
That would be Van Jensen of Pinocohio, Vampire Slayer (and more famously, of PW Comics World) with a plotting assist from Venditti on Green Lantern Corps and Charles Soules of 27 (excellent comic, BTW) and having his first issue of Swamp Thing ship next month on Red Lanterns.
So one new writer to the DCU, another new-ish writer getting a second book.
What happened to Fialkov? In his own words:
Just a quick note to confirm what everyone knows, I am no longer the writer of GLC and Red Lanterns for DC Comics. There were editorial decisions about the direction of the book that conflicted with the story I was hired to tell, and I felt that it was better to let DC tell their story the way they want. I’m grateful for the opportunity and I’ll miss working with the entire Green Lantern team.
That’s pretty clear and up front.
While rewrites may not have been the exact issue here, you can spend an awful lot of time rewriting scripts (and not getting paid for the rewrites) if editorial changes their mind about where the story is going. It also can make it counter-productive to get ahead on your scripts, from the perspective of hours spent on a title.
It seems like a good day for announcements about leaving DC titles. First news breaks that Andy Diggle has left Action Comics. There are now two reports that Joshua Fialkov has left Green Lantern Corps and Red Lanterns.
Bleeding Cool cites “repeated editorial changes to already-approved directions” and Comic Book Resources cites “creative differences.” Sounds like independent confirmation.
DC has not replied to a query about this, but they may want replacement writers lined up before making a formal announcement.
It’s a little hard to say how far ahead Fialkov was on the scripts, but this makes 3 titles where the writer has left before the first issue hit the stands. This is also not to say Fialkov is hurting for work. He’s been writing the Alpha mini-series for Marvel and will be writing The Ultimates for Marvel’s Ultimate line starting with #25 in June.
That’s all anybody knows at the moment, but it sure does make you wonder if he’s crossing the street to Marvel. It also creates a new context for a two week old tweet:
Although he did have “TWO books” at DC, so maybe it’s related and maybe it’s not. Either way, it’s interesting.
Andy Diggle has left Action Comics. His first issue was #19. The whispers I’m hearing from high places are that Tony Daniel will be taking over as writer (in addition to artist) with issue #20.
Here’s how it played out on Twitter:
With confirmation from DC’s Alex Segura:
That’s quite a turn of events. I was very curious to see what Diggle was going to do with Superman, but those tweets suggest some serious creative differences. Tony Daniel surprised a lot of people with his sales on Detective Comics. (Remember how many months Detective #1 kept showing up in the top 300 comics?) It more when he was going to return to writer/artist than if.
What does this mean for the future? Daniel is confirmed as writer for remainder of the _arc_. It’s possible Daniel winds up as regular writer and it’s equally possible DC is shopping for a new writer as you’re reading this.
A developing situation and we’ll wait for the official announcement on issue #20.
I think we can finally throw some dirt on the coffin of the Neil Gaiman – Todd McFarlane lawsuit. The New York Times has announced that Gaiman’s Angela character (created for Spawn with Todd McFarlane, back in 1992), one of the objects of dispute, has moved over to Marvel. Nothing says “the legal battle is over” like going back about your business — in this case, placing the character in a universe and making her active again.
According to the Times, Angela will make some sort of appearance at the end of Age of Ultron. This sounds like it’s probably the sequence Joe Quesada is drawing.
“We were looking for a good entry point to tease our fans and to let them know she was going to be a major player,” he said. “Age of Ultron,” an event storyline that involves many of Marvel’s top heroes, seemed like the perfect spot. With so many big stories spoiled by the media (with the willing cooperation of the comic book companies) lately, Axel Alonso, the editor in chief of Marvel Comics, insisted the revelation of Angela’s participation did not count as a spoiler. Her presence is a bonus, “like the post-credit scenes in one of our Marvel studio movies,” Mr. Alonso said. The character’s appearance in “Age of Ultron” is designed to whet the appetite of fans.
After that, Angela will be popping up in Guardians of the Galaxy #5. The bigger news being that Gaiman will be co-writing that issue with Brian Bendis. Marvel’s listing of this, doesn’t say if Angela is joining the Guardians or if Gaiman is writing more than one issue… but you’d think they’d tell you if Gaiman was going to be the regular co-writer. That’s bigger news than the Angela character turning up.
Marvel is spending a lot of time promoting the Guardians comic ahead of the film. Blade never got this kind of push. And speaking of that, the second GoG Infinity comic is up at Comixology. This one features Rocket Raccoon. There’s a little more going on in this one and it takes advantage of the Infinity format much better than the first installment did. It’s also free.
The other interesting thing is that Angela’s character, coming out of the Spawn universe, was very much an Angel. A bounty hunter for Heaven. Marvel has tended to shy away from Judeo-Christian characters, opting more for the likes of Thor and Hercules. It will be interesting to see how Angela’s origins are portrayed in this incarnation.
Looking to work in comics? There are quite a few openings at DC Entertainment—most of them in the Burbank office — but this one in NYC for Editorial Scheduling Coordinator might be the most nerve-wracking, as the job description is a detailed rundown of tracking and scheduling and resolving discrepancies. There’s also this:
Must have the ability to communicate effectively and tactfully with managers and other levels of personnel.
Tact — a wonderful skill to have indeed.
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After roughly a three year absence, Dynamite is returning to the Project Superpowers universe with the July debut of The Owl. The title will be written by J.T. Krul, currently writing Superman Beyond for DC and Jirni for Aspen. Heubert Khan Michael, recently drawing Vampirella, will be the artist.
Project Superpowers ran primarily from 2008-2010, with a few spin-offs like Black Terror. It was driven by Alex Ross and Jim Krueger, reviving a number of 1940s characters. The Owl was originally a Dell character from 1940-43. Ross, a co-plotter on the original P.S. material is only listed as a cover artist here. Dynamite is describing this as “a bridge series for more to come.” This isn’t totally surprising, since they’ve previously mentioned another run with the property at conventions.
This is also a return to Dynamite for Krul, who wrote a Highlander mini-series for them and an issue of Red Sonja back in the 2006-08 period.
Official PR follows:
J.T. KRUL! ALEX ROSS! THE OWL! DYNAMITE!
SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON LAUNCH FOR DYNAMITE’S HIGH FLYING HERO!
April 3, 2013, Mt. Laurel, NJ -The Owl returns to comics in his own limited series. Written by the critically acclaimed , J.T. Krul, with art by Heubert Khan Michael, and covers by Alex Ross and special Subscription Only Exclusive Covery Ardian Syaf, The Owl #1 hits stores this coming July!
In issue #1, lost for 50 years in an ethereal limbo, the Owl has come back to find a violent and desperate world of strangers. The woman he loved is gone, but he remains determined to continue his fight for justice. Can the Owl withstand the challenges awaiting him… or will this new reality crush his body and spirit?
“With a character like the Owl, I get to explore the heart of a true hero whose greatest threat seems to be the soul of the entire world around him,” says writer J.T. Krul. “Nick Terry used to live in a golden age it seemed, but he now finds himself in our present day – and a world filled with greed, apathy, and utter desperation at every turn. It’s the mark of a true hero, staying true to one’s ideals when there is little hope to be found. In this story, he’ll see what his mission and legacy has become and it will scare him more than anything else.”
“We at Dynamite extremely excited to work with J.T. again, hot off his DC Comics Exclusive,” adds Dynamite CEO / Publisher Nick Barrucci. ”We hope that this is the first of many more projects with J.T. and we are all in such anticipation for The Owl to ‘take flight’! The Owl is a bridge series for more to come from Dynamite, and we couldn’t be happier.”