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Well, as everyone was saying at New York Comic-Con, the last days of DC in New York are dwindling down to months, and expect a TON of jobs to start opening up in Burbank — although I’m also told that some of the contract folks already in place in Burbank are not being renewed, especially in the digital realm.
But there are some pretty sweet jobs opening up! The manufacturing job sounds like the one Alison Gill had, so I guess she’s staying in NYC. As far as I know, the two sales VPs will report to Derek Maddalena, who is SVP of sales and bus dev.
Please note you need 15 years of comic book experience to apply for the direct sales VP.
Vice President, Manufacturing Operations
DC Comics seeks a Vice President, Manufacturing Operations for the Manufacturing & Production (West Coast) department. Oversees DC’s digital and film archives and the secure fulfillment of all approved orders. Oversees the prioritization of the archiving our historical assets based on different business needs. Oversees the identification process of miscellaneous digital assets held on spin media. Oversees the barcoding of all physical media held in house and the transfer to offsite long-term storage, referencing barcode with geographic location for future needs. Key person to lead the future changeover in how our assets are stored and can be viewed and accessed. Oversees the pre-press process on repurposed assets, where corrections/updates are required. Oversees the conversion of print assets for use in DC’s digital publishing programme, including art and lettering corrections and authoring by internal and external resources.
Vice President, Mass & Digital Sales
E.C. Publications, Inc. [sic] seeks a Vice President, Mass & Digital Sales for the Sales & Business Development department. The Vice President, Mass Account & Digital Sales delivers financial targets through the direction and development of all commercial activity for Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, Best Buy, iTunes, Comixology, iVerse and Barnes & Noble. Additionally, the position will oversee the selling based activities of all DC Publishing content and DC Collectibles to all remaining retailers through WHEG sales team. Develops and executes annual planning by customer through collaboration with Publishing, Executive leadership, Sales team, Marketing, Operations, Finance and other WB divisions and territories. Develops and directs sales team while utilizing and maximizing internal resources to achieve objectives.
Vice President, Comic Book Specialty & Newsstand Sales
E. C. Publications, Inc. seeks a Vice President, Comic Book Specialty & Newsstand Sales for the Sales & Business Development department. The VP, Comic Book Specialty & Newsstand Sales will provide the strategic vision and oversee the selling based activities of the Comic Book Specialty, Newsstand and International Subsidiary rights teams for all publishing and DC Collectibles products. Duties will be comprised of being the direct contact for all internal departments to determine sales goals, reprint quantities, sales programming and promotions. The position will also be charged with managing the activities of Diamond Comics distribution for both publishing and DC Collectibles.
Dynamite and Arcane Wonders have come to a licensing agreement for the Mage Wars tabletop fantasy game.
Interestingly, Dynamite will be launching with a prose novel. This isn’t as odd as it might sound. Dynamite’s had some success with Chuck Dixon and Doug Murray writing SEAL Team Six novels for them. Particularly with the eBook market. Will McDermott’s Nature of the Beast will drop in January 2015 to start off the series. McDermott has written novels based on Magic: The Gathering and Warhammer 30K properties, so he’s no stranger to the adaption field. And if you’ve been to a bookstore, you know there’s usually a section for game adaption novels. It’s a thing.
After the novel comes out, Dynamite intends to ” expand the line into comic books, graphic novels, additional prose novels, prints, lithographs, and an art book.”
Official PR follows:
DYNAMITE AND ARCANE WONDERS ANNOUNCE MAGE WARS LICENSING DEAL
FOR COMICS, PROSE, AND ADDITIONAL CATEGORIES BASED ON BESTSELLING FANTASY GAME,
LAUNCHING WITH MAGE WARS: NATURE OF THE BEAST PROSE NOVEL IN JANUARY
October 10, 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment is proud to announce a new licensing agreement with Arcane Wonders for multiple product categories based onMage Wars, the bestselling and critically acclaimed tabletop fantasy game. Dynamite will debut their first Mage Wars project in January 2015, an original prose novel subtitledNature of the Beast. Written by Will McDermott, Mage Wars: Nature of the Beast is the first official prose story set within the expansive world of the game. Following the January print and digital launch, Dynamite plans to expand the line into comic books, graphic novels, additional prose novels, prints, lithographs, and an art book.
Mage Wars is the customizable strategy game of dueling mages. Players take on the role of powerful mages, stepping into an arena to battle for supremacy. A unique genre-breaking concept, Mage Wars combines the best elements of customizable card games and tactical miniature games. Players can choose from multiple mages like the Wizard, Warlock, Beastmaster, Priestess, or many others, each with their own unique strategies and style of play. The game is fast-paced and exciting, with challenging decisions every turn. Since its debut in 2012, the game achieved critical success and has accrued dozens of industry accolades. Tom Vasel of Dice Tower, a leading podcaster and reviewer in the gaming community, ranked Mage Wars as the Second Best Game of All Time in his “Top 100 Games of All Time” list.
“We are truly honored and excited to be working with Dynamite. To partner up with such a professional team to bring Mage Wars and the world of Etheria to our fans is a dream come true,” cheers Bryan Pope, President of Arcane Wonders. “We have worked so hard to develop each of these characters and this universe and look forward to this partnership to share our vision with our fans.”
“Since its launch, the Mage Wars game has been celebrated by critics and fans alike, a true sensation in the gaming world,” says Nick Barrucci, the CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. “It’s a great privilege and honor to sign with Arcane Wonders, a true innovator in game design. They’ve created a fantastic universe to explore, and we’re proud to work hand-in-hand with their staff in building upon that expansive landscape with new creative content.”
The first novel, Mage Wars: Nature of the Beast, takes place in the world of Etheria, and follows an unlikely cast of characters refreshingly removed from the trappings of traditional fantasy adventure. “Nature of the Beast is not your average Hero’s Journey tale” says author Will McDermott. “This is the story about the other guys — the loners and the outcasts, the guards and the stewards, the folks who normally stay behind when the adventure starts — the forgotten characters. It is a journey not toward the light, but into the darkness, both literal and figurative, where these characters must face their foibles and fears, their painful pasts and their lonely lives. It is a story about how true heroes are born, not through trial by fire, but by forging friendships that help them discover their own inner strength.”
Author Will McDermott has worked in the gaming industry since 1997, when he became Senior Editor of Duelist Magazine at Wizards of the Coast. While at Wizards, he helped publish thirty-seven magazines, and wrote five strategy guides for trading-card games. After leaving Wizards of the Coast, he became a freelance writer. Over the next five years, he published two Magic: The Gathering novels, three Necromunda novels (set in the Warhammer 30K universe), and numerous short stories. In 2006, McDermott joined the writing staff at ArenaNet and began working on Guild Wars. He wrote character dialogue for Guild Wars: Nightfall, Guild Wars: Eye of the North, and Guild Wars 2. He also shepherded the first two Guild Wars novels (Ghosts of Ascalon by Matt Forbeck and Jeff Grubb, and Edge of Destiny by J. Robert King) from conception to publication. Since departing ArenaNet in 2010, McDermott worked with Nintendo in game development and returned to freelance writing.
The development of the Mage Wars: Nature of the Beast novel follows upon Dynamite’s success in prose publishing with such titles as Seal Team Six (which has sold over 140,000 copies across its nine volumes) and Prince Dracula. Upon its release in January 2015, the prose novel will be available in print at fine bookstores and hobby specialty shops everywhere, and digitally for consumer purchase through Amazon, Kindle, iTunes, Kobo, and Google Play.
In January, Dynamite will be launching The Twilight Zone: Shadow and Substance, a new ongoing series based on Rod Serling’s classic TV anthology.
Mark Rahner, who’s done some Twilight Zone short stories for Dynamite, as well as some Dejah Thoris and Vampirella material, will handle the writing. Edu Menna, who’s drawn Army of Darkness, will handle the art.
Official PR follows:
DYNAMITE RETURNS TO THE TWILIGHT ZONE WITH NEW ONGOING SERIES,
WRITTEN BY MARK RAHNER AND ILLUSTRATED BY EDU MENNA
October 10, 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment is proud to announce the January 2015 launch of The Twilight Zone: Shadow and Substance, an all-new ongoing series based on the groundbreaking science fiction television program. Written by Mark Rahner (Vampirella) and illustrated by Edu Menna (Army of Darkness), the new series will feature a cover by Eisner Award-winning artist Francesco Francavilla.
The Twilight Zone: Shadow and Substance stands as writer Mark Rahner’s third contribution to the Twilight Zone franchise, following his work on The Twilight Zone 2014 Annual and a one-shot special entitled The Twilight Zone: Lost Tales. “After writing six stories for two big Twilight Zone specials, I’m so thrilled to write more,” says Rahner. “I’m a lifelong denizen of The Twilight Zone – just ask my teachers, employers, bartenders – and an acolyte in the cult. If I belong any place, it’s there. Perhaps on the steps of a library, with a pair of shattered specs.”
The first story arc of Shadow and Substance begins with the story of a successful but deeply troubled writer as he returns to his hometown for a book signing, only to find that he’s stepped back in time to encounter his abused and maladjusted younger self.
The latest installment of The Twilight Zone affectionately takes its subtitle, Shadow and Substance, from the opening monologue to the classic CBS program’s fourth and fifth season, a spoken verse instantly recognizable to longtime fans and pop culture enthusiasts: “You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension – a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.”
“We’re proud to continue the fine tradition of The Twilight Zone at Dynamite Entertainment, delivering space-bending, mind-blowing, spine-tingling science fiction, horror, and mystery on a monthly basis,” says Nick Barrucci, the CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. “There’s a freedom inherent in Twilight Zone, a promise that its storytellers can open up any floating door in space and step through to realities never before explored. I welcome Mark Rahner and Edu Menna to take full advantage of that freedom, and to the fans — get ready for all-new thrills!”
The Twilight Zone took millions of television viewers on a weekly journey to another dimension, starting in 1959. The enduring success ofThe Twilight Zone spawned three revival series, a feature film, novels, comics, and other related merchandise. Dynamite Entertainment achived great success with The Twilight Zone in 2014 under the helm of J. Michael Straczynski, creator of television’s Babylon 5 and prolific comic book writer (including The Amazing Spider-Man and Superman: Earth One).
The Twilight Zone: Shadow and Substance #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors’ November Previews catalog, the premiere source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, and slated for release in January 2015. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of The Twilight Zone with their local comic book retailers.The Twilight Zone: Shadow and Substance #1 will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.
Via Facebook, Dark Horse’s Director of Publicity Jeremy Atkins has announced he’s leaving Dark Horse after ten years:
It’s official. After ten years at Dark Horse Comics, where I have learned so much, made lifelong friends and been lucky enough to see the world preaching the four color gospel, I am moving on to the craft brewing industry. After this weekend’s Rose City Comic Con, I will join the marketing team at Rogue Ales! Their legendary Dead Guy Ale was one of the first to awaken my tastebuds to the glory of PacNW brews, and remains a favorite to this day. I am sad to say goodbye to my friends and family in comics, but excited for a new adventure and the chance to get back to writing. Look for Alex Cox and I’s comics creation to make its online debut in the coming months, and hopefully more to follow.
After the crying ended—Atkins is one of comics most affable and knowledgeable marketing folk in comics and has been a true friend of this site for many years—we chatted him up a bit to find out what he’s up to. He will indeed be expanding on his comics writing with a few secret projects in the works. But he and Alex Cox will be expanding their webcomics, Charles De Ghoul, which debuted in last year’s Liberty Annual. He’ll also be writing a column for Heavy Metal starting on October 1st.
While we’re sad to be losing Jeremy to the world of beer, on further consideration, the worlds of comics and beer are strangely aligned, and somehow, we feel, we’ll be seeing him pop up quite a bit.
Best of luck to one of the really good guys.
While Warner Bros. itself is facing a round of layoffs following the abortive takeover attempt by Rupert Murdoch, DC Comics is hiring a few people for Burbank:
• Editor Burbank, CA
• Creative Associate, Live Action Burbank, CA
• Senior Counsel, Business & Legal Affairs Burbank, CA
• Manager, Franchise Management Burbank, CA
The Editor position is for Vertigo, and requires the following skills:
DC Entertainment – Burbank, CA
SUMMARY OF POSITION
DC Comics seeks an Editor for the Editorial-Vertigo department. Manages a line of editorial product within the Vertigo imprint.
Performs full editorial function for a minimum of 4 monthly titles.
Manages the creative process from conception through publication. Ensures that schedules and budgets are met and product quality is at or above Vertigo’s standards. Seeks ways to keep ongoing series fresh and exciting.
Identifies and develops new editorial products for Vertigo.
Identifies potential new talent and maintains relationships with current talent.
Ensures that other DCE staff members have the materials required to maximize service to the product.
Writes solicitation copy for monthly publications
Supervise and develop a junior staff member.
Performs other related duties as assigned.
BA/BS degree in English, Journalism or Communications preferred.
3-5 years editorial experience, comic books/graphic novels preferred.
Ability to manage a creative team.
Knowledge of comic book industry strongly preferred.
Knowledge of art (ability to discuss composition, design, etc…) required.
Copyediting and proofreading skills preferred.
Ability to meet deadlines required.
Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing required.
Ability for some light travel strongly preferred.
Must have the ability to communicate effectively and tactfully with managers and other levels of personnel.
Must have the ability to pay close attention to details.
Must have the ability to organize.
Must have the ability to work well under time constraints.
Must have the ability to handle multiple tasks.
Must have the ability to meet deadlines, manage multiple project elements simultaneously.
MAC /PC proficiency required.
Domestic travel up to 5%.
While there is expected to be a huge hiring run at DC burbank once the move from New York is finalized early next year, most positions can’t yet be filled. However, Vertigo Executive Editor Shelly Bond has already relocated, moving house right after Comic-Con, so Vertigo appears to be getting a jump on the relocation, especially with mainstay Will Dennis staying back in New York.
As far as the layoffs go, I’d be surprised to see DC lose too many people, as they are already winnowing out many positions due to the move. On the other hand, maybe WB will take this opportunity to cut loose some people and hire for new positions in Burbank. Ugh. Good luck whatever your job status!
[Image via bestclipart.com]
Via tweets last night, industry veteran Ron Perazza announced that he’s left Marvel, where he served most recently as Director of Digital Publishing starting last year, and joined Amazon to as Creative Director of all of their digital publishing efforts. Perazza’s multi faceted career includes stints at Fleer, Marvel, DC (where he ran creative services and then rose to VP of Online and oversaw the Zuda webcomics launch), Marvel again and now Amazon. Perazza has relocated to Seattle for the position.
Amazon’s publishing includes a multitude of imprints, which cover mystery, SF, self-help, teens, and comics, under the Jet City Imprint, which has thus far concentrated on adaptations and extensions of best selling authors like Hugh Howey, George RR Martin and Neal Stephenson. Of course, one would expect Perazza to leave his mark on this area, but he has a wide portfolio where his expertise with digital formats and distribution will doubtless come in handy.
And we haven’t even mentioned Comixology, which comes is still in the process of adapting to Amazon’s systems.
All of this reminds me, what ever happened to Amazon’s licensed fanfic program, Kindle Worlds? Valiant signed up for this, but other comics publishers haven’t raced to allow approved fan fiction through the program, despite the obvious mountain of material.
While Amazon’s battle with Hachette and other publishers over pricing show no sign of being solved anytime soon, original publishing is also an important part of their product mix. Obviously, Perazza is going to be a busy guy. Congrats!
[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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
[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.
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.
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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