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The West Coast editorial shuffle continues as star Dark Horse’s editor Sierra Hahn has just moved over to BOOM! where she’ll have the title of Senior Editor starting July 1st. Reporting directly to E-i-C Mat Gagnon she’ll develop new titles and help with mentoring Boom! younger staffers. Hahn is a much liked and respected editor so this is a nice get for BOOM! At Dark Horse she was the Joss Whedon wrangler as well as editor on projects including Green River Killer: A True Detective Story by Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case, Two Brothers by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá and more.
With DC’s move to LA, there’s been a lot of shuffling around at West Coast publishers, so who knows, there could be more musical chairs in the future.
Hahn began her career in comics in 2005 at DC Comics/Vertigo, where she served as Publicity Representative under then Vice President of Publicity David Hyde and worked with notable talents like Brian Azzarello, Becky Cloonan, Bill Willingham, Brian K. Vaughan, Jason Aaron, and Cameron Stewart. In 2007, she realized her dream of becoming a comics editor and moved to Portland, Oregon to work for Dark Horse under Editor-in-Chief Scott Allie.
“Sierra not only brings with her years of expertise as an editor, but also the respect and admiration of some of the industry’s greatest creators,” said Gagnon. “Sierra is a phenomenal addition to our team who will make an impact on day one. In her role as Senior Editor she’ll be bringing in new projects, helping mentor some of the younger editors on our staff, and be an important voice for our company on new projects, initiatives, and throughout the industry at large. One of our core missions at BOOM! is to help build a better, healthier industry for everybody who loves comics; Sierra not only shares that sensibility, she’s an important part of helping all of us move closer to our goals.”
“With titles like Lumberjanes, Bee and Puppycat, Giant Days, The Fiction, and the upcoming Strange Fruit, BOOM! Studios consistently delivers fun, edgy, and unexpected books,” said Hahn. “Their growing backlist brings a wide range of exceptional talent to readers of all ages and tastes, but their monthly titles for kids and young adult readers are especially compelling for me. I’m honored to be part of this innovative, tight-knit publishing house.”
When asked what she considers to be her greatest achievement while working in comics thus far, Hahn said, “It’s the relationships I’ve made over the last 10 years. Good editing only really works when there is a foundation of trust between the artists and the editor, and there can be this incredible, unspoken bond between the storyteller and the person advocating for that story. I’ve finally reached a place in my career where I’ve learned enough to have built those connections and recognize them as they happen.”
That nerd-themed SVOD (subscription video on demand) service from Comic-Con/Lionsgate we told you about a while ago, just got an EVP/GM in the form of Seth Laderman, formerly of Legendary and Nerdist. This new service will offer programming themed to Comic-con attendees as well as archival footage from CCI’s library. Laderman was instrumental in growing the Nerdist brand via its podcast network and on YouTube, as well as programming such as All Star Celebrity Bowling, Magic Meltdown, The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Live Show and the upcoming reboot of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl. At Legendary he ran operations and oversaw content acquisition and development for Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls at the Party and Felicia Day’s Geek & Sundry and worked with Spotify, Twtter and Xbox. So, It’s safe to say that he knows the terrain.
The service is launching early in 2016 — to get the first info on what will be offered, sign up for the mailing list here.
Mr. Laderman, in association with Comic-Con International, will be responsible for programming the service’s broad portfolio of content, including original short-form content created exclusively for the channel’s subscribers, films and television series from Lionsgate and other studios designed to appeal to the diverse interests of Comic-Con’s fans as well as exclusive archived footage from Comic-Con’s 45-year history. The Comic-Con International SVOD service is designed to expand the comics and pop culture event of the year into a year-round online experience for longtime fans and new audiences.
“We intend to differentiate our service through the depth and diversity of its content, the quality of its curation and the joys of discovering its rich mix of programming,” said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer. “Seth is ideally qualified to create a line-up that delights fans and newcomers alike with a combination of beloved treasures, thrilling discoveries and unique original content designed exclusively to satisfy our audiences.”
“We are thrilled to have Seth join the team. He has the track record, skill set and creative instincts to produce programming that speaks to our fans and extends the magic of the Comic-Con International experience to online audiences around the world,” continued Comic-Con Director of Marketing & Public Relations David Glanzer. “His unique understanding of fan culture makes him the perfect choice for this position and he, along with Lionsgate, will help expand our horizons by delivering premium quality, fun, and educational content to an ever growing audience.”
“This is a world I know and love, a community I appreciate and respect. I’m thrilled to embark on this adventure with Lionsgate and Comic-Con International, two of the
boldest, most innovative and visionary brands in fan culture,” said Mr. Laderman. “It’s an incredible opportunity to engage this awesome fan base and launch a service that will expand the world of Comic-Con by bringing exciting new content to its fans.”
“I worked with Seth at Nerdist, and he speaks our language,” said Lionsgate President of Interactive Ventures & Games Peter Levin. “His understanding of the fan experience and his track record of launching great new digital shows make him the perfect choice to lead the expansion of the pop culture event of the year into a year-round online experience for future generation fans, geeks, nerds like us and newbies alike.”
In the past 12 months, Newsarama, The Outhouse, Comics Alliance, Multiversity and Broken Frontier have all had changes at the top, with various editors in chief leaving. Well, you can add The Mary Sue to the mix, as EiC Jill Pantozzi has just announced she’s moving on.
Pantozzi has a long history as a comics/nerd culture journalist, and worked incredibly hard to make The Mary Sue one of the leading voices for diversity and the female fandom for all things nerd. She’s a gem of a person, as well as a writer, and she’s really earned some rest. I’m sure she’ll move on to bigger and better things, very soon, however.
However in shocking news, earlier this month Chris Arrant was actually HIRED as editor at Newsarama! Like Jill, Chris is a former freelancer for yours truly at Publishers Weekly, and he’s also awesome, with an unsurpassed knowledge of the industry. I congratulated him on DM and even asked what he’s be working on and he replied:
As editor of Newsarama, my immediate goals are continuing in what Mike Doran, Lucas Siegel, Matt Brady and others have done. This won’t be ‘All-New All-Different Newsarama,’ but that being said Mike and I do see areas and avenues to grow in terms of the depth and breadth of coverage we can do.
Doran remains as senior editor at Newsarama, and George Marston is a staff writer.
And finally even here at the Beat some side bar staff box changes. Alexander Lu is working for the next few weeks as Managing Editor, helping us to survive Comic-Con, coordinating coverage from a secret bunker underneath Stately Beat Manor while the rest of us brave life and limb crossing Harbor Drive.
What’s behind all this changeover? I guess a lack of money would be #1 (just a generalized guess—I can’t speak to anyone’s motives.) Comics journalism does not pay anything at most sites (including this one) and the increased pressure on the ones that do pay to build traffic to make a penny from 90 different ad networks is intense.
Like I said just guessing.
Anyway, I’m sure there’s more to come on all this.
Dark Horse’s book trade sales are up 30% in three years and to celebrate, they’re promoting nine editorsCalvin Reid reports.
The moves include the promotion to senior editor of Dave Marshall, who will oversee such series as Mass Effect, Avatar Last Airbender, World of Warcraft. Philip Simon has also been promoted to senior editor and will oversee the Kitchen Sink Press imprint, Neil Gaiman, Blade of the Immortal and other series.
Associate editors Brendan Wright (Usagi, Bandette, Itty Bitty Books), Daniel Chabon (Aliens, Axe Cop), Patrick Thorpe (Fear Agent, Savage Sword) and Jim Gibbons (DHP, Buffy, Serenity) have been promoted to editor. Aaron Walker (Halo, Walt Kelly) and Shantel LaRoque (Misfits of Avalon, Rexodus) have been promoted to associate editors. Katii O’Brien has been named an assistant editor, working under Dark Horse editor-in-chief Scott Allie on Hellboy, BPRD, Goon, Fight Club and other series.
Richardson said the switch to PRH Publisher Services for distribution has grown sales of backlist titles in independent bookstores, as well as sales to the library market. “We’re selling a lot of titles into stores we didn’t sell to before,” he said.
Congrats to all and to Dark Horse. They’ve been putting out a really strong line-up of original graphic novels for a while now, and it nice to see virtue rewarded.
The Great 2015 Comics Site Editor-in-Chief Mass Step Down continues as Broken Frontier, a long running comics news and culture site, has announced that Andy Oliver will takes over the site from Frederik Hautain, who held the position since the site’s launch in 2002. Oliver was previously Managing Editor, and they are seeking candidates for that position now. Check out the details here or send an application to email@example.com. Like every job in comics journalism, it is an unpaid position.
As we’ve been reporting, Broken Frontier follows Newsarama, Comics Alliance, The Outhouse and Multiversity with changes at the top in the last 8 months or so. That’s pretty much 50% of the comics journalism world right there. With the future of Comics Reporter a little up in the air due to Tom Spurgeon’s new job as festival director, Cmicon.com’s hew mystery owner and other stuff in the ether, and it’s clear that 13 years is a long time to do anything.
Hautain will move to Creative Director, where he’ll oversee branding and strategy, such as the recently concluded crowdfunded Broken Frontier anthology.
“I’m extremely blessed to be able to put the day-to-day governance of our content and staff in Andy’s talented hands,” Hautain says. “In just a few years time, he’s fast become one of the leading journalists to cover indie, alternative and creator-owned comics. On top of that, Andy’s got an amazing eye for new talent, which will continue to be one of the pillars of our coverage.”
Oliver joined the Broken Frontier staff in 2006 and became the site’s Features Editor the next year, eventually moving up to the role of Managing Editor in 2010. In 2011 he launched his popular and influential ‘Small Pressganged’ column at Broken Frontier covering the worlds of self-published, micro-published and alt comics. He is a well-known face on the UK indie comics circuit, was a judge for the 2014 Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition, and a contributor to Paul Gravett’s book 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die.
“It’s a true privilege to be trusted with the task of taking Broken Frontier forward as its new Editor in Chief,” says Oliver. “This is a site that is not afraid to give as much attention to handmade DIY culture comics as it does to the seminal work of the form, and one that has never shied away from actively championing exciting new creative voices in the medium. “I am incredibly proud to be at the forefront of this new era in our evolution. After all, ‘Exploring the Comics Universe’ is not merely Broken Frontier’s tagline. It’s our promise and our commitment to you, the greater BF community.”
With a new EiC now in place, Broken Frontier is actively looking for a new Managing Editor to join its ranks. If you’re interested in helping to closely shape the future of the website, check the detailed profile description at http://br.oken.fr/joinus and send your application to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Former Dreamworks SVP Brad Woods has joined Viz Media as Chief Marketing Officer. Woods also has Mattel and Warner Bros. on his resume. At Viz he’ll oversee strategies for expansion into multiple channels. Inaddition to it’s well known print manga products. Viz also has streaming, online, film, TV and many other home entertainment branches, so hiring a veteran exec to look at all this stuff is a good move.
VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, has announced that Brad Woods has been named as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
“Brad Woods is a seasoned entertainment executive with a proven success record of enhancing brand equity, increasing revenue, and achieving results with innovative strategies and visionary leadership,” says Ken Sasaki, CEO of VIZ Media. “His multi-disciplinary experience will play a vital role in expanding VIZ Media’s market share across the publishing, digital content, licensing, home media, and consumer product landscapes.”
Woods will be responsible for developing a range of marketing and product strategies to expand the VIZ Media brand and omni-channel marketing for titles across all company imprints.
“I am very excited to build upon VIZ Media’s mission to offer exciting and unique multimedia content to a diverse global audience,” Woods says. “Our dynamic catalog of titles across the print, digital, broadcast, and mobile arenas will allow us to reinvent how consumers discover, enjoy, and interact with our properties on a truly global level.”
Woods joins VIZ Media from DreamWorks Animation, where he served as Senior Vice President leading the domestic consumer products and retail business development divisions. During his tenure at DreamWorks, he restructured and substantially expanded the studio’s consumer products business, led the U.S. licensing and retail teams, and also provided strategic leadership for breakthrough marketing programs on properties including Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, and How To Train Your Dragon.
Over his 20-year career, Woods has held senior positions in the entertainment and multi-media industries with companies including Mattel and Warner Bros. Entertainment. His experience spans a wide variety of marketing and licensing operations such as product marketing, brand development, corporate marketing and communications, lead generation, channel relations, and digital and social media marketing. He holds an MBA from the University of Southern California, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude, and a BS from the University of Arizona.
After a few very successful years with Paul Karasik steering the programming, Comics Arts Brooklyn has announced a new Programming Director for 2015, Columbia University’s Karen Green, whose many titles include Ancient & Medieval History Librarian, the Graphic Novels Librarian, and the Curator for Comics and Cartoons. Green’s honors include serving on the board of directors at the Society of Illustrators, the Eisner Awards judge panel in 2011 and recently as a member of the jury for the Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Cartooning in 2015.
Green has been putting on many historical and contemporary comics programs at Columbia in recent years, including an amazing exhibit of the university’s own cartoon holdings,and I’m sure she’ll do an amazing job for CAB.
The note that announced this move, also annoucned that exhibitor applications for CAB 2015 are now open, closing June 1st.
Portrait of Karen Green by Miss Lasko-Gross
CAB postcard by Jesse Jacobs.
As revealed in the Globe and Mail, a change at the top of one of the most lauded and loved alternative comics publishers was certain the #1 topic at the parties of TCAF: Chris Oliveros, founder of Drawn & Quarterly is stepping down as publisher to focus on his long dormant cartooning career. Peggy Burns will succeed him as publisher while Tom Devlin will take over as executive editor.
A lot of folks expressed surprise to me over the change, but Oliveros was a mere lad of 23 when he started the company and at age 48 still has a lot of time left to explore his art. Burns and Devlin have helped completely reshape the publisher with kids lines, reprints, discovering and rediscovering great cartoonists from all over the world.
If you want to hear more about this from the horse’s mouth and happen to be at TCAF come to the Hinton Learning Center in the main TCAF library venue tomorrow at 3 pm for
3pm: Changing of the Guard: A D+Q AMA
Drawn & Quarterly celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015. On stage will be founder and “chief” Chris Oliveros with his two right hands, Associate Publisher Peggy Burns and Creative Director Tom Devlin. How do they select what to publish? How do you submit a book? How did they start in comics? Where do they see the future of comics heading? Where’s the best duck fat poutine in Montreal? When is the next issue of Joe Matt’s Peepshow? Ask them anything. Heidi Macdonald of Publishers Weekly and The Beat will be on hand to ask the hard-hitting questions.
For those with better wifi than have at the moment, Tom Spurgeon has a roundtable of opinions on Oliveros’s achievements and D&Q’s status in general; as Joe McCulloch put it “There is no flames of Gyro for D&Q.” They have indeed managed to forge ahead with one of the most consistent and important and entertaining lines of graphic novels in an era that they helped make possible.
Again if you’re at TCAF you know that the 25th Anniversary of D&Q is a main focus so please stop by to buy some books and congratulate Oliveros, Burns and Devlin on their well earned changes.
The end of DC Entertainment’s east coast presence also signaled the end of svp of sales Bob Wayne’s fabled career at the publisher, as one of the stewards of the entire direct sales market. You couldn’t name a person in the history of the industry who’s had more influence over what comics are sold and how they are sold. Prodigal circ man James Sokolowski was hired at DC (away from Archie) to run the DM end of things, but I’m sure “Ski” would be the first to admit he can only be the “first Ski” and not the “next Bob.”
As I’ve noted many times before, Wayne was particularly beloved of the comics retailing community, and his absence at the recent C2E2 Diamond retailer breakfast would have been a painful reminder of his departure.
But SWERVE! I’m told that Wayne was actually in attendance at the breakfast! Just to say hi and keep tabs. And he’s joining the advisory board of the CBLDF, so he’ll be keeping an ear to the ground and helping with a key industry organization.
I was hoping that Wayne would stick around in some capacity. If there’s one person in this industry who knows how to advise, it’s him.
Looks like something of a shakeup is underway at Image, as Director of Business Development Ron Richards has also departed the company following Jennifer DeGuzman’s exit last week.
Richards—formerly a mainstay at the website/podcast iFanboy and the co-organizer of Morrison Con— wrote about it in a post at Medium:
As anyone who works in the comic book industry will tell you — especially those folks behind the scenes — working in this industry is immensely rewarding but equally frustrating and exhausting. The term, “Seeing how the sausage is made” gets used quite a bit in comics, and with good reason. It’s not an easy industry to work in by any means, given the challenges of the direct market and comic book retailers, working with a single distributor, the “polite” competition between companies, the looming shadow of online retailers, and not to mention the increasing toxic atmosphere in the echo chamber of the comics social media community. All together, it can be quite the challenge and, when you deal with all of those things on a daily basis, can take a lot of out of you. Anyone who knows me knows that I gave the job everything I had to give — every day, night and weekend. But you know what? It was fueled by my passion for comics and I loved nearly every minute of it. I will treasure the experience for the rest of my life.
The natural question is “What’s Next?” (and for some of you probably, “Will you return to the iFanboy Pick of the Week Podcast?” or “Will you be doing another con like MorrisonCon?”)
For now I’ll be getting back to some things that are important to me and taking some time for myself (remember that bit above about all that exhaustive work?). But not to worry, everyone knows I won’t stay idle for long, and probably my next chapter will be my greatest adventure yet.
Richards had a hand in many aspects of Image’s explosion over the two years he worked there, including the successful Image Expo events, and getting more social media for Image in general. He’s another guy who’s great to work with, and will no doubt resurface somewhere with great contributions to make. And of course, as a fellow Mets fanatic, I must salute him for his unbreakable resolve in the face of absurdism. Like I said, I’m sure he’ll pop up somewhere in no time and yet another smart guy for some company (DC?????) to snap up.
By Alex Jones and Heidi MacDonald
The timing may have nothing to do with last week’s Twilight of DC’s office, but Marvel Comics Executive Editor Mike Marts leaving a post where he was clearly being groomed for big things to go to a START-UP, is an interesting comment on the state of the American comics industry. Marts confirmed on Twitter that he was leaving Marvel for AfterShock Comics, a new venture with writer Joe Pruett. Deadline has more details. Pruett has written X-Men titles for Marvel. Marts was working on various high profile titles including Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men comics. Marts will become Editor-in-Chief of Aftershock comics after pingponging back between Marvel and Dc for a career that started in 1996.
According to Deadline:
The upstart AfterShock is in build mode. Pruett was the man behind Negative Burn and also is a former Marvel writer on X-Men Unlimited, Wolverine and Cable. Pruett, who has won numerous awards for his work, is no stranger to starting new businesses: He also founded Desperado Publishing in 2004.
AfterShock also has among its ranks co-CEO Michael Richter, who was a senior exec at eBay and Facebook, serving as the latter’s chief privacy officer. He also was the head of development at Fog City Pictures. The other co-CEO, Jon Kramer, has been involved in production of reality TV and features for many years. AfterShock President Lee Kramer was the head story analyst at Endeavor and before that worked with Cathy Schulman at Mandalay Pictures on such films as Crash and The Illusionist. The last of its executive team is SVP Investor Relations Jawad Qureshi, who worked in Silicon Valley investing in various companies.
While AfterShock has some experienced entertainment hands behind it—and a smart industry vet in Pruett—it has a way to go to match Marvel Comics, to say the least. It definitely speaks to Marts adventurous and experimental nature that he’s taking on this venture.
Early manga adapter Dallas Middaugh, who has been involved in most of the major moves that changed manga from an obscure niche in US fandom to a permanent part of the pop culture landscape, has left his position as Senior Director of Penguin Random House Publisher Services to join Crunchyroll as Head of Brand and Community. He’ll work with the streaming anime service to expand the brand globally.
“With his experience and understanding of our audience and the Manga category, Dallas will be able to contribute invaluably to expanding the Crunchyroll brand and further deepening the relationship to our audience,” said Crunchyroll CEO Kun Gao in a statement .
“Crunchyroll currently brings Anime and Manga to millions of passionate fans,” said Dallas Middaugh. “We have opportunities to reach an even larger audience and bring that audience not just more content, but more fun and exciting ways to interact with it. I’m looking forward to engaging with the community that I’ve been fortunate to be a part of for many years, and providing more ways for them to connect with and experience the best that Anime and Manga — and Crunchyroll — have to offer.”
At Random House, Middaugh oversaw their partnership with Kodansha that saw such blockbusters as Attack on Titan. Prior to that he worked in RH’s own in-house Del Rey manga division; co-founded publisher Seven Seas; and served as marketing director for Viz during the crucial 2000-2003 period. In short, he’s da man.
Crunchyroll offers streaming anime such as Naruto Shippuden, Attack on Titan, and One Piece, and also allows subscribers to read manga and purchase related merchandise. It gained prominence by offering close-to-simultaneous access to hit Japanese shows soon after they aired.
Jennifer DeGuzman, Director of Trade Book Sales at Image, has left the company according to her Facebook page. DeGuzman left her post as editor in chief at Slave Labor to join Image in early 2012 and was a major force in heading up their growing book sales over the last three years.
DeGuzman is also a published writer and on her FB post she indicated a desire to return to writing and editing. DeGuzman is a super smart player with a ton of knowledge in many levels of the comics industry, so some company would be lucky to snap her up. We wish her all the best.
More editorial moves around comics, as Bethany Bryan has joined Papercutz as Associate Editor.
An industry veteran, Bryan comes from a background in children’s books, starting her career at Scholastic, working on books for babies and toddlers, and then moving over to library nonfiction publishing for a teen market. A writer, she’s frequently published online, and co-edits Gamervescent, a gaming blog geared toward women. Most recently, she helped promote diversity in children’s book publishing as the social media manager for the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.
At Papercutz, Bryan will work on a range of titles including the recently announced NICKELODEON magazine and the BREADWINNERS and SANJAY & CRAIG series of graphic novels.
• And Molly Mahan, formerly at Dynamite, has joined DC’s west cost office as assistant editor to Jamie S. Rich at the Vertigo imprint.
Vertigo’s new editorial team consist thus far of topliner Shelly Bond, Senior Editor Rich, former Marvel editor Ellie Pyle, and Rowena Yow. DC’s rebuilt editorial staff includes some smart young whippersnappers alright.
Beloved comics figures Jen Vaughn is leaving her marketing position at Fantagraphics, and Tom Spurgeon has her exit inerview:
VAUGHN: The plan was to stay in comics. Period. I’ve worked with comics and graphics novels at almost every level: handselling Y: the Last Man and Jeffrey Brown at a bookstore (Bookstop in Austin), comic book library, teaching comics to people from age seven to seventy, teaching teachers how to integrate comics in their curriculum, interned a company (Top Shelf), gone to comic book school, drawn — and printed — my own comics, wrote for a comics news site (The Beat), had a webcomic for a year and half, organized a small comic con, hosted indie comics — ye old Nerdlingers — worked at a comics non-profit, worked at a comics publisher. Basically, the only things left for me are to work at a printer in Asia and be a full-time freelancer. And maybe become a font…
Vaughn is a popular industry figure for all the above as well as her very funny and charming comics—which she hasn’t had as much time to work on as she’d like, hence the going freelance. Future projects include:
VAUGHN: Probably working in the aforementioned studio with Gaudiano, Moritat, and Thies. I’m inking two mainstream books and that news will be out soon. They are rad as hell and I’m working with great creative teams, I adore the pencillers especially. Anyone who follows me on Twitter (@thejenya) can hazard a guess. Meanwhile, Ryan K. Lindsay is writing a one-shot comic for me about power struggles, teens and more; can’t wait to sink my teeth in his script. Kevin Church promised me a space epic. My own ideas have been bubbling up for a bit so I may throw a thing or two out in the world.
Oh oh oh… also, I have the pleasure of working on a menstruation comic with the Menstrupedia people, who helped raise awareness and break the taboo about speaking about menstruation in India. Rajat Mittal hired me and I got to pick my creative team so Fanta editor Kristy Valenti is helping with rewrites and Fanta designer Keeli McCarthy is helping with some coloring/lettering and design. I’m all about getting paid and passing on some work to other people. And some my first mini-comics were menstruation-related. It is basically the perfect convergence of projects to start out with. My email is email@example.com if someone is dying to have me do something. My dance card is a bit full now but I have a list of people I want to collaborate with.
Vaughn was a huge addition to Fantagraphics, especially teamed with her publicity partner Jacq Cohen
, overseeing Fanta’s successful kickstarter campaign and helping in innumerable other ways to negotiate the very changed world of comics retail and marketing. It’s a big loss for them, but Vaughn has trained her replacement interns in her mystical way of the stick. Although we’re saddened not to be working with her in that business capacity, the sorrow is mitigated by having more Jen Vaughn comics in the world! YAY!
A few personnel notes at Diamond Book Distributors, the arm of Diamond that sells to bookstores and other non returnable outlets. Sales Rep Brooke Borneman lest to become director of Marketing for Dorchester publishing last month, and now longtime Diamond employee Stuart Carter has been hired as the new DBD sales manager for Barnes & Noble, Barnes & Noble College, BN.com, Hastings, as well as airport newsstand accounts HMH Host and Hudson Booksellers. Prior to working at Diamond, Carter was a buyer at Borders/Waldenbooks and HMS Host. He’ll report to Emily Botica, DBD Director of Sales & Marketing.
Also, Josh Hayesis joining DBDas Director of E-Commerce Business Development, where he’ll manage the global supply chain between Amazon North America, Europe, China, Japan and Brazil, and oversee existing and emerging worldwide e-commerce opportunities. Hayes will report directly to DBD vp Kuo-yu Liang.
Another East Coast resident is staying on and has a job as former DC associate editor Rickey Purdin has just been announced as Marvel’s newest Talent Manager:
As Talent Manager, Purdin will continue to escalate and bring awareness to the Marvel Comics brand by seeking out and cultivating the next generation of comic book writers and artists as well as working with Marvel’s current pantheon of extraordinary creators. “I can’t express how thrilling it is to join Marvel after so many years of reading these comics and being shaped by the characters, stories, and creative teams,” says Purdin. “Aiding Marvel’s extremely talented editorial team is a dream-come-true and incredible developments are already in the works.”
C.B. Cebulski, Marvel’s VP of International Development endorses Purdin by stating, “Marvel has always made our talent our top priority and with Rickey’s hiring, we know our artists will continue to be in the most capable of hands. With his deep understanding of style and storytelling, and history of identifying up-and-coming artists, Rickey’s role will ensure that everyone from this industry’s youngest guns to the most seasoned of veterans will continue creating the best comics possible for Marvel!”
Prior to joining Marvel, Rickey was able to work with exceptionally gifted creators and also provided a keen editorial eye across various Superman and Batman titles.
Rickey Purdin is another outstanding talent continuing to expand his visionary work with Marvel, the House of Ideas.
Purdin is also another member of the Legion of Ex-Wizard employees, a large and varied group that has done much to change the face of comics.
Comics writer and former Vertigo and IDW editor Mariah Huehner gave birth to a daughter yesterday, named Olivia. Mom is alert and tweeting. Baby looks cute. Congrats to Mariah, husband Chris Koeppel and baby Olivia. we see some comics in your future.
Also this is the perfect place to post that Mariah/Rose McIver of iZombie Separated at Birth I’ve been sitting on for years and years. Eerie, isn’t it!
While you had to be a detective a bit to parse this image from Ben Abernathy, the tweets have made it clear: the former Wildstorm editor is back at DC in Burbank as Director of Talent Relations.
Abernathy left Wildstorm, where he edited a ton of well received books to become editorial director at comics app/platform Madefire, where he oversaw a lot of forward looking content.
At DC he’ll be on the front lines of making sure they stay current with the new waves of talent in the field, as well as veteran creators.
While it’s brutal to see so many people heading West, I kind of like how the new DC office is shaping up thus far..
Tom Spurgeon is relocating from New Mexico to Columbus, OH this week. I can only imagine how stressful that is—some tweets posts about a cancelled last minute comics sale show just one aspect of it. I think he said he had something like 75 boxes of comics…just having a lot of stuff makes moving traumatic, let alone moving in the middle of a winter which resembles the White Witch’s plans for Narnia. I know moving my least favorite thing in life. (I’ve only moved three times in my adult life. )
In Columbus Tom will be an even more important force in comics than his already formidable position as he spearheads the new Cartoon Crossroad Columbus event. Anyway, good luck to him!
(Photo via Facebook)
….aaaaaand as we long ago predicted, DC is raiding a few players from the locals, in this case Boom!/Archaia by hiring Rebecca Taylor, formerly of Archaia. Taylor worked mostly on Archaia’s line of graphic novels (hmmmmmmmmm), and she’s another thoroughly modern millie who should help bring DC’s editorial viewpoint firmly on trend with comics new demographic.
Another thing that’s notable is the social media transparency of these moves. Most of the young editors on the West Coast already have a social media profile and it’s nice to see that that world is being acknowledged from the git go.
[Photo via Comicvine]
After 25 years working on some of the most seminal comics of the era with many of the greatest creators, Diana Schutz is retiring on Friday, as announced in a talk with CBR’s Josie Campbell. Schutz is truly one of the legends of the business, a consummate professional, a visionary editor, and, on a personal note, my friend and mentor in countless situations—but that deserves a post of its own at some point. After starting her career working in comics shops, editing the fanzine The Telegraph Wire, and editing most of the top books at Comico, Schutz moved to Dark Horse, along with her then husband Bob Schreck in 1990 where she edited books from 300 to Usagi Yojimbo.
Schutz has no personal writing projects in the works, but hopes to pursue more academic pursuits. Given the proliferation of these in Portland alone, it seems to be a great place for her to make another mark. While the entire interview is a pocket history of the “indie comics of the 80s and 90″, here’s my good old days call-out:
And I feel badly for younger editors who will never know the joys of working with original artwork now that comics publishing is moving into almost exclusively digital environments. Frank Miller and Lynn Varley’s “300” was another high point of my editorial career, in part because nothing could ever match those days when either Frank or Lynn would ship an issue of “300” art to me. Frank drew every one of his black-and-white pages as double-page spreads and at twice-up (meaning twice the size of reproduction), so these gigantic inked pages would come in to the office in gigantic Fed Ex packages — and those boards were spectacularly stark and beautiful. We then reproduced Frank’s black-and-white artwork at actual publication size on watercolor paper, printing five to ten copies of each spread for Lynn to hand-paint until she was happy with one of them. Every publisher was moving to digital color by then, yet here was Lynn using traditional watercolor painting for, appropriately, a historical piece, while the rest of the industry was off chasing the future.
I’ll never forget receiving that first issue of Lynn’s painted colors on “300.” I wept like a baby. I’m not kidding. I brought that magnificent art into Mike’s office and wept! It was so overwhelming that I was literally brought to tears by its beauty. No digital file will do that.
While there is no replacing Diana at Dark Horse, I hope this move leaves here much deserved time to pursue projects that
take advantage of her wealth of knowledge
oh, screws that. I hope Diana just gets to do fun things she enjoys, because she’s earned it.
Continuing their social media transparency on new hires, DC has hired Jamie S. Rich, former Oni editor and currently a very prolific comics writer, as Senior Editor at Vertigo. Jamie McKelvie quickly cut to the heart of the matter:
Rich left Oni to pursue his writing and he’s been very busy with a whole shelf of books like Love the Way You Love, It Girl and the Atomics, Ares & Aphrodite and just out in collected form Madame Frankenstein. Seriously, this guy likes to write! Obviously he brings a very strong sensibility to Vertigo and, as I mentioned in a comment here a few days back, though the imprint’s sales have been sluggish of late, it is far from circling the drain. Hiring an editor of Rich’s talent there shows there’s a lot more to come.
Okay, so Ben Abernathy, Andy Khouri, Rebecca Taylor, Jamie S. Rich…who’s next for DC’s left coast edition?
Some other people joining and moving on up of late:
§ Reginald Hudlin has joined the CBLDF Board of Directors. In addition to directing House Party and producing Django Unchained, Hudlin has written comics including a year long run on Black Panther. He’s also one of the principals behind the Milestone relaunch. In a statement, Hudlin said, “Freedom of expression is a cornerstone of democracy. As Americans, we all need to stand united to protect our liberties. I’m flattered to be asked to join an organization that does just that.”
The Fund’s board now includes Larry Marder, Jennifer L. Holm, Paul Levitz, Jeff Smith, Jeff Abraham, Dale Cendali, Milton Griepp, Katherine Keller, Andrew McIntire, and Chris Powell.
§ Vito Delsante has joined Action Labs as Associate Director of Marketing, replacing Kelly Dale who is on sabbatical. Delsante is best known as a writer with Superman, Batman Adventures, Scooby Doo, X-men Unlimited along and his own Stray, World War Mob and FCHS on his credit list.
§ Also at Action Labs, Jamal Igle has been promoted to Vice President of Marketing for both Action Lab Entertainment and Action Lab: Danger Zone imprints.
§ Longtime media man Brian Jacks is joining ReedPOP in their digital content division.
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Oni has just announced the promotion of three of its editors in preparation for new creator owned and licensed titles. While all the promotions are well deserved, they might also serve as a preemptive hedge against DC’s talent raid on West Coast editorial offices. The short version: Charlie Chu has been promoted to Senior Editor, Robin Herrera to Editor, and Ari Yarwood to Associate Editor. And the books they will be working on include Kaijumax, Invader Zim and Rick and Morty. PLUS they got portraits by John Allison! It is a day of winning.
Formerly Editor, now Senior Editor, Charlie Chu has been with Oni Press since 2010 and has worked on critically acclaimed titles such as The Sixth Gun, Black Metal, Costume Quest: Invasion of the Candy Snatchers, the upcoming Kaijumax and Junior Braves of the Apocalypse. “I couldn’t ask for a better editor on The Sixth Gun,” said Brian Hurtt, series artist and co-creator. “Charlie is smart, insightful, and has an innate sense of story, but most importantly he’s as passionate about the book as any of the creators. He’s a great guy to have in your corner!”
Robin Herrera has bee
n with Oni Press since 2012 and, since becoming Associate Editor in 2014, has worked on Letter 44, Princess Ugg, The Bunker, I Was the Cat, and the highly anticipated Invader Zim series, featuring the return of the beloved cult hit from Jhonen Vasquez and Nickelodeon in comic form. Said writer Charles Soule, “I have had the pleasure of working with Robin Herrera on Letter 44 for a good while now, and her promotion to Editor is well deserved. She’s fantastic at managing the complex enterprise that is a monthly comic, she’s got great story sense, and she’s more than capable of providing the kick in the ass that all creators need (and deserve) from time to time. Well done!”
Ari Yarwood, whose previous experience includes an editorial internship at Bitchmagazine, joined Oni Press last year as Administrative Assistant and has been performing editorial duties throughout her time at Oni Press. As Associate Editor, her projects include The Life After, Stumptown, and the upcoming comics based on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim series Rick and Morty. “Ari Yarwood is one of the best editors I’ve ever worked with,” said Joshua Hale Fialkov, writer on The Life After. “Her ability to find and solve problems has been an absolute Potato-Godsend.”
“Charlie, Robin, and Ari are some of the smartest, hard working people I know, and are capable of doing anything they set their minds to,” concluded Oni Press Editor in Chief James Lucas Jones. “The fact that they’ve chosen to put all their energies into helping our talented creators make their books a reality and their complete dedication to our creators’ visions and nuanced understanding of the comic book art form makes Oni Press a unique home for creator owned comics.”
“Oni Press and our creators are truly lucky to have them on our team,” concluded Oni Press publisher Joe Nozemack.