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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..
Sana Amanat, the editor behind Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel and many other fine Marvel comics, has been promoted to Director of Content and Character Development. This is a new title for Marvel, as far as I can tell, but I could be wrong. Amanat has definitely become a star editor at Marvel over the last few years, so this is a well deserved promotion.
Plus, as I was discussing in an interview the other day, while women creators and readers are well established in comics, female executives are not quite as out in front, so it’s a welcome promotion in many regards.
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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Comings & Goings
, Indie Comics
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Alternative Comics has announced a seven book spring 2015 season, with collections by some intriguing talents. Stephen Cerio hasn’t been seen in a while, and a round-up of Malachi Ward’s quirky comics is long overdue. Plus Rich Tommaso, Sam Henderson and a process guide from Tom Hart’s Sequential Arts Workshop—some good stuff here.
Alternative publisher Marc Arsenualt has also announced that Erik Aucoin will join Alternative as Associate Publisher. Aucoin’s background includes HR, law, being a record label co-owner and of course liking comics. a massive fan of comics familiar to many of today’s top creators. In the past Aucoin has worked for the US Congress, a lobbying firm and as a radio DJ so comics should be a snap for him. His duties will includes editing the anthology title Alternative Comics.
This will be the first alternative season distributed by Consortium to the book trade, a move that has been very helpful for other small presses.
And here’s the spring line-up and catalog copy:
Clover Honey by Rich Tommaso
Abigail is an aspiring hitwoman out to prove her value to the family. She braves the wilds of Newark, overpriced parking, traffic jams, and bad hair days to track down Trevor, her former mentor, who is on the lam with a big briefcase of mob dough. A heavily revised, redrawn, and expanded twentieth anniversary edition of Rich Tommaso’s debut graphic novel.
Rich Tommaso has been writing and illustrating original comics and graphic novels since 1994. His graphic novel with writer James Sturm, Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow, won an Eisner award for Best Reality-Based Work in 2008. 136-page paperback
Diamond Code: FEB150911
Sunbeam on the Astronaut by Steven Cerio
A long-awaited collection of comics, art, and stories by artist Steven Cerio that explores silly, psychedelic, and strange worlds. Smiling cartoon critters carouse with threatening cutout whales against a shifting comic landscape in these unique illustrated stories. The psychedelic meetsSaturday morning cartoons in stories with such intriguing titles as “A Private History of Sunbeams and Head Colds,” “The Add Witch in The Berry Patch,” and “Ninny Noonday Ninny.”Steven Cerio is a prominent rock poster and magazine illustrator. His work is best known from his ongoing collaboration with San Francisco-based performance art and music group The Residents.48 pages/black and white guts/full color cover
From Now On by Malachi Ward
Short Comic Tales of The FantasticA collection of hauntingly beautiful Science Fiction and Horror short stories by Prophet (Image Comics) and Ritual artist Malachi Ward. Collects stories from Mome, Study Group Magazine, Sundays, Best American Comics 2013, and more. 144 page paperback.
June 9, 2015
Smilin’ Ed Comics
by Raoul Vezina & Tom Skulan
Crisply and energetically drawn, snappily written, filled with pop culture references, and always funny; Raoul Vezina’s Smilin’ Ed Smiley comics were a breath of fresh air when they first appeared thirty-five years ago. All the original comics are collected here for the first time. Includes sixteen pages in color.
Raoul Vezina (1948-1983) was a brilliant cartoonist who came out of the underground tradition and put his own mark on the indie comics of the early 1980s in a handful of titles. He is best remembered for the four issue of Smilin’ Ed Comics published by Albany, New York’s FantaCo.
160 page 8″ x 10″ black and white paperback with 16 pages in color and color covers
Alternative Comics, June, 2015
The SAW Guide to Making Professional Comic Strips by Tom Hart
The SAW Guide to Making Professional Comic Strips is a complete how-to manual for making the best comic strips you can, from conception to idea generation to layout, lettering, finishing, coloring and even selling. From an experienced professional comic strip artist (Hutch Owen, Ali’s House), the book is loaded with examples and instruction as well as personal stories within the industry.
96 page 8 1/2″ x 11″ color paperback.
Quit Your Job and Other Stories by James Kochalka
On his way to work, Magic Boy discovers an enchanted ring and starts an expedition to the North Pole.
Eisner Award winner James Kochalka has been called “one of the brightest lights of independent comics” and Quit Your Job is a shining example of his genius. On his way to work at the Chinese restaurant, Magic Boy discovers an enchanted ring and determines to make an expedition to the North Pole. He only gets as far as the coffee shop on the next block, but his world is forever changed in the short journey. The predecessor to the author’s popular American Elf diary comics. Includes the entirety of Kochalka’s 1997 book Paradise Sucksand an additional story featuring characters from that world. Double the size of the first edition. Introduction by Jeff Smith (Bone, RASL).
192 page 6.75″ x 675″ black and white paperback with color covers
Alternative Comics, 2015
Oh, That Monroe by Sam Henderson
Monroe Simmons, cartoon everyman, faces twenty-something life and is squashed like a bug at every turn in this series of harrowing and humorous tales from Magic Whistle and Scene But Not Heard creator Sam Henderson. This new edition features nearly 30 pages of never before collected comics and a new introduction by the author.
128 page black and white paperback with color covers
As announced on Twitter and expanded on via Tumblr Andy Khouri is stepping down as editor in chief at Comics Alliance, and the dynamic duo of Andrew Wheeler and Janelle Asselin-Moore will shares duties.
Today is my last day as the editor of ComicsAlliance. I’ve chosen to reduce my responsibilities to that of a freelance assistant and consultant, before phasing out completely. I’m very gladly handing the keys to my top choices to run the site: Andrew Wheeler and Janelle Asselin. They will make CA better, I have no doubt whatsoever.
Stepping away isn’t an easy decision, but it’s the right one for me and for the site. There’s a lot pulling me in different directions right now, including some major, long term personal projects that have caused me distraction from my duties (nothing bad or tragic, just very big and time consuming and pretty boring to talk about — I’m fine, we’re all fine), as well as some professional opportunities that really aren’t compatible with running a media enterprise like CA. I’ve only so much time and so many resources, and I’m afraid something had to give.
This is the third comics site to lose its EIC in the last few months. We just mentioned Multiversity’s Matthew Meylikhov announcement he was moving on
, and Lucas Siegel quietly left Newsarama a few months ago. DOES THIS MEAN THE DEATH OF COMICS WEBSITES??? I don’t think so, but this is a hard life and as awesome as it is, sometimes you gotta put you first.
I really respected Andy as a fellow journo, shared several panels with him, and always enjoyed catching up with him at shows. He has definitely followed in the tracks of former DA editors Laura Hudson and Joe Hughes and made the site a very strong repository for original features, something badly needed in the hurry up internet world. All that said, Janelle and Andrew are equally awesome and there are two of them, so we have every reason to expect continued good things.
I suspected we’d see the payoff of several looming changes in the business in 2015, and if the first month is any indicator, I was right! Buckle your seatbelt.
PS: DO NOT BE A STRANGER, ANDY, DO YOU HEAR ME?
We’re looking for a few writers around here and near here.
§ Jason Enright is moving on from the Marvel monthly sales charts due to some exciting but unannounced news. I know a bunch of you apply for this every time, but please reapply — previous experience with databases and a glee for number crunching required. Jason is graciously doing this month’s chart but after that, we are on our own. Email me at comicsbeat at gmail.com if interested. This is a volunteer position.
§ I have an opening or two for reviewers at Publishers Weekly, but specifically for reviewers who are familiar with small press and indie cartoonists. If you can talk knowledgeably about the post grad careers of more than one CCS student, you are the person I am looking for. These are paid reviews. Email me at the aboveThanks folks, I have more great applications for this than I know what to do with.
§ As you may have noticed we have ramped up the reviews section here at The Beat, as part of our first Patreon goal! Whoo hoo! I definitely would like to add more indie focused reviews to the site as well. These is (for now) non paid reviews, but if you have something you are dying to get off your chest, we’re always looking for quality submissions. I’ll have more to say about all that very soon.
Valiant Comics has added Andy Liegl, formerly of Boom! and Matthew Klein formerly of Forbidden planet to its marketing team, joining Sales Manager Atom! Freeman, Publishing & Operations Manager Peter Stern, Director of Marketing, Communications & Digital Media Hunter Gorinson, and Publisher Fred Pierce in that end of the company. Tom Brennan recently joined the editorial side.
Andy Liegl comes to Valiant from Boom! Studios, where he oversaw the publisher’s convention presence and convention sales strategy as Event Coordinator until 2014. Prior to that, Liegl spent five years as Manager of Collector’s Paradise – Pasadena, a leading comics retailer in Southern California, where he rediscovered Valiant via the publisher’s 2012 “Summer of Valiant” relaunch and personally bolstered in-store sales of the titles in his store to great success. Liegl is also a former comics journalist, having co-founded ComicAttack.net in 2009 and served as an Assistant Editor of Eisner Award-winning website Comic Book Resources from 2012 to 2013.
“I’m absolutely psyched for the opportunity to work with a publisher who puts such a high priority on product quality and the positive impact that can have with our retail partners,” said Liegl. “Everyone at the Valiant office is insanely dedicated to their work and their energy is powerfully motivating. I’m champing at the bit to be boots on the ground at comic shops, working closely with the people who have dedicated their lives to keeping the direct market thriving for consumers.”
A lifelong comic book fan, Matthew Klein worked as a Retail Associate for Forbidden Planet NYC from 2011 to 2014 – one of the largest sellers of comic books, graphic novels, science fiction, toys, and associated collectibles in the world. During his time with FPNYC, he also worked in the the Artistic Department for the Off-Broadway company, The New Group (Avenue Q, Hurly Burly, The Jacksonian). Klein is also a producer and lead script developer for Six Part Productions and has been a company member since 2013.
“I’m incredibly excited to be a part of the Valiant team,” said Klein. “Nobody in comics is creating an intricate yet accessible universe like Valiant’s and populating it with as diverse a cast of characters. I can’t wait to learn from the insanely experienced team and find ways to contribute to our goal of getting a Valiant comic in the hands of every reader.”
Together, Freeman, Liegl, and Klein will lead the front line of communication between Valiant and the comics retail community worldwide, just as Valiant readies a major wave of titles to be released under the auspices of the VALIANT NEXT initiative with new series including IVAR, TIMEWALKER by New York Times best-selling creators Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry; IMPERIUM by New York Times best-selling writer Joshua Dysart and artist Doug Braithwaite; NINJAK by New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt and artists Clay Mann and Butch Guice; and BLOODSHOT REBORN by New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire and artist Mico Suayan.
“Valiant’s growth over the past three years has been tremendous, and we’re not done yet” said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. “As always, however, one of our top priorities remains the strengthening of relationships with fans and retailers. We’ve made a concerted effort since day one to get involved with each and every comic book shop, convention and consumer. Now, as we begin 2015 in full force, we’re looking forward to taking that mission even further with Andy and Matthew on board as valuable new additions to our dedicated and hard-working team.”
Former Marvel editor Tom Brennan has joined Valiant as Associate Editor, joining several ther former Marvel and DC editors on staff.
Brennan will be working closely with eic Warren Simons. PR below.
Valiant is proud to announce that veteran editor Tom Brennan has been named to the position of Associate Editor. Brennan begins his new role in the midst of the new VALIANT NEXT initiative, overseeing the launch of IVAR, TIMEWALKER by the New York Times best-selling creative team of Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry. Additionally, Brennan will assist Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons on an ongoing basis on titles including NINJAK – beginning in March – by New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt and artists Clay Mann and Butch Guice, and X-O MANOWAR by New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti and artist Diego Bernard.
Brennan is the newest addition to Valiant’s rapidly growing editorial team, which includes Assistant Editor Kyle Andrukiewicz, Editor Alejandro Arbona, and Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons.
“Tom has already proven to be a great fit,” said Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons. “His editorial experience stems from working on a long list of fantastic comics over the years. Great editors don’t come along often, and I’m thrilled to have him join the team.”
A six-year veteran of the editorial team at Marvel Entertainment and a Harvey Award nominee, Brennan has worked on some of the preeminent characters in comics with recent launches including Wolverine & The X-Men by Jason Latour and Mahmud Asrar, and She-Hulk by Charles Soule and Javier Pulido. His series have ranged from the world of all-ages super-heroes in tiles like Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to mainstays of the Marvel line, where Brennan contributed to lengthy runs on Amazing Spider-Man as well as Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, Venom, Thunderbolts, Savage Wolverine, and many more.
“Being a part of Valiant Entertainment might just prove that I’m the luckiest guy in comics,” said Brennan. “Watching Valiant not just survive but thrive in one of the toughest climates in publishing history was always inspiring, but to be a part of it is incredibly exciting. Moreover, Warren Simons is an editor I’ve looked up to for my entire career. This place is full of heart and hustle. I am so incredibly grateful to Dinesh Shamdasani, Fred Pierce, Gavin Cuneo and the whole crew for this warm welcome. I’m happy to be here and ready to get to work!”
“This is an exciting time at Valiant,” said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. “The growth and success we have achieved is a testament to the creators and staff at Valiant HQ, who work tirelessly to produce the best comics possible. Tom has been a natural addition to the team and his presence is already being felt across the line.”
Photo via Benjamin on Flickr
After some personnel shuffling, Portland’s Oni Press is hiring a Director of Publicity—if you want to get involved publicizing a strong line of proven comics, this could be a great gig.
Oni Press is looking for a new addition to our crew!
Do you love talking up great comics and talented creators? Are you a media savvy promoter who knows how to get things done? Do you feel like the Island of Misfit Toys just needed a better hype woman (or man)?
Then this opportunity at Portland-based comic book publisher Oni Press could be right for you!
The Director of Publicity works directly with critically acclaimed comic book creators across a wide range of content, securing reviews, features and interviews for our creators. He or she is charged with promoting the vast Oni Press library including comics such as The Sixth Gun, Letter 44, The Bunker, and Stumptown, original graphic novels like Scott Pilgrim, the Crogan Adventures, Meteor Men and MegaGogo, award-winning young readers titles such as Mermin and Bad Machinery, upcoming licensed comics like Adult Swim’s Rick & Morty and many many more. The Director of Publicity is also responsible for promoting and raising the awareness of the Oni Press brand itself to the comic industry, book industry, libraries and the mainstream press.
The best fit for this job should have publishing publicity experience or similar experience in another industry. Strong industry and mainstream press contacts in comic, book, library and online media are essential. The candidate should excel in dealing one-on-one with creators and securing print and online coverage. Creative ideas for digital and guerilla marketing strategies is an absolute must.
The position requires strong interpersonal and organizational abilities, as well as polished written and verbal communication skills and a flair for developing compelling creative campaigns. Candidate must be self-motivated and detail-oriented.
You must live in Portland, Oregon, or be willing to relocate.
We are looking for a self-sufficient, creative person for this position. A badass who is willing to wear multiple hats, and someone not looking for just a job, but someone who wants to join our gang.
To submit a resume, please e-mail email@example.com.
Oni publicity guy John Schork has left, as announced in a model of grown-upness via social media
Schork who has also worked at Dark Horse and IDW, joined Oni about a year ago as Director of Publicity. He was a pal on the convention circuit and it was always a pleasure working with him, so hopefully we’ll see him at the next stop.
Perhaps this will kick off a new round of publicity musical chairs? Also, DC is hiring.
There are now a ton of job listings up at the WB job board for DC’s new West Coast set-up. Among them publicity and strategy and planning and print and even editorial. We looked at this a few weeks ago,
and now even more content and managing jobs are posted, including a Director, Business Strategy and Planning to go along with the Manager previous listed. Are there going to be ANY indians in this village? Some good jobs there, though.
PS: Newsarama reports that DC has hired a Director of Publicity,
one Michael Shelling
, filling the role long ago vacated by Alex Segura.
More and more job openings at DC Entertainment are being listed at the WB web site, and where once a Joe Orlando just barked at people that Superman’s tights were blue, now it takes a village of VPs to keep the content properly strategized. Take this job, VP, Content Strategy, who works with
the Co-Publishers (Lee and DiDio), the SVP, Editorial Strategy & Administration (a person not publicly announced, I believe), Franchise Management, Business Development, and Sales. He or she will be a busy bee indeed.
And other jobs at DC include no less than TWO VPs of sales—in addition to an existing EVP of sales and a VP of sales—and a Manager, Business Strategy & Planning, AND a Director, Sales Planning who will work with “field sales, Publishing (Content Strategy), Business Planning & Finance, Marketing and other departments to communicate demand so that appropriate quantities are incorporated into DCE financial and production plans (Final Print run numbers).”
Which leaves me with a few questions:
Does it take half a dozen people to replace one Bob Wayne, or merely four or five?
And what is “Publishing (Content Strategy).” The people developing DC’s job structures know these things only sell like 50-60K copies on a good day, right?
Anyway, fire up those resumes, content strategists:
Vice President, Content Strategy:
Vice President, Content Strategy
LOCATIONUnited States – Burbank, California
AREA OF INTERESTPublishing
POSTED DATE Nov. 04, 2014
POSITION TYPE Full Time
BUSINESS DC Comics
SUMMARY OF POSITION
DC Comics seeks a Vice President, Content Strategy for the Editorial Administration department. Works with Co-Publishers & SVP, Editorial Strategy & Administration to centralize, organize, and communicate the overall publishing content strategy across DC Comics, Vertigo, and Mad Magazine.
Works with SVP Editorial Strategy & Administration and the imprint leads to strategize publishing content across print and digital platforms. Each imprint is to have a single, defined and agreed upon publishing content vision. Position supports and develops current and new product and talent in support of each imprint strategy.
On a project-by-project basis, collaborates with Franchise Management, Business Development, and Sales to develop brand-building and revenue opportunities with Portfolio and/or WB and 3rd parties, with an initial focus on Vertigo and MAD.
Develop strategies to optimize business opportunities, as well as memorializing long-standing but undocumented business practices.
Coordinates with Franchise Management, Media, Sales, Marketing, and International Sub-License departments to communicate, update, and where needed, formulate plan on a regular basis.
Work with Finance and Sales to set and revise budget and forecast for new projects.
Other projects/duties as assigned.
BA/BS degree or equivalent experience required.
7-10 years work experience required.
5+ years managing a team required.
Online or Print Publishing experience preferred.
Knowledge of comic book industry required.
MAC/PC proficiency required.
Microsoft Office proficiency required.
Ability for some light travel required.
Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing required.
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 meet deadlines and manage multiple project elements simultaneously
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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
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.
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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!