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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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
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.
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.
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?
[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.
….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.
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.”
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.
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?
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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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
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.
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..
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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)