I always knew that I wanted to start my own business, but even though I’d been an avid comic-book reader as a child and young adult, it wasn’t my intention to start a comic-book company. As you’ll learn in this book, when the four founders of IDW started our business, we had no intention of publishing comic books.
So, it’s not a stretch to call IDWan accidental comicbook publisher; a company that has seen one of its titles turned into a major motion picture; a company that has been named “Publisher of the Year” five out of the last six years by the country’s comic-book retailers; and a company that has published over 1,200 titles.
IDW wouldn’t have accomplished any of those things or be the company it is today without a lot of luck and the hard work of the many men and women who have worked for it over the past 10 years.
We’ve had the good fortune of working with some very talented people. You’ll hear from Chris Ryall– IDW’s Publisher/Editor-in-Chief–in this book, but his contribution to the company can’t be overstated. He works as hard as anyone I’ve ever met and is fiercely loyal to the company that he’s helped build. Before Chris joined the company, Jeff Mariotte was the company’s Editor-in-Chief and he was also instrumental in building our comic-book business.
Every IDW publication includes a masthead of employees. Some of the names you may recognize, while others work in positions that don’t receive much public attention. Here’s a “behind-the-scenes” look at the people who make IDW the company I’m proud to run.
Greg Goldstein, IDW’s Chief Operating Officer, oversees the day-to-day operations of the business. He helps me manage our employees and freelancers and works closely with the company’s licensors.
Matt Ruzicka, IDW’s Chief Financial Officer, oversees IDW’s receivable and payables. He handles all of the company’s accounting, which includes royalty statements for creators and licensors. Matt also works closely with Greg and the company’s editors, evaluating the financial viability of new projects.
Alan Payne, VP of Sales, handles all of IDW’s sales outside of the comic-book direct market. He’s often on the road meeting with buyers or attending trade shows.
Lorelei Bunjes, Director of Digital Services, oversees IDW’s Web site and acts as a one-woman IT department. She’s also an integral part of our plan to broaden our reach via digital distribution of our content.
Marci Hubbard, Executive Assistant, is my assistant but that’s only part of what she does for IDW. She keeps the office organized and handles a variety of things including copyright registration and publishingagreement tracking and organization. She also transcribed all the interviews that appear in this book.
Alonzo Simon, Shipping Manager, receives and ships every package that comes to IDW’s main office. We publish a lot of titles and he’s constantly juggling hundreds of boxes. In addition to sending out creator comps and review copies, he also runs IDW’s online store.
Scott Dunbier, Editor/Special Projects, oversees a variety of projects for IDW. In 2008, he edited IDW’s unbelievably successful presidential-candidate biographies, Presidential Material: Barack Obama and Presidential Material: John McCain. In 2009, he’ll be working on projects as diverse as Darwyn Cooke’s Parker adaptations and the Complete Bloom County.
Andy Schmidt, Senior Editor, focuses on the titles we do with Hasbro–G.I. Joe and The Transformers. He works closely with the brand team at Hasbro and has developed full lines for both franchises.
Justin Eisinger, Editor, oversees IDW’s books– everything from original titles like Fishtown, to collections of IDW titles like Dead, She Said, to collections of other companies material like Journey, to prose novels like Nightwings. Justin’s also responsible for making sure that we meet the insanely early deadlines that our bookstore customers require.
Kris Oprisko, Editor/Foreign Licensing, as you’ll learn in this book, is one of IDW’s founders. He currently handles the company’s foreign licensing and works on a variety of creative service projects. Kris has also written many comics for the company, including The Transformers movie adaptation.
Denton J. Tipton, Editor, edits our line of Doctor Who comics and works closely with Chris, Scott, Andy, and Tom on all of IDW’s comic-book titles. Denton is also writing IDW’s G.I. Joe movie adaptation.
Tom Waltz, Editor, edits a variety of titles for IDW, including the books we published with Gene Simmons under the Simmons Comics Group banner. Tom also regularly writes for the company and his original graphic novel, Finding Peace, is one of my favorite IDW books.
Mariah Huehner, Associate Editor, works with Justin on all IDW’s books and recently started working with Chris on our line of Angel comics.
Robbie Robbins, EVP/Senior Graphic Artist, is also one of the company’s founders and currently oversees the company’s production/design department.
Ben Templesmith, Artist/Designer, is well known to comic fans worldwide for his work on 30 Days of Night, Welcome to Hoxford, and Wormwood. Ben’s currently working on Groom Lake, a new series written by Chris Ryall.
Neil Uyetake, Art Director, designs and letters IDW titles, and works with Robbie in setting the look and feel of IDW titles. Neil also produces the ads we run in Diamond’s monthly Previews catalog.
Chris Mowry, Graphic Artist, also designs and letters a variety of IDW titles. Chris also writes Transformers comics for IDWand recently wrapped two prequels to The Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
Amauri Osorio, Graphic Artist, preps lettering files for the other members of the production department and does a wide range of production tasks. Amauri worked closely with Robbie on IDW: The Covers, tracking down and pulling the files for all the covers that appear in the book.
Gilberto Lazcano, Production Assistant, works with Lorelei on the IDW Web site. He also reformats files for a variety of digital distribution formats.
That’s the gang that works in San Diego. Outside of our home office, we’ve got a team dedicated to our Worthwhile Books division, which includes Rob Kurtz, Creative Director, Megan Bryant, Editor, and Jennifer O’Donohue, Sales.
I wish I could also single out all of the talented freelancers who work for the company, but if I did that, this introduction would end up being longer than the rest of the book. Suffice to say that everyone at IDW knows we can’t publish anything without the hard work of the writers, artists, and colorists who produce the books we publish.
Most of this book is written as an oral history, featuring interviews with many of the creators who’ve been part of the company’s success. In this day of e-mail-conducted interviews, I think it’s worth pointing out that every interview in this book was done on the phone by me, Kris Oprisko, or Chris Ryall. It may be old-fashioned, but I think a live conversation between two people is more interesting than a series of e-mails.
I hope you’ll enjoy learning more about IDW. Many fans know IDW for the books they like the most. To some fans we’re Ash Wood or Ben Templesmith’s publisher. For other fans, we’re the home of The Transformers, Star Trek, or Doctor Who. For many fans, we’re the home of original horror comics like 30 Days of Night or Locke&Key. And other people only follow the comic-strip reprints published under the Library of American Comics. However you know IDW, this book will tell you how we got started, what it’s like to run a comic-book business, and provide some insight into the creative processes of some of our best writers and artists.
The other integral parts of IDWare the comic shops who carry our books–and you, our readers. We can’t publish books unless someone buys and reads them. Everyone at IDW appreciates the support we’ve received from retailers and readers. I hope you enjoy learning more about IDW