Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Little Idea That Could...


Ah yes. PLANET GRIFFIN returns, dedicated to those NEXT 100 who keep their knees clean and their backs straight... No bowing down... No bending over... Today, we look at the little company that's not so little anymore--- IDW Publishing.

When IDW first appeared on the scene, I viewed the company as a little engine that could, introducing indie fare like 30 Days Of Night and keeping Ashley Wood on permanent retainer for the slew of 'artbook experiments' that don't always make it past the first issue--- as time progressed, it seemed as though IDW was turning into yet another DMV--- a licensing agency--- picking up everything from Transformers to G.I.Joe to Angel to Astro Boy (of course, they also have cool original works like Bob Fingerman's FROM THE ASHES, TORPEDO VOL.1 by legendary Jordi Benet, and the new deluxe edition of Dave Steven's ROCKETEER! Pure, Old School Geek Love!)... Of course, these things were only window dressings in comparison to the long view they were about to show.


With the conclusion of this years Comic Con, the announcements of former DC Editor BOB SCHRECK becoming Senior Editor of IDW and J.Scott Campbell bringing DANGER GIRL into the fold took the panel audience by surprise... Long view indeed.

Bob Schreck, who doesn't step into his new digs until October, is a legend of almost 33 years in the business, primarily with DC COMICS, as he was let go from 'the majors' this past spring after it was announced back in January... I personally still think that his removal was one of the stupider moves by DC-Warner, but now like NEAL ADAMS, Bob has now learned that 'Company loyalty is an oxymoron.'

Despite the DC situation coming across the way it did, Bob seemed to hold no grudges... " It's been an interesting 4 and a half months since my layoff, and the first email I got was from Scott Dunbier--- love from across the country," he says. " There's nothing that I can talk about yet because I don't start until October 5th, but I have a lot of friends in the business that I've been blessed to call my firends and work with over the last 20/30 years. I think a few of them are going to follow me on over..." Hmmm... Maybe this was the veiled comment that's helping fuel the rumor of DC's current editor, DAN DIDIO, possibly jumping ship next...

As for Campbell, whose Danger Girl back titles will be available through IDW and their new IPhone format of digital comics (along with the other 80-odd titles IDW has included for download) , his reasonings sort of backed up Schreck's last statement...

"It seemed like a natural fit for me," Campbell says... "I had a very enjoyable time at DC Comics with 'Danger Girl,' but when the time came for me to renew, it seemed to me that [IDW] was a natural fit … Personally, for myself, I feel that IDW represents the old school Wildstorm anyway. I find that I know more of the guys here than I know at DC anymore. I'm very happy about 'Danger Girl' being here and I'm looking forward to the future. Hopefully, as time goes on, there'll be bigger and bigger projects with 'Danger Girl.'"

When it came time for audience reaction, some asked what IDW's strategy was in terms of producing film adaptations of their comic books, Ryall said: "We've always said from the start, we're a comic book publisher, not idea developers trying to get movies made. We're not just trying to throw something out there that hopefully gets picked up. It's gotta be a damn good comic for us to consider it."

IDW is now poised for a massive upshot for 2010, it seems. The little-company-that-could has now become the bigger-company-that-is, seeing as how IDW has now become one of the BIG 3 behind DC and Marvel, replacing IMAGE. And to think that IDW was a little idea that could... Who knew, right?

4 comments:

Jay Potts said...

IDW got my attention when they announced that they were releasing the collected "Rip Kirby" strips this fall.

I didn't know about J. Scott Campbell coming over. However, I don't want to see "Danger Girl" repackaged for the umpteenth time. I actually love J. Scott Campbell's art and want to see new original work from him. I was really enthused about "WildSiderz." It was a hokey concept, but a lot of fun and well made.

RodBuddah said...

Tell me about it! I'm still geeking on the release of Torpedo, but suffice it to say, don't be surprised to see a copy of Rip wedged in my armpit!

samax said...

i was never a fan of Campbell, but i appreciate him, and i like this move. IDW is a class act.

RodBuddah said...

You know their Dunn & Broadstreet stock is about to blow up within the next year or so if they can maintain their focus. Any small arthouse that can shake Image's spot to knock on 'the Mainstream's' door is saying something!