Not unlike studios, many comic publishers will turn to already established properties for a financial shot in the arm. In recent years these licensed titles have gained real legitimacy, taking on a life of their own, and, in some respects, turning out to be just as entertaining and rewarding as the source material. One of the most successful companies operating under this model has been IDW Publishing. Founded by Ted Adams, Alex Garner, Kris Oprisko, and Robbie Robbins as a graphic design studio called Image and Design Works, they formed a publishing division in 2000.
While the company specializes in licensed entertainment, they do have a stable of wholly original titles. Published in 2002, 30 Days of Night, written by Steven Niles and illustrated by Ben Templesmith, was the company’s first comic book mini-series, and sparked a bidding war between Dreamworks, Sony Pictures and MGM (Sony won). Another notable IDW title is Locke and Key, written by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son) and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez, which was turned into a TV pilot by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. It failed to get a series order, in spite of a strong reception for the pilot at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con. Other titles that are currently in development: Ashley Wood and Chris Ryall’s Zombies vs. Robots is set up at Michael Bay’s Platnum Dunes; Dimension Films has the options for two graphic novels by Steve Niles, Wake the Dead and Hyde.
IDW Publishing is repped by Rick Jacobs at Circle of Confusion, and has several original titles that would make a great movie or TV series: the supernatural western Hawken, by father and son duo Ben and Tim Truman; Memorial by Chris Roberson and Rich Ellis, about a young woman who inherits a magical shop; and Ben Templesmith’s Singularity 7, about a group of seven people fighting off a race of machines in the post apocalyptic future.
IDW may have made a mint through licensed comics, but that does not mean they should be overlooked in the search for the next big thing.
For more information: http://www.idwpublishing.com/
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