Category Archives: Business

L.A. Comic Con 2023: SpectreVision and Oni Press inhabit High Strangeness

High Strangeness
Teaser Image by Malachi Ward

In advance of L.A. Comic Con 2023Oni Press has revealed a collaboration with SpectreVision – devoted to exploring the uncanny and unusual realms of High Strangeness with a new “pop-up” publishing imprint debuting in 2025.

Influenced by real, documented cases of paranormal phenomena dating back to the mid-20th century, High Strangeness will surveil the liminal spaces where reality, hallucination, science and mythology give way to cosmic wonder and existential terror, bending perception far beyond the bounds of traditional science fiction and horror.

Joining the project as a Creative Consultant is podcaster, Jim Perry, who will advise the team based on his extensive knowledge of anomalous phenomena. Producer and host of the critically acclaimed audio documentary podcast, Euphomet, Perry’s thoughtful, humanistic approach to paranormal experience has earned him high status as a journalist and broadcaster. 

SpectreVision founders Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah will join Oni Press President & Publisher Hunter Gorinson and Editor-in-Chief Sierra Hahn to share more details on High Strangeness at this weekend’s L.A. Comic Con with an exclusive panel presentation on Sunday, December 3rd at 12 Noon PT in Room 304.

CCXP 2023: Ivan Reis goes exclusive with Ghost Machine

Ghost Machine has revealed the addition of Brazilian artist Ivan Reis to the team. Reis and Ghost Machine’s co-founder Geoff Johns took to the stage at CCXP—the largest comic book convention in Latin America—to make the announcement in front of a sold-out crowd of fan attendees.

Reis is recognized as one of the industry’s greatest and most admired artists, having been exclusive to DC Comics for nearly two decades. He is known as one of the main artists for many tentpole titles and modern classics alike, including Green LanternAquaman, Superman, Blackest Night, Brightest Day, and Justice League, a number of which went on to become New York Times bestsellers. His illustrations were instrumental for the 2018 feature film Aquaman, and Reis also serves as associate producer and concept artist for the recently-announced Iemanjá movie from Warner Bros. Brazil. Upon completion of his current commitments, Reis—along with all Ghost Machine’s creators—will be exclusive to the company for his comic book output.

Reis will re-team with Johns, his frequent collaborator on numerous now-iconic DC stories (Sinestro Corps War, Blackest Night, Aquaman) on Hyde Street, an all-new series which will launch Ghost Machine’s horror universe and introduce strange and bizarre characters like Mr. X-Ray. Hyde Street debuts in January’s Ghost Machine #1, which will feature exclusive Hyde Street covers by Reis, before launching later in 2024. Perhaps best described as Blackest Night’s fantastic scope with Twilight Zone’s thought-provoking drama, Hyde Street will continue Reis and Johns’ tradition of epic, character-centered stories with rich and sprawling mythologies surrounding them.

Ghost Machine creators co-own all the characters and universes developed for their company, sharing in all publishing, media, merchandise, and beyond—a move the creatives of Ghost Machine see as a natural emancipation within the entertainment landscape, allowing them to retain creative control and meaningfully participate in the success of their properties like never before.

The pioneering creator collective includes Jason Fabok, Gary Frank, Bryan Hitch, Geoff Johns, Lamont Magee, Francis Manapul, Brad Meltzer, Ivan Reis, Peter J. Tomasi, and Maytal Zchut.

A two-issue prequel series, Geiger: Ground Zero by Johns and Frank, recently shipped in November and December before Ghost Machine’s first official release in January 2024, Ghost Machine #1, a 64-page special which will introduce its FOUR SHARED UNIVERSES of characters:

  • The Unnamed, revealing a mysterious group of genre heroes from across history, featuring characters and titles like Geiger, Junkyard Joe, Redcoat, and First Ghost. A Geiger series, based on Johns and Frank’s hit comic of the same name, is already in development at Paramount TV with director Justin Simien.
  • Rook: Exodusa sprawling sci-fi epic which takes place in the far future, on a world where every aspect of nature is controlled by technology.
  • The universe of family odysseys centering around the time displaced family, The Rocketfellers, and their friends.
  • Hyde Street, an epic horror universe and the name of one of Ghost Machine’s lead series written by Johns and illustrated by Ivan Reis.

Following Ghost Machine #1, Ghost Machine’s titles will begin shipping in April 2024 with an all-new ongoing Geiger series, Redcoat and Rook: Exodus. Ghost Machine’s titles will be published through Image Comics. 

AWA appoints Diya Sagar as the Company’s First Chief Financial Officer

Diya Sagar

Artists, Writers & Artisans Inc. (AWA) has announced the appointment of Diya Sagar as the company’s first Chief Financial Officer

Diya Sagar is an experienced finance and investment professional with an international background. She has worked with businesses of all stages, including large-cap public companies, private equity-owned corporations, and venture-backed startups. Sagar joins AWA from its lead shareholder Lupa Systems, James Murdoch’s private investment firm, where she was an investor in media and technology companies. Previously, she led corporate development & strategy at Endemol Shine Group, the world’s largest independent TV production company at the time. She started her career in investment banking at Deutsche Bank in London, covering M&A and capital raises for technology, media and telecoms companies. In addition to her financial and operational acumen, she has a keen understanding of how new technologies and strategic partnerships can support creators’ work. She received her M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management and B.A. in Economics from the University of Durham.

In her new role, Sagar will work closely alongside AWA’s executive leadership team including Anderson, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman Jon Miller, Chief Creative Officer Axel Alonso, AWA Studios’ President Zach Studin, and General Counsel Bob Cohen. In addition to being responsible for the financial management of the company, Sagar will lead business strategy, corporate development, M&A, operations and emerging technology initiatives.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes repeats in first as Napoleon and Wish stumble

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes held the top spot at the weekend box office. The film grossed $28.2 million to bring its domestic total to $98.4 million. Internationally, the film has grossed $56.2 million for a worldwide total to $154.6 million after two weeks.

With a reported budget of $200 million, it’s hard to not see the $20.4 million domestic opening weekend for Napoleon as anything but a rout. Since its opening the film has grossed $32.5 million domestically, it opened on Wednesday, and $46.3 million internationally. That’s a worldwide total of $78.8 million. It continues an uneven record and result for Ridley Scott and with middling reviews, it’ll be interesting to see what maneuvers this film has to improve its gross.

Walt Disney’s Wish was another bump in the road for the once dominant house of mouse with a weekend total of just $19.5 million. Domestically, the film has grossed $31.7 million since its Wednesday debut with another $17.3 million internationally for a worldwide debut of $49 million. It continues a rough year for Disney which has seen a string of films vastly underperforming. Are people waiting to watch these films on Disney+? Only Disney knows the answer.

Trolls Band Together slipped from second to fourth with $17.5 million over the weekend. The film has grossed $64.5 million domestically and over the week added $5.1 million internationally over the week to bring its total to $81.4 million there. Worldwide, the film has grossed $145.8 million.

Thanksgiving rounded out the top five with $7.3 million to bring its domestic total to $24.2 million. Over the week, the film over doubled its international gross adding $2.5 million to bring that to $4.9 million. Worldwide, the movie has grossed just under $29.1 million.

In comic film news…

The Marvels continues to stumble being knocked out of the top five after just three weeks. to fourth place after debuting in first last week. Coming in sixth, the film added an estimated $6.4 million to its domestic total to bring that to $76.9 million. Things are going a bit better internationally where the film added $15.7 million over the week to bring it to $112 million. Worldwide, the movie has grossed $188.9 million.

The week’s overall box office success…

Numbers have 24 films earning $114,745,868 from 33,342 theaters. That’s about the same as last weekend’s $115,477,664 from 31,770 theaters and 51 films. The average earning was $3,441.48 is similar to the previous weekend’s $3,634.80.

Difference Engine Inks an Exclusive Distribution Deal with Diamond Book Distributors

Difference Engine

Diamond Book Distributors has announced that it has signed a worldwide distribution agreement with Difference Engine to exclusively distribute their graphic novels, books, and comics to North American and international markets. This agreement also sees Difference Engine products distributed to the comic book specialty market exclusively through Diamond Comic Distributors.

Difference Engine is an independent comics publishing house based in Singapore. They tell stories that make a difference. The company focuses on narratives from the vibrant and growing Southeast Asian comics community that detail joys and sorrows, worries and celebrations, and other lived experiences and inspirations. They work with people whose stories are birthed from the center and the margins so that their voices, histories, and perspectives are amplified. Difference Engine collaborates closely with a diverse group of Southeast Asian creators, both new and experienced, with diverse, genuine, and thought-provoking ideas to share. Difference Engine is part of the Potato Productions group of companies.

Difference Engine boasts an ever-growing library of comic books and graphic novels that feature a variety of genres including fantasy, action/adventure, slice-of-life, personal narratives, and more. Work-Life Balance: Malevolent Managers and Folkloric Freelancers weaves Asian mythology with the dread of corporate life in a work that is equal parts prose and comics. Amazing Ash & Superhero Ah Ma is an action-meets-slice-of-life trilogy that captures the adventures of a grandma-grandchild superhero duo while dealing with life changes brought about by ageing and dementia. SOUND: A Comics Anthology challenges Southeast Asian writers and illustrators to answer the question “what does sound look like to you?” by pushing the boundaries of visuals and words to depict the unseen. Afterlife: The Boy Next Realm is a young adult fantasy graphic novel about a sister determined to save her brother, and the help she gets from a spirit-turned-love interest from the next realm over. Two Tails explores what happens when Rara, who dislikes animals, has an accident that turns her into a two-tailed cat with only one opportunity to regain her human form. A Drip. A Drop. A Deluge: A Period Tragicomedy is inspired by the true experiences of Asian women as they navigate their menstrual cycle at various points in their lives and its impact on those around them.

Vault Announces Beyond Real #1 Received Over 100,000 Orders

Vault has announced that Beyond Real #1 has received over 100,000 orders at FOC. This makes it the second Vault title to break 100,000 units ordered in 2023 as part of their industry changing Free-to-Retailers model that debuted to astonishing success with November’s Unnatural Order #1.   

Beyond Real sees Zack Kaplan return to Vault after his recent celebrated series Mindset, joined by a slate of phenomenal artists including Fabiana Mascolo, Toni Fejzula, Vincenzo Riccardi, Dennis Menheere, Jorge Corona, Luana Vecchio, and Liana Kangas. Each issue of this ambitious series will see these seven artists working in tandem, handing off scenes back and forth to each other as part of the narrative structure of this mind-bending story about simulation theory, the creative spirit, and the struggle for self-determination.

Much of Beyond Real will be colored by the legendary Eisner-winning artist Jordie Bellaire alongside series artists who will color their own work. The series’ lettering will be crafted by Eisner-winner Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, and every issue will be designed by the inimitable Tim Daniel. Each issue will have a main cover painted by Mindset co-creator and Eisner-winning artist John J. Pearson.      

The series follows the struggling artist June after a severe accident leaves her boyfriend in a coma and causes her to experience bizarre visual phenomena. When she discovers that the world she considers “reality” may in fact be a computer simulation, she must set out on a perilous journey through metaphysical layers of the simulation to reach the true creator and save her love from death.

Beyond Real #1 hits store shelves on 12/13/2023, and will feature gorgeous variants from Jorge Corona Luana Vecchio, and Fabiana Mascolo.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes battles into first at the weekend box office

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

It was a weekend full of new releases in the top five at the box office. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes took the weekend box office with an estimated $44 million. No international grosses have been reported so far.

That amount is far below previous releases in the film series. The Hunger Games in 2012 debuted domestically with $152.5 million, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opened in 2013 with $158.1 million, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opened in 2014 with $121.9 million in 2014, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 opened in 2015 with $102.7 million.

Trolls Band Together was another new release debuting in second place. It grossed $30.6 million over the weekend to have a domestic total of $31.8 million, Internationally, the film has grossed $76.3 million for a worldwide total of $108.1 million.

Thanksgiving is the third new release in the top five. It grossed a reported $10.3 million. Internationally, the movie grossed $2.4 million for a worldwide debut of $12.6 million.

The Marvels took a tumble to fourth place after debuting in first last week. It grossed an estimated $10.1 million, a 78.1% drop, a massive amount even with blockbusters. Domestically, the film has grossed a little over $65 million after two weeks. Over the week, it grossed $54.8 million internationally to bring that total to $96.3 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $161.3 million.

Rounding out the top five was Five Nights at Freddy’s which was in second the previous week. Its estimated gross was $3.5 million to bring its domestic gross to $132,611,720. Over the week, it grossed $14.5 million internationally to bring that to $139.2 million. Worldwide, the movie has grossed $271.8 million.

In comic film news…

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem held steady domestically at $118.6 million. Internationally, the movie remained at $61.9 million. Worldwide, the movie has brought in $180.5 million.

Blue Beetle domestically remained at $72.5 million. Internationally it remained steady at $56.8 million. The movie has grossed $129.3 million worldwide.

Shortcomings, based on the graphic novel by Adrian Tomine remained steady domestically at $675,257 and internationally it remained at at $10,769. Worldwide, the film has grossed $686,026.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse remained steady domestically at $381.3 million. Internationally remained at $309.2 million. Worldwide, the move has grossed $690.5 million.

The week’s overall box office success…

Numbers have 51 films earning $115,477,664 from 31,770 theaters. That’s a nice increase from last weekend’s $87,483,659 from 32,496 theaters and 63 films. The average earning was $3,634.80 this past weekend, about $1,000 better from the previous weekend’s $2,692.14.

Drawn & Quarterly’s publishing team and booksellers unionize

Drawn & Quarterly

Drawn & Quarterly is the latest comic publisher to unionize. Employees voted earlier this fall to unionize under the Fédération du commerce (FC–CSN) of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN). They have now been certified by the Administrative Labor Tribunal (TAT) of Quebec.

Serge Monette, vice-president of the Fédération du commerce (FC–CSN) said in the announcement:

We welcome the workers of Drawn & Quarterly. The Federation is proud to welcome such a committed group among its ranks. They make Drawn and Quarterly the essential institutions that they are.

The press announcement was rather positive, praising Drawn & Quarterly for its “dedication to compensating artists above current industry standards.” Also noted by the union is D&Q empowering its employees to help make “substantive decisions that impact the selection of titles published and stocked, the event programming, the retail experience at both bookstore locations, and their local, national, and international community of readers.”

Also mentioned in the release was improvement in paths to promotion for assistants, salaries that sustain the staff and improved benefits.

This is the latest successful unionization effort in the entertainment industry. Beyond recent action by SAG-AFTRA and the WGA in film and television, Marvel VFX workers voted unanimously to unionize in September, employees of Seven Seas Entertainment unionized in June 2022 and ratified its first contract in September 2023, and the Comic Book Workers United ratified its first union contract in March 2023 after voting to unionize in January 2022.

Certified Collectibles Group to Open a Dubai Office in 2024

Certified Collectibles Group (CCG)

The Certified Collectibles Group (CCG) has announced that it will open an office in Dubai in 2024. The new office will make it easier for collectors and dealers in the UAE and the surrounding region to submit to NGC, PMG and CGC.

Collectibles submitted to CCG’s Dubai office will be transported with full insurance coverage (based on the submitter’s declared value) to CCG Headquarters for authentication, grading and encapsulation. The collectibles will then be transported back to the Dubai office (again with full insurance coverage) to be returned to the submitter.

Further details, including grading fees and the date of the office opening, will be announced soon.

CCG is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, USA, where it operates a 100,000-square-foot campus dedicated to expert services for collectibles. CCG also has locations in London, Munich, Shanghai and Hong Kong, as well as more than 40 Official Submission Centers in regions around the world.

For those interested in applying for a position at CCG’s Dubai office, send your CV or expression of interest to

Margot Wood joins Image as VP of Book Market Sales

Margot Wood

Image Comics has announced a new head of Book Market Sales, Margot Wood. Wood is now VP of Book Market Sales at Image Comics, effective immediately. She will oversee Image’s Book Market Sales and be the main point of contact between the publisher and its book market distributor, Simon & Schuster. Wood will report directly to Eric Stephenson, Publisher & Chief Creative Officer at Image.

Wood comes to Image with nine years of experience working previously as Director of Marketing & Sales at Oni Press and in Marketing at HarperCollins Publishers. In her time at Oni, Wood worked closely with Simon & Schuster to grow the sales of such titles as, Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim, Katie O’Neill’s The Tea Dragon Society, by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson’ A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns, Brenna Thummler’s Sheets, Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer, and Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon’s Rick & Morty comics, to name a few. In her time at HarperCollins she worked on such graphic novels as, ND Stevenson’s Nimona and Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russell’s The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel Vol. 1 & Vol. 2.

Chloe Ramos, Image’s Book Market & Library Sales Manager, will now report to Wood.

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