It’s new comic book day! What are you all excited for? What do you plan on getting? Sound off in the comments below. While you wait for your shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.
It was a semi-quiet Monday with everyone focused on San Diego Comic-Con’s virtual debut later this week! While you wait for that in a few days, here’s some comic news from around the web in our morning roundup.
IDW co-founders Ted Adams and Robbie Robbins have launched Clover Press, a new publishing joint venture with IDW Media Holdings, the parent company of IDW Publishing. Adams and Robbins launched IDW 20 years ago. Adams stepped down as CEO of IDW in 2018 and remains a stockholder in IDW Media Holdings. Robbins is an EVP and Art Director at IDW.
Clover Press will focus on the book market and direct-to-consumer prestige format publications as a “new, progressive, eclectic, boutique publisher.”
In the announcement, the focus of the publisher is said to be “progressive projects,” “creator-owned endeavors,” and “celebration of classic works from authors and artists.”
Also joining Adams and Robbins is Elaine LaRosa, Adams’ longtime assistant, and Nate Murray who will oversee Clover Press’ sales. The publisher will use freelance editorial and production staff.
The weekend is almost here! Who’s spending it watching Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on repeat? Sound off in the comments! While you wait for the work day to end and the weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.
IDW Publishing, a division of IDW Media Holdings, announced today that its former Chief Creative Officer and Editor-In-Chief, Chris Ryall, is returning to the company as President, Publisher and Chief Creative Officer. Ryall, formerly part of the editorial division at Skybound Entertainment, will be charged with ongoing creative expansion efforts within the company, as well as continuing to work closely with partners and licensors. Greg Goldstein will be stepping down as President and Publisher.
This latest move comes after a year featuring numerous personnel shake-ups and departures at the company and turmoil behind the scenes.
Ryall originally joined IDW Publishing in 2004 as the company’s Editor-in-Chief. In 2010, he was named as the company’s first Chief Creative Officer. During his initial stint with the company, Ryall oversaw the acquisition of licensed titles such as Transformers, Star Trek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and dozens of others. He also served as editor on hundreds of titles and, alongside creators Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, helped develop the acclaimed, Eisner Award-winning Locke & Key, currently in development as a Netflix television series.
Ryall has assumed his new duties, bringing more than 14 years of proven success to IDW Publishing. As a writer, Ryall was nominated for an Eisner Award alongside artist Ashley Wood. Together, they co-created the property Zombies vs Robots, purchased by Sony Pictures. He is also the co-creator of Onyx (with Gabriel Rodriguez); The Hollows (with Sam Kieth); The Colonized (with Drew Moss); and Groom Lake (with Ben Templesmith); the co-author of Comic Books 101 (with Scott Tipton); and writer of licensed properties such as Stephen King and Joe Hill’s Throttle; Clive Barker’s The Great and Secret Show; Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, The Transformers; Mars Attacks, Rom, Kiss; and many other titles.
Kerry McCluggage, CEO of IDW Media Holdings, announced today that David Ozer, President of IDW Entertainment, will be leaving the company to become an independent producer.
IDW Entertainment was launched in 2013, and Ozer and his team have been responsible for building the division and successfully delivering three seasons of the critically-acclaimed Wynonna Earp andsecuring deals with Netflix to produce Locke and Key and V-Wars. IDW Entertainment also has a strong roster of projects in active development, with properties based on their deep and growing library of comic books and graphic novels, as well as properties created by their many friends in the writer/producer community.
Veteran television executive Kerry McCluggage, who was joined to the IDW Media Holdings, Inc. Board of Directors in September 2017, has been named as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. The former Paramount TV Chairman and Universal TV President will replace current CEO and founder Ted Adams, who is taking a brief sabbatical and will return to IDW in a new creative role.
McCluggage’s appointment signals the company’s focus on television where it has lately foudn success with Wynonna Earp which airs on SyFy and was recently renewed for a fourth season. The company has V-Wars in development at the same channel and Locke & Key is moving out of development hell and has landed at Netflix.
The company has had a rough few years. The publishing division declined close to a half million dollars in the fiscal second quarter ending April 30th, but operating losses improved $168,000 and now stand at $1.39 million from $1.56 million at the same time last year.
IDW Media Holdings had $8.7 million in sales for the quarter which is down 2% and a $2.2 million loss, around 23% worse than a year ago.
As both an industry executive and independent producer for over 40 years, McCluggage has also been an investor in media companies, including Allumination FilmWorks LLC. and Content Media Corporation. Since 2002, he has served as President of Craftsman Films, an independent production company developing motion picture and television product. Additionally, McCluggage is a founding shareholder of Old West Investment Management.
Prior to forming Craftsman Films, McCluggage was Chairman of the Paramount Television Group, a position he held for 10 years with responsibility for all aspects of the company’s television operations. During his time with Paramount, McCluggage shepherded many award winning and successful series, including the Emmy Award-winning Frasier and Cheers, and the phenomenally successful Star Trek franchise, as well as the venerable magazine series Entertainment Tonight and helped develop and launch the original plan for UPN (known as The United Paramount Network).
Before joining Paramount, McCluggage was with Universal, where he established the company as a significant supplier of series with such groundbreaking shows as Quantum Leap, Law & Order, Northern Exposure, Miami Vice, and Coach. he joined as a programing assistant in 1978 and would have oversight of all development and production for such series as Magnum, P.I., The Equalizer, Murder She Wrote,The A-Team, and ultimately rising to President of Universal Television.
IDW Media Holdings announced its results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ending October 31, 2017.
The company in the announcement focused on the company’s success in non-comics and said that that will help accelerate the growth in 2018. It also highlighted its transition to Random House for distribution as well as their new Star Wars and Sonic the Hedgehog comics as hopefully helping turn things around in 2018.
However, despite strength in television, IDW felt the sting of the comic industry as a whole and saw a decline in 2017. The company had $4.9 million less in revenue in 2017 compared to 2016.
Here’s the highlights of the announcement:
Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year End 2017 Financial Highlights:
Revenue of $20.0 million for Q4-17 compared to $23.6 million for the year ago period (-15.4%) and $16.7 million in Q3-17 (+19.6%). Revenue of $60.4 million for FY-17 compared to $65.3 million for the previous year. The year over year decline in revenue and the sequential quarterly increase in revenue are discussed below for each segment of the Company.
Gross profit margin for the Company of 40.8% for Q4-17 compared to 42.1% for Q4-16 and 46.2% for Q3-17. Gross profit margin for the Company of 44.9% for FY-17 compared to 47.2% for the previous year. The year over year decline was principally due to increasing printing costs at IDW Publishing, reduced revenue at CTM Media Group (where almost all direct costs are fixed costs), and a change in revenue mix in which a higher percentage of the total revenue were from relatively lower margin offerings, partially offset by an increase in gross margin at IDW Entertainment.
Net income for the Company of $0.7 million for Q4-17 compared to $2.0 million for Q4-16 and $0.1 million for Q3-17. Net loss for the Company of $0.8 million for FY-17 compared to Net income of $3.7 million for the previous year. The decline in net income from the prior year was principally due to declines in revenue and gross profit margin, as well as an increase in SG&A expenses at IDW Entertainment associated with the launch of new programs. Additionally, we saw increases of $0.7 million in Q4-17 and $2.6 million for FY-17 compared to the prior year periods of non-cash compensation expense associated with the grant of stock to employees beginning in Q1-17. The sequential improvement in quarterly net income was principally due to the increased revenue discussed above.
Cash Balance for the Company of $9.2 million at year end was $3.0 million higher than at the previous year end primarily due to the cash raised in the capital stock offering in Q3-17, and $8.0 million lower than $17.2 million at the end of Q3-17. The decline during Q4-17 was primarily due to investments in television productions to support the anticipated future growth of the IDW Entertainment business. The investment in production assets is reflected in the increased balances of Accounts Receivable and Inventory of IDW Entertainment, which the Company expects to convert to revenue beginning in FY-18.
IDW Entertainment Revenue of $7.6 million for Q4-17 compared to $8.3 million for Q4-16 and $5.2 million for Q3-17. IDW Entertainment Revenue of $16.2 million for FY-17 compared to $16.0 million for the previous year. The decrease in revenue from the prior year quarter and increase from the prior year was principally due to timing of delivery of episodes of television properties that are being produced. As further described in this release, IDW Entertainment is positioned for significant future growth with programs at various stages of development and production.
IDW Publishing Revenue of $6.8 million for Q4-17 compared to $9.4 million for Q4-16 and $5.4 million for Q3-17. IDW Publishing Revenue of $24.5 million for FY-17 compared to $27.9 million for the previous year. IDW Publishing’s revenue in FY-17 was impacted by a cyclically slow period in the comic book speciality market, compounded by temporary disruption related to the transition in distributors to Random House. With the move to Random House complete and with the planned release of major titles, including Star Wars Adventures, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Star Trek: Discovery, as well as new games, including Atari: Centipede, Sonic the Hedgehog, andNickelodeon Splat Attack!, we anticipate continued sequential growth in IDW Publishing, which includes IDW Games.
CTM Media Group Revenue of $5.6 million for Q4-17 compared to $5.9 million for Q4-16 and $6.1 million for Q3-17. CTM Media Group Revenue of $19.7 million for FY-17 compared to $21.4 million for the previous year. The year over year decline is attributable to the loss of certain locations and customers including due to cyclical factors impacting the Broadway industry. The sequential decrease is primarily attributable to seasonal factors. We expect CTM to increase revenue in FY-18 via introduction of new products, creating new partnerships and a rebranding initiative.
Significant Highlights and Milestones:
IDW Entertainment is now poised for significant growth. With the success of IDW Entertainment’s initial programs, the media industry has recognized both the value of IDW Publishing’s extensive library of proprietary content and IDW Entertainment’s capabilities to produce world-class programming.
Season two of the critically-acclaimed series Wynonna Earp premiered on SYFY channel in the U.S.; Viacom in the U.K. and Australia; and Netflix worldwide, and the fan favorite series was renewed by SYFY for season three, which went into production on January 15, 2018.
IDW Entertainment entered into a partnership with Hulu to produce IDW Publishing’s critically-acclaimed, multiple award-winning and internationally recognized franchise Locke & Key. Production has been completed on the pilot episode by an all-star creative team, including writer Joe Hill, director Andy Muschietti (Stephen King’s IT, Mama) with Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel, The Strain, Jack Ryan) serving as showrunner. IDW Entertainment is creating a world-class production for Locke & Keythat will entertain fans globally.
Season two of Dirk Gently premiered on BBC America in the U.S. and season one premiered globally, outside of the U.S., on Netflix. While BBC America recently announced that the series will not be renewed for a third season, the production of Dirk Gently, which was based on third party content, helped to establish IDW Entertainment’s reputation as a producer of high-quality television programming.
IDW Entertainment began development on Jonathan Kellerman’s bestselling book property, Alex Delaware, as a scripted series for multiple platforms with Barry O’Brien (CSI: Miami, Castle) on board as writer and showrunner. The Alex Delaware franchise consists of 32 titles, selling over 40 million copies, making it the longest running contemporary crime series with millions of fans worldwide.
IDW Entertainment anticipates an increase in production and has six new series in active development based on titles from IDW Publishing, including V-Wars, October Faction, Lore, Winter World, Life Undead and Chicacabra, with additional properties in the pipeline for FY-18 and beyond.
IDW Entertainment also expects to expand into digital platforms via the Company’s recently established IDW Digital Studio.
IDW Publishing had a relatively soft year in FY-17 due to industry-wide slowness in the comic book market, and the short-term disruption from the Company’s transition to Random House as its new book-market distributor. IDW Publishing will seek to maximize the benefits of that major change in FY-18. Importantly, IDW Publishing’s growing library continues to supply proprietary, high-quality content for IDW Entertainment and is well positioned to fuel the accelerated growth of IDW Entertainment.
IDW Publishing added Star Wars to its powerful line-up of kids’ properties, with the first titles hitting at the end of the year. A full line-up for FY-18 includes graphic novel film adaptations, a monthly on-going series, and special one-shots and tie-in events.
IDW Publishing added the classic popular title, Sonic the Hedgehog, to its publishing portfolio, with a major launch announced for April 2018. Sonic, a beloved videogame title for more than 25 years, is one of the most successful kid’s properties in the comic book market.
IDW Publishing’s October launch of Black Crown, an adult-oriented, creator-driven imprint, has already built buzz and will provide an eclectic slate of titles, which will further build an already impressive line-up of proprieties available for entertainment development.
IDW Publishing’s games division, IDW Games, is focused on long-term development and is adding a breadth of titles for 2018, including Sonic The Hedgehog, Nickelodeon classic characters, Dragon Ball Z, and additional mass-market titles with wide appeal.
IDW Publishing’s Top Shelf imprint found continued success with new titles such as Surfside Girls, aimed squarely at the growing YA girls’ market. And in 2018, IDW Publishing will release one of the most anticipated titles among comic book fans–Alan Moore’s final series of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
IDW Publishing’s push into international markets continues with licensing into more territories and with a greater variety of publishers than ever before.
IDW Media Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: IDWM), a fully integrated media company, which includes publishing, games, entertainment, tourism marketing, and the San Diego Comic Art Gallery, has announced that it has qualified to trade on the OTCQX Best Market. IDW Media Holdings upgraded to OTCQX from the Pink market.
IDW Media Holdings began trading on OTCQX under the symbol “IDWM.” U.S. investors can find current financial disclosure and Real-Time Level 2 quotes for the company on www.otcmarkets.com.
IDW Media Holdings is a holding company consisting of the following principal businesses:
Idea and Design Works, LLC (IDW), which is a comic book and graphic novel publisher that creates and licenses intellectual property, IDW Entertainment, LLC, which creates and produces and distributes television productions, and CTM Media Group, Inc., the company’s brochure distribution company and other advertising-based product initiatives focused on small to medium sized businesses.
IDW Media Holdings was sponsored for OTCQX by BFW Attorneys, a qualified third party firm responsible for providing guidance on OTCQX requirements and recommending membership.
IDW Media Holdings, Inc. (formerly known as CTM Media Holdings, Inc.), announced today completion of a ten-for-one stock split. The split was effective on August 4, 2015. Each share of Class B Common Stock (including shares issued in the recent conversion of Class A Common Stock) and Class C Common Stock, now represents ten shares of the same class. The change has been effected in the records of the Company’s transfer agent.
As part of an integrated effort, including the change of the Company’s name, it is expected that the post-split Class B Common Stock will begin trading under the ticker symbol (OTC PINK: IDWM) starting on August 10, 2015.
IDW Media Holdings, Inc. is the integrated media company consisting of IDW Publishing, the award-winning, San Diego-based comic-book and graphic novel publisher; CTM Media Group, a distributor of print and digital advertising; IDW Entertainment, the television-development arm of IDW Publishing; San Diego Comic Art Gallery, a new comic art gallery space launched in summer 2015; Ettractions, a travel-based web portal; Top Shelf Productions, a publisher of independent and creator-driven graphic novels; IDW Games, producer of tabletop board games and card games; and IDW Limited, the high-end print collectibles division of IDW Publishing.
Since making the name change to IDW Media Holdings in April, the stock has increased in value around 100% (as of the end of trading on 8/5).
IDW Publishing was recently recognized with three Eisner Awards; prizes given for the top creative achievements within the comic book industry and announced that it will be doing comics based on Back to the Future and fan favorites Micronauts and Rom. IDW Entertainment announced that the SyFy Channel has acquired the U.S. rights to Wynonna Earp with an initial order of 13 one-hour episodes and USA Network has ordered a pilot for Brooklyn Animal Control. IDW Games announced its hit card game, Machi Koro has topped 100,000 copies and a deluxe edition is scheduled for the holiday season.