Tag Archives: rich johnson

Rich Johnson joins Diamond Book Distributors

Diamond Book Distributors

Diamond Book Distributors (DBD), a division of Diamond Comic Distributors, has announced that Rich Johnson has joined DBD as Vice President, Sales and Business Development.

Johnson has  decades of experience in the publishing industry and has been involved in multiple aspects of bookselling ranging from store manager, to buyer, to publisher. Most recently, Johnson served as President and Founder of Brick Road Media, a publishing consultancy firm. Previously, Johnson served as Vice President, Sales, Marketing & Business Development for Lion Forge Comics, Co-Founder and Co-Publishing Director for Yen Press / Hachette Book Group and Vice President of Book Trade Sales for DC Comics. He has  taught at Drexel University and  is currently an Adjunct Professor at Pace University in their Masters Publishing Program.

In his role with Diamond Book Distributors, Johnson will partner with sales and marketing to manage business development efforts including evaluating new business opportunities and working to expand the distribution network for DBD publishers.

Graphic Mundi Inks an Exclusive Distribution Deal with Diamond

Diamond Comic Distributors has announced that it has signed a distribution agreement with Penn State University Press to be the exclusive distributor of their Graphic Mundi imprint to comic book specialty markets in North America. Diamond was also awarded the rights to exclusively distribute Graphic Mundi titles to the North American book market under the banner of Diamond Book Distributors.

Graphic Mundi publishes nonfiction and fiction graphic narratives for adults and young adults on topics such as health and human rights, politics, the environments, and science and technology, created by people from diverse backgrounds. An imprint of Penn State University Press, Graphic Mundi expands on the list of critically acclaimed graphic novels published in the Press’s Graphic Medicine series, which launched in 2015 with the Eisner Award–nominated Graphic Medicine Manifesto.

Graphic Mundi launched in Spring 2021 with COVID Chronicles: A Comics Anthology, edited by Kendra Boileau, publisher of the imprint, and Rich Johnson, founder of Brick Road Media, LLC. The collection contains more than sixty short comics from a diverse set of creators, including indie powerhouses, mainstream artists, and Ignatz and Eisner Award winners. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC) to support the employees of bookstores and comic shops and brick-and-mortar stores affected by the pandemic. Forthcoming titles from the imprint include an English translation of Hakim’s Odyssey, Book 1: From Syria to Turkey, the first volume of Fabien Toulme’s award-winning nonfiction trilogy about a successful young Syrian forced to upend his life and become a refugee, and A Chance by Cristina Durán and Miguel Giner Bou, which chronicles the creators’ struggles and triumphs as they build a family in the face of tremendous odds. 

Comic Industry Vets Launch Endpaper Entertainment

Endpaper Entertainment

A group of vets in the pop culture industry has formed to launch Endpaper Entertainment. The company is focused on developing new content for novels, comics, graphic novels, film, TV, podcasts, SVOD, audiobooks, and merchandise.

The new venture began to form a year ago and was co-founded by CEO Rich Johnson. Johnson is a former executive at Lion Forge and DC Comics and co-founder of Yen Press. Syndee Barwick is the other co-founder and president of the company. Barwick was the founder of Mythic Media Management and also a former DC executive.

Rounding out the team are chief creative officer Jonathon Gilbreath, a producer and director of immersive theater and VR; chief content development officer James Killen, longtime Barnes & Noble buyer for graphic novels, sci-fi, and fantasy; and chief business development officer Kris Longo, formerly with DC and founder of Geek Riot Media.

Content will produced through partnerships with freelance creators, book packagers, and media production houses.

In the announcement, the most interesting aspect was a focus on finding the right platform for the story. The company won’t just place stories in any and every format available, instead things will be tailored for where they work best.

SDCC 2016: Lion Forge Announces Killer New Hires and Panels

In the lead up to San Diego Comic-Con, Lion Forge has announced new panels and some amazing staffing changes. Geoff Gerber, formerly, Lion Forge’s lawyer, will take over as President with David Steward remaining as Founder/Publisher. The company will be located at Booth #2300, so stop by and check them out.

Here’s the rest of the team that’ll be forming like Voltron (and you should check out their Voltron: Legendary Defender #1 this week too):

Rich JohnsonRich Johnson – V.P Sales, Marketing and Business Development

As Vice President Book Trade Sales for DC Comics, Johnson worked at DC for nearly a decade where he established the category of graphic novels within the bookstore and library markets where it exploded into a publishing and pop culture phenomenon. Johnson later moved to Hachette Book Group, serving as co-founder and Co-Publishing Director for Yen Press, and later launched Brick Road Media, LLC as a consulting firm for pop culture clients.


Syndee BarwickSyndee Barwick – Director of Marketing and Product Development

Syndee Barwick has over 25 years of writing, marketing, brand strategy and management experience in the entertainment industry. After working with award-winning artists in the music industry, Barwick worked with DC Comics/Warner Bros. for nearly 20 years as both Director, Marketing and Director, Product Management – DC Directspearheading  DC’s super-successful in-house collectibles division.


Mark SmylieMark Smylie – Executive Editor

As founder of comic publisher Archaia, Smylie published the NY Times bestseller and Eisner- and Harvey-Award winning comic book Mouse Guard; the Eisner winner Return of the Dapper Men as well as Eisner nominees The Killer, Tumor, and Spera.


Joseph Phillip IllidgeJoseph Phillip Illidge – Senior Editor 
Joseph Phillip Illidge began his editorial career began at Milestone Media, Inc., the first Black-owned mainstream comic book company to have a co-publishing deal with DC Comics. He then moved to the DCU as an editor of the Batman line of comic books. He is is a writer, editor, columnist, and public speaker on the subjects of race, the medium and business of comics, and the corporate politics of diversity. In addition to his coverage by The New York Times, CNN Money, the BBC, and Publishers Weekly.


Devin FunchesDevin Funches – Sales and Marketing Manager

Devin Funches has six years of professional comics experience. Formerly from BOOM! Studios where he oversaw and assisted in sales in a variety of channels including The Direct Market, The Book Trade, E-Commerce and convention circuit. He also assisted in marketing and did the strategic planning of their e-mail and customer service program.


The Panels:

Thursday, 7/21/16, 6:00p.m.-7:00p.m. Adapting Television to Comics — Writers from both TV and comics discuss the challenges and triumphs of translating hit TV shows to comic books. Whether it’s crucial differences in script timing or translating the legacy of fan favorite shows to a new medium and new audience, these pros have seen it all. Featuring Joelle Sellner (Saved by the Bell), Geoff Thorne (Knight Rider), Lesley Vamos (Punky Brewster), Mairghread Scott (Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs), and Jonathan London (Miami Vice). Room 29AB


Friday, 7/22/16, 5:30p.m.-6:30p.m. Comics from the Squared Circle — An insider’s look at the overlapping worlds of comics and professional wrestling, including a historical retrospective and predictions for the future of wrestling comics. Featuring Lucha Underground superstar Chavo Guerrero (Chavo Guerrero’s Warrior’s Creed), WWE hall-of-famer Andre the Giant’s daughter Robin Christensen-Roussimoff, and record-breaking wrestling comics writer Mike Kingston (Headlocked). Hosted by Heidi MacDonald (Comics Beat). Room 8