Archie Comics has just made a hire and some promotions that solidify their role as a fast-track comics publishing company. Jim Sokolowski has joined the company as SVP – Sales and Business Development. Additionally, Harold Buchholz has been promoted to Senior Vice President – Publishing and Operations; Paul Kaminski has been named Executive Director of Editorial and Alex Segura has moved up to Vice President – Publicity and Marketing.
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The end of DC Entertainment’s east coast presence also signaled the end of svp of sales Bob Wayne’s fabled career at the publisher, as one of the stewards of the entire direct sales market. You couldn’t name a person in the history of the industry who’s had more influence over what comics are sold and how they are sold. Prodigal circ man James Sokolowski was hired at DC (away from Archie) to run the DM end of things, but I’m sure “Ski” would be the first to admit he can only be the “first Ski” and not the “next Bob.”
As I’ve noted many times before, Wayne was particularly beloved of the comics retailing community, and his absence at the recent C2E2 Diamond retailer breakfast would have been a painful reminder of his departure.
The following is a list of books DC plans to release between September 2015 and January 2016. It’s tentative (as we see from the first title, itself pushed back four months from the original scheduled date). This list also covers the important Holiday gift giving season. What will retailers be able to offer the ravaging […]
DC-s announcements for products shipping in FEbruary are out today and here’s the WHOLE thing! what will you try What will make you cry? THE MULTIVERSITY: MASTERMEN #1 Written by GRANT MORRISON Art and cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS 1:10 B&W Variant cover by JIM LEE 1:25 Variant cover by AARON KUDER […]
Marvel’s SVP associate publisher Ruwan Jayatilleke has been let go, CBR reports. An 8-year Marvel veteran, Jayatilleke was promoted in 2011 and was behind many of their new business initiatives over that period, including the Stephen King and Halo graphic novels, and most recently, working on the digital and trade book businesses. Although better known […]
Ruwan Jayatilleke has been promoted to SVP Associate Publisher at Marvel, where he previously held the title of SVP, development and planning. Jayatilleke started has new job yesterday, tweeting:
Over the years, Jayatilleke has spearheaded a number of important initiatives at Marvel, including the Stephen King partnership, the Halo GN and tie-ins, and a number of digital and “motion comics” projects, including “N”, the Stephen King-based digital comic.
Yesterday was a gloomy day for the comics industry, as 15 Marvel staffers — including several popular editors and a couple of legendary Bullpenners — were laid off. This followed the recent layoff of COO Jim “Ski” Sokolowski. We all know the economy sucks, and that comics sales are down this year. But was that the reason for the cost cutting?
Or was it Disney? The Mouse purchased Marvel for $5 billion two years, two months ago and they are well known for being very budget conscious. Did some Disney suit look at revenue, say it wasn’t enough and order some budget cuts?
While both these scenarios sound plausible, according to Marvel insiders contacted by The Beat, neither seems to be the case. The budget slashing is the work of Marvel’s CEO, Isaac Perlmutter, an executive of legendary stinginess whose fanatical devotion to saving money —an increased interest in being hands on at Marvel — has led to the layoffs and other draconian measures inside the company.
[Little more than a week ago, Marvel announced a big change at the top, with VP, Executive Editor Axel Alonso being promoted to the role of Editor-in-Chief. A ten-year Marvel veteran, Alonso originally forged his name as one of the best regarded editors of the modern era during a stint at DC’s Vertigo imprint where he developed 100 Bullets and won a reputation as an editor of thought-provoking action who got career-defining work from writers like Garth Ennis and Brian Azzarello. As one of the main players at the Jemas/Quesada Nü-Marvel, he continued to make waves, introducing a gay Rawhide Kid, editing the acclaimed Peter Milligan/Mike Allred X-Statix and revitalizing such characters as Luke Cage and the Hulk. In recent years he’s continued to bring in new talent, including a bevy of crime fiction writers like Victor Gischler and Duane Swierczynski. It’s a strong creative portfolio for someone coming to the position and seeing how Alonso makes his mark on perhaps the most fabled job in comics will be one of the most important stories of the next few years. Despite his busy busy schedule, Alonso very graciously made time this week to answer some of the main questions facing any comics industry executive in these interesting times.]
[In recent weeks there’s been much discussion of comics pricing, and both Marvel and DC have made changes to their pricing levels in order to face the realities of the current economic climate. While DC has announced an across the board roll-back of prices from $3.99 to $2.99, Marvel’s policy announcements have been somewhat less clear. At the ICV2 conference last month Vice-President Sales & Circulation David Gabriel announced a rollback on selected titles, but no details. In addition at a retailer meeting, Marvel announced that they would be putting out fewer titles. An interview earlier this week with VP-executive editor Tom Brevoort made it clear that the rollback was limited but left details to Gabriel.
In order to clear up what Marvel’s policies are in regards to pricing, Gabriel and Chief Operating Officer Jim “Ski” Sokolowski sat down for an interview, discussing some of the business realities of publishing, the growth of digital and how to reach new readers as older ones cycle out.]