Can an old-fashioned comic book company that lasted about a year in the newsstand era find happiness in the modern world of licensing and Hollywood exploitation? That’s what Stan Lee’s cousin (by marriage) is counting on, with the relaunch of Atlas Comics.
Atlas/Seaboard, was founded by Martin Goodman, founder of the original Marvel/Atlas/Timely. After selling Marvel to the distributor Cadence, Goodman got back into the publishing game in 1974 with Atlas Comics, a short-lived but innovative outfit that offered art returns, profit sharing, and other ahead-of-their-times perks. However, it didn’t last long — by 1975, it was dead.
Atlas has long been a kind of a punchline in old timer comics circles, as the one ’70 comics company whose characters have not been resurrected, relaunched, or acquired.
Jason Goodman, Martin’s grandson, tells Deadline he’s bringing Atlas back to the party, starting with issues of THE GRIM GHOST and PHOENIX, which will debut at next month’s New York Comic-Con. Goodman has one advantage over start-up comics companies: a library!
“Although my grandfather eventually sold Marvel, he insisted on keeping Atlas Comics in the family,” Jason said. “As a result of his vision, Atlas Comics is the largest individually-held library of comic book heroes and villains on the planet. We have 28 titles and hundreds of characters imagined by some of the greatest minds in the industry.”
The new Atlas is teaming with Ardden Entertainment, which has of late been resurrecting FLASH GORDON. Brendan Deneen, who has worked in both the Hollywood agenting and New York publishing fields, will oversee while J.M. DeMatteis has been hired as editor-in-chief.
In 1974, Martin Goodman, the Founder of Marvel Comics, created Atlas Comics. On October 8th, 2010, Jason Goodman, the grandson of Marvel’s Founder, will re-launch Atlas Comics at the New York Comic-Con.
Goodman, in association with Ardden Entertainment, will release Atlas’ first two titles, THE GRIM GHOST and PHOENIX. Both series will draw from the original Atlas library that featured stories and art by such industry legends as Neal Adams and Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko.
THE GRIM GHOST and PHOENIX are the first of many Atlas properties that Goodman plans on releasing. “Although my grandfather eventually sold Marvel, he insisted on keeping Atlas Comics in the family. As a result of his vision, Atlas Comics is the largest individually-held library of comic book heroes and villains on the planet.”
Goodman continues, “We have twenty eight titles and hundreds of characters imagined by some of the greatest minds in the industry. They will now find a new life in comics, television, and movies. We are thrilled to finally bring these great characters back for the world to enjoy.”
Co-President of Ardden Entertainment and comic book industry veteran, Rich Emms, and Brendan Deneen, Co-President of Ardden Entertainment and a former development executive for Scott Rudin and Bob & Harvey Weinstein, add, “Ardden has had success and critical acclaim for our own Flash Gordon and Casper the Friendly Ghost re-launches. We are very excited to be working with Jason and his Atlas team on revisiting a group of characters created by some of the biggest names in the business.”
Ardden’s Editor-in-Chief and legendary comic writer, J.M. DeMatteis, concludes, “”The Atlas universe is filled with characters of tremendous potential. I look forward to being a part of this re-launch as we re-imagine these wonderful characters and send them off on new adventures for the first time in thirty-five years.”
For more information, contact Jason Goodman at Jason@NemesisLtd.com or Brendan Deneen at Brendan.Deneen@GMail.com
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.