About a year ago, IDW made headlines by buying Top Shelf. They haven’t topped that yet, but they do have a new business division: IDW International, which will handle all the publisher’s foreign rights. While IDW’s deep catalog offers many opportunities for foreign sales, they’e also reaching out to other companies to represent them as well, starting with Archie Comics, which is getting non-English language rights representation for the first time.
“Controlling our own global publishing was a natural step for IDW as we continue our growth as a fully integrated media company,” said IDW CEO Ted Adams in a statement . “We’re very pleased to also provide global publishing services for Archie and we’ll be adding other creators and publishers as the new year progresses. Interested creators or publishers should contact Jeff Webber at email@example.com.”
“It’s been a longtime goal of mine to expand the Archie brand internationally in terms of translations,” Archie Comics Publisher/CEO Jon Goldwater responded with his own statement. “Expanding our existing partnership with IDW will help make this a reality. We are all immensely excited to help IDW launch their new International division with some of the most beloved properties in pop culture: Archie and the gang.”
Webber will be at Angoulême later this month representing their offerings at the foreign rights tent. He’s also been moved to the role of
Vice President of Licensing, Digital & Subsidiary Rights, replacing his former title: vp of Digital Publishing & Business Development. “This is an exciting time for comics around the world,” stated Webber. “ There is a growing audience for American comics to be translated for other countries and languages. Additionally, we’ll be bringing some of the best international titles to the US audience.”
IDW’s catalog includes a lot of licensed work—Back to the Future, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Orphan Black, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Trek, Ghostbusters, and The X-Files. Many times foreign publishing rights are controlled by licensors, but holding on to them is a good deal for IDW. They also have many origianl properties: Locke & Key, Parker, and The Rocketeer, Ragnarök, Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, and D4VE. The rights to Top Shelfs library are also available.
It’s hard to believe Archie hadn’t had a dedicated foreign rights program, but I’m not sure how this Americana translates overseas, but stuff like Sabrina, Josie and the Pussycats and of course the original Riverside gang should find an audience.
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.