Following Chapter 7 Bankruptcy proceedings, the remaining assets of Byron Preiss Visual Publications and iBooks will be going on the block on October 19 with a starting bid of $150,000. The assets include what court papers refer to as “over 2500 contracts” including copyrights, books, computer equipment, and so on.

A $125,000 purchase offer for the assets is already on the table from J.T. Colby & Company, owner of Brick Tower Press, a general interest non fiction publisher.

A list of BVP/iBooks creditors runs to over 80 pages. Their backlist includes such graphic novels as as Joe Kubert’s Yossel, Blacksad, Valerian, Mr.X, George R. R. Martin’s Wildcard series, and Chandler’s Marlowe, by Steranko, as well as various works by Crumb, Moebius and Tardi.

IBooks and BVP filed for Chapter 7 on February 22, 2006 after both businesses were thrown into chaos following the unexpected death of founder Byron Preiss in a car accident on July 9th, 2005.


  1. Wait, it’s being sold as one whole block???
    I thought we were going to get the chance of buying our crap back!!!
    muther effer!!!

  2. Todd M. should trade his baseballs for this.

    If I had that kind of money, I’d bid for them. Lotta good stuff there.

  3. I spoke to another former author who wrote books for Byron Preiss and he’d never received any notification from the bankruptcy court of any kind.

  4. so, is it a public auction, or is it a bankuptcy settlement under court? 150k starting is an f’n bargain for some of those properties, but it’d be interesting to see why it’s being sold as a package deal. One would suspect that there are garnishments, press fees, or other debts BP was saddled with that are part and parcell of it all…

  5. The assets will be sold as one block with the proceeds being distributed to the creditors on a pro rata basis in relatiion to how much is owed.
    The opening bid of 125K is put in by J.T. Colby of Brick Tower Press, by the way.

    To James van Hise:
    If your author friend thinks he is owed money under a current contract, he should contact the trustee for the estate, Silverman, Perlstein & Acampora, 100 Jericho Quadrangle # 300, Jericho NY 11753, Ph: (516) 479-6300.

  6. In addition to the graphic novels and genre-interest books iBooks published, Byron Preiss was also involved in packaging children’s picture books from celebrity authors–Billy Crystal, Carl Reiner, Billy Joel, and so on. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not those kinds of books make up any of the book assets involved here and, if so, what whomever winds up with ’em does with ’em.

  7. Ibooks and Byron Preiss Visual are sold as one block, so all the packaged books are included in the deal. One could easily speculate that a potential buyer might be more interested in the Byron Preiss properties than in the Ibooks line.

  8. The majority of ibooks titles were reprints, so I’m not sure if those would be part of the deal. Blacksad, Moebius, Tardi, and Valerian were for North American publishing rights only. Steranko’s “updating” of Marlowe has been in the works for years and was announced as a Dark Horse release. The Wild Card books belong to George Martin.

    Yossel is copyrighted to Joe Kubert, but the buyer may want to hold him (and other creators of original GN material) to the terms of the existing contracts–i.e., the rights revert only after the passage of the period of time they’d agreed to when they signed. That way, books with the ibooks logo could still be sold to clear out the backstock.

    It’s really the Visual material, owned by Byron, that might really spark interest: Isaac Asimov’s Robot City, Stan Lee’s Riftworld–things of that nature. That doesn’t count the celebrity books, since the original “intellectual property” is owned by the celebrities: Seinfeld’s Halloween book was an adaptation of a standup routine; Jay Leno’s was based on a childhood story; Carl Reiner’s was based on stories he told his grandchildren; Billy Joel’s two books are based on songs, etc.

    It’ll be interesting to see what the trustees consider assets…

  9. I liked Byron. Things weren’t perfect by a long shot, but I had two books with him (A Walk in Ancient Rome, The Generals of October) — never got paid but managed to get all my rights reverted before the company went into the dark hole with all of its contracts.

    I’m wondering (Nov 2, 2006) what has become of the auction? Did someone buy the backlist? Any further news?

    Thanks//John Cullen (

  10. Byron was a visionary. He purchased my company, Orange Cherry Software in the 90’s and made it part of Byron Preiss Multimedia, a public company. Unfortaunately, it was a diffciult time for educational software and when Byron was replaced as President, the stock became worthless and the company fell apart. My heart goes out to Sandi, his wife and her family.

  11. Does anyone know if the jewels offered as a prize for finding the hidden casks as described in Preiss’s “The Secret: A Treasure Hunt” are still available? I’m pretty sure I’ve figured out the location of one of the 10 remaining casks.