Monday, May 17, 2021
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Comics industry veterans launch Endpaper Entertainment

Rich Johnson, Syndee Barwick, Jim Killen, Jonathon Gilbreath and Kris Longo are teaming up!

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A highly experienced group of five publishing and comics veterans have banded together to launch Endpaper Entertainment, a new content development company.

Co-founders Syndee Barwick and Rich Johnson have joined up with former Barnes & Noble buyer James Killen, producer Jonathon Gilbreath, and marketing exec Kris Longo to form the company, which plans to develop content and properties for multiple media platforms and genres, including film, TV, comics, prose, audio, gaming and merchandise. Genres are similarly wide, from mystery to SF to YA.

(Disclosure: Longo also heads up Geek Riot Media, which handles The Beat’s ad sales.)

They are already up and running with a wide slate of properties, as seen on their website.  The venture is “self financed,” according to Longo in a piece at Publishers Weekly.

The company, he said, plans to produce its content via partnerships with freelance creators, book packagers, and media production houses to bring a wide range of original story concepts to market. “We’re publishers at heart, so a lot of our properties will use books as a starting point and we’ll use our contacts across different media to start conversations with potential partners,” Longo explained.

Johnson said “we don’t want to force a story into a format or platform,” adding, “We focus on the property, studying the story, and decide: on what platform and in which format best tells this story.”

Barwick said the core mission of Endpaper Entertainment will be “creating and telling the stories in the best and most appropriate way we can for each property. At Endpaper, we are fans and consumers of a lot of movies, television, books, games, and everything else under the sun. We look at what types of properties we love – and what we’d like to see.”

77665-v1-197xThe principals certainly have already done it all and seen it all and bring every kind of experience to the table:

Rich Johnson (CEO & Founder): At DC Comics, Johnson was the person responsible for changing the landscape of comics and graphic novels in the trade and library markets forever. As co-founder of Hachette’s Yen Press, he continued to break new ground. He is the founder of Brick Road Media, LLC a publishing and media consultancy.

Syndee Barwick: Barwick kickstarted her entertainment career in the music business as an artist manager, most notably co-manager for Grammy award and Golden Globe winner, KITARO. At DC Comics, she too changed the landscape of comics with award-winning marketing campaigns and the groundbreaking, DC Direct. She is the founder of Mythic Media Management, a publishing and pop culture consultancy.

Most recently, she and Johnson worked on several best-selling and award-winning graphic novels: Lighter Than My Shadow (Katie Green), Sheets (Brenna Thummler), Mooncakes (Wendy Xu & Suzanne Walker), and more.

James Killen: Killen is one of the most influential people in the publishing world. As Barnes & Noble’s buyer for science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, and games, Killen was instrumental in building the successful careers of a variety of talent including: Neil Gaiman, Kim Harrison, Marjorie Liu, and George RR Martin. Currently, Killen is currently Editor-at-Large for Rebellion Publishing.

Jonathon L. Gilbreath: As a Producer and Director of immersive theater & dome/VR content for audiences throughout 25 countries, Gilbreath pushed the limits of technical artistry, animation, and VFX through stylistic visual representations including the acclaimed Pink Floyd albums, A Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall.

Kris Longo: Another DC Comics alum, Longo is the founder of Geek Riot Media. At Geek Riot Media, Longo and his team build and catapult “fandom into brandom!”

Currently, he is also the Chief Sales Officer for the legendary illustrated magazine, Heavy Metal.

And so another player joins the fray of 2021’s busy media landscape! We’ll have more on Endpaper in the next few weeks.