Some comings and goings, some business news, and just because we like you, a little tea.

• A while back Morgan Perry, then brand manager, editorial at Skybound, announced she was leaving that post. A little more recently, she announced via Twitter bio that she was moving to Square Enix, as Marketing Manager. Perry is definitely a rising star in the industry, so Square Enix  is lucky to land her. Square Enix also recently hired Gary Thompson in editorial so I guess this qualifies as “ramping up.”

• Publicist Tara Lehmann also announced she was leaving Abrams ComicArts, and we hear that she’s hanging out her freelance shingle at Endpaper Publishing Services. Lehmann is another rising star in the industry, and I’m sure many will avail themselves of her PR services.

• On the other hand, Ben Abernathy is an established star in the comics business, and was until recently the Executive Editor at DC. Word is going around that he’s left that position – word also going around that he’s going to end up at a different publisher but we’ll wait for the official announcement with headshots and quotes for that. Suffice to say his new job will be transformative. It’s worth noting that Abernathy is one of several key DC staffers who no longer live in SoCal. Many moved away during the pandemic – memba that? – but WBD is eventually instituting a “return to office” policy, even if office in this case is an open plan shared workspace. To be clear, I’m only speculating that this had anything to do with Abernathy’s departure, but with more and more companies ending their work from home policies in 2024, this is going to become a bigger issue everywhere. At any rate, Abernathy was a very key, much respected executive at DC, and he’ll be missed.

• Co-founder Kenny Meyers has left Omnibus, the digital comics app, he announced on LinkedIn.


• Skybound’s Hasbro line continues to be a big hit. They just announced that DUKE #1, from the Energon Universe line, is going to a second printing. “The acclaimed Energon Universe series continue to sell out at the distributor level,” they announced, “with fan demand prompting subsequent printings across every issue since launch.” Daniel Warren Johnson’s Transformers #1 sold more than 153,000 copies, and maybe someone will leak the Duke numbers as well.

DUKE is a a limited series from Joshua Williamson (DC’s Superman, Dark Ride), Tom Reilly (The Thing) and Jordie Bellaire (W0rldtr33) that follows the adventures of GI Joe’s good pal Conrad S. Hauser, aka Duke.

Variant covers for the second printing include Jason Howard and Tom Reilly.

peter pan.jpeg

soaring-penguin.jpeg• UK-based graphic novel publisher Soaring Penguin has signed up with Diamond Books for distribution outside the UK. The imprint is known for its line of Ignatz and Eisner award nominated literary comics including work by Loisel, Ellen Lindner and more. According to the announcement, Soaring Penguin is looking to build up its line “from alternative voices, translations of foreign works and reprints of out-of-print stories that need to find a new audience.”

“This is a great move for us. To continue, we needed better presence in the US and Canada. After careful consideration, we feel that Diamond Book Distributors will support us brilliantly in our ambitions,” said Publisher John Anderson.

Forthcoming titles from Soaring Penguin Press include I Do, I Don’t: How to Build a Better Marriage, a non-fiction relationship guide as a graphic novel, as well as the continuation of the anthology title, Meanwhile….

• IDW and the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES  have renewed their publishing agreement, just as the Turtles are hitting 40. Paramount and IDW plan more turtles titles, and will announce more details of the 40th anniversary hoopla in coming days.

”We are delighted to continue our relationship with IDW Publishing for TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES comics and graphic novels,” said Lourdes Arocho, SVP, Licensing & Publishing, Consumer Products, Paramount. “After 40 years, there are still so many more stories to be told, and we can’t wait for everyone to see what’s next.”

“The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are iconic. They are part of the tapestry of comic book history and I’m honored to be publishing their continuing adventures during this milestone year,” stated IDW Co-Publisher Mark Doyle. “Our Editor-in-Chief Jamie S. Rich and the Editorial team have put together an incredible publishing plan that will thrill long-time fans, excite new readers and show why the Turtles stand shoulder to shoulder with the biggest heroes in comic shops all over the world. It’s a great time to be a fan of TMNT!”

This news was surely brought happiness to the halls of IDW as TMNT; THE LAST RONIN is one of the best selling comics of the last few years in multiple channels. A sequel, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: THE LAST RONIN II – RE-EVOLUTION, comes out on March 6. Cowabunga!

• While news of sales and pacts proves the comics business keeps on businessing, don’t be too surprised if a few smaller publishers drop out of the Great Comics IP Race in the next few months. My DMs keep lighting up with rumblings about troubles. Yet comics continue to be an attractive place for start-ups with extra cash to jump into that same IP Race. Even though, as one pal put it, “There’s NO gold in these hills!” Developing.