Former DC group editor Jamie S. Rich has joined Tapas as editor in chief. Rich starts on June 21st.
THR broke the news. However, rumors had been circulating about this ever since it was revealed that Rich was leaving DC.
The hire complete a troika of moves of former DC execs to the mobile webcomics platform: Michele Wells is CCO, and Alex R. Carr was just hired as senior director of publisher relations.
As we mentioned when Carr was hired, Tapas was recently acquired by Korean tech company Kakao for about half a billion dollars. Kakao seems ready to spend even more money hiring the kind of editorial staff that that brings in new IP and develops even more existing relationships.
Currently, the Tapas audience skew heavily towards teens and young adults who read content on their phones. Rich, Carr and Wells are all experienced in producing material for YA readers…and have all the contacts in traditional comics to expand in new directions.
Rich joined DC in 2015, as an editor at Vertigo, before being named the Batman Group Editor. Projects he shepherded to publication include Sheriff of Babylon by Tom King and Mitch Gerads, Mister Miracle, and Gerard Way’s Young Animal imprint. He won an Eisner Award for the DC charity anthology Love is Love. He was also formerly the editor in chief at Oni Press, where he helped put that company on the map with an array of female-friendly, YA content. It all fits.
And the triumphal quotes:
“Growing up reading indie and self-published comics in the 1980s, I saw whole new worlds, and I started telling my stories, too,” says Rich. “These days the realm may be digital, but it’s still comics. It’s still words and pictures, the basic components of modern storytelling. So, the great thing about Tapas is that it provides a platform for new voices, a place for the storytellers coming up now to share their voices. Anything is possible in a comic book.”
“We are thrilled to have Jamie join us as editor in chief. As both a creator and an editor, he has an innate understanding of the storytelling power of comics, and its ability to transcend the medium to both entertain and empower,” says Tapas Media CCO Michele Wells. “With this deep knowledge and experience, Jamie is uniquely positioned to help us expand our global reach by guiding the next generation of creators in finding just the right story to tell at just the right time.”
All these hirings are bound to put Tapas on the radar of a lot more people in the “traditional” comics industry. Which is all part of the plan.