The Beat

IDW publisher placed on administrative leave

IDW’s most recent publisher has been placed on administrative leave after a tenure of a mere five days, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Jud Meyers was named publisher just last week, following the departure of previous publisher Chris Ryall. Meyers had previously served as IDW’s global sales director, following a stint at Humanoids and a career in comics retail.

Jerry Bennington, who was named president in the c-suite changes last week, will add the duties of publisher to his portfolio. Bennington was formerly IDW’s EVP of product management, and was previously the president of 3 Point Entertainment, where he helped develop specialty licensed merchandise.

Although no reason was given for Meyers’ removal, since the announcement of his promotion, word of a lawsuit against him by former business partner Carr D’Angelo had been circulating among journalists and retailers. You can read the complaint here.

The suit was filed in 2012. D’Angelo and Meyers were partners in the popular LA comics shop Earth-2 until late in 2011, when Meyers left to open Blastoff Comics with a new partner, writer Scott Tipton. The suit alleges breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, and misappropriation of trade secrets.

Among the charges in the suit, it is alleged that Meyers took stock from Earth-2 and sold it to Lone Star Comics under his wife’s name, in essence setting up his own competing business. In addition, he hired Earth-2 employees to work on his parallel business, while telling them not to report on his activities. When one employee showed D’Angelo an invoice to Lone Star, Meyers fired that employee. The suit also alleges that “Meyers mismanaged the business of Earth-2 by doing such acts as authorizing the return of old product for credits, harassing and intimidating employees and withholding inventory from one of the stores to depress sales.” Damages were claimed in excess of $120,000. According to the suit, Meyers also took Earth-2’s proprietary customer list and used it to set up Blastoff Comics.

Meyer countersued for defamation, fraud, and emotional distress, among other charges. The case was settled out of court in 2013.

There are many hundreds of pages of depositions in the case, which would be quite interesting to read under the circumstances; however, LA Superior Court charges 50¢ a page to download them, so maybe later.

Blastoff Comics closed last year, its space taken over by Collector’s Paradise. The shop specialized in consignment sales of large collections.

Whatever the cause of the change, it represents yet more upheaval for IDW, which has had a eventful 18 months or so, with various financial difficulties, the departure of previous president Greg Goldstein, the return of Ryall, and the second departure of Ryall.