While PictureBox was the first big casualty of the potential Great ShakeOut of ’13-14, it seems that Ape Entertainment may have actually preceded it to the big hiatus box in the sky by just stopping without much notice or mention. It was Detective Carlson who first noticed it was missing from recent activity line-ups with all orders for comics cancelled.
Ape Entertainment didn’t offer anything in the current Previews catalog. In December, they offered only five variant covers of Sesame Street #2. That’s due out at the end of February. November, nothing. In October, for sale in January (this month), they solicited a Genie the Genius collection (unlikely to come out on time, given that we’re still waiting on issue #3); two Poison Elves one-shots and a collection (which isn’t really in keeping with their kids’ books); and a graphic novel called Killer Diller. I could keep tracking this back, but soon enough you start running into the cancelled items listed above.
Their Twitter account hasn’t been updated since last May (and it was only sporadically used before then). Their last Facebook post was in July. Their website is similarly out of date.
When you notice that Ape’s former CEO David Hedgecock joined IDW in August and EIC Brent Erwin has been busy running a chain of stores he acquired from Lone Star Comics, it all adds up to a company that isn’t going anywhere too fast.
While the fact that the company ceased activity six months ago and no one noticed doesn’t speak too well, Ape Entertainment was a long running, ongoing concern that filled a needed niche in the always bubbling under the Top Seven publishers field. They got a lot of attention for selling tons of digital copies of their Pocket Gods comic , and they had a lot of strong kids licenses like Strawberry Shortcake, Dreamworks and Sesame Street. On the adult side, they published some well-liked indies like Athena Voltaire, The Black Coat and Sullen Grey. In other words they were (or are, hopefully) no jamokes.
On the other hand, publishing periodical comics isn’t the most lucrative thing in the world.
We reached out to Erwin for comment but he had yet to respond.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.