The Beat has learned that Jeff Boison, Director of Sales and Publishing Planning at Image Comics, is leaving the company, with his last day today.
In an email to colleagues obtained by The Beat, Boison wrote that he was “leaving for personal reasons….and I swear everything is totally fine and great! Really though, I’m looking forward to spending some time on a few things that could use more time than I’ve been able to afford — and to give it my best effort, this move is what’s required.”
Boison is an immensely knowledgeable publishing pro who brought a lot to Image’s bookstore sales, in particular. Before joining Image, he was Vice President, Publishing Planning & Collected Editions at DC, and prior to that he was a director of sales at Random House. Boison remained on the east coast when DC moved to Burbank, and worked remotely for Image.
Recently he had become the center of some controversy over a variant cover for The Secret History of the War on Weed, published on 4/20. The variant was an Image exclusive (sold directly through Image’s own website, a new initiative for the publisher,) with cover art that consisted of a Bored Yacht Ape Club (BYAC) NFT. The variant sold out immediately after being announced.
While NFTs seem to be a necessary evil in today’s media world, it was pointed in in a twitter thread by letterer Chris Ross that this particular NFT seemed to be owned by a company that Boison had co-founded. Multiple sources, including Graeme McMillan’s newsletter, confirmed that Boison was the owner of that specific NFT. Boison appears to have been quite active in the NFT market, via his “Waistband Ferguson” persona, as mentioned in his Amazon bio.
The NFT cover netted a firestorm of criticism for Image on twitter, although that had largely been forgotten in the wake of all the breaking news over the last two weeks (and Twitter having a short term memory of about an afternoon). Many were concerned that Boison would profit from a rise in value from the NFT being used as a cover – although that can happen with any piece of art used as a comic book cover. Still, the move netted nearly universal Twitter scorn from every level of the industry.