Well, that didn’t take long! This morning Marvel issued a terse press release announcing the end of the agreement between themselves and the Dabel Brothers, the much traveled but enterprising fantasy comics packaging concern. According to the PR, Marvel will continue to publish such best-sellers as Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter and The Hedge Knight. (Marvel’s Anita Blake books have flown off shelves with over 75,000 copies of the collection already shipped.) Meanwhile, the release continues, the Dabels will release a new line of self-published books in 2008.

There are many things that are notable about this, beginning with the Dabels themselves. With little publishing experience behind them they have nonetheless managed to craft deals with such book world giants as Laurell K. Hamilton, Orson Scott Card, George R. R. Martin and R. A. Salvatore. According to numerous interviews, they do it simply by persistence and eventually showing that they have teams that these authors feel comfortable with on the books.

Against that is the Dabels rep for dissolving publishing relationships — in the past they had distribution agreements with Image, Alias, Devil’s Due and Red Eagle Entertianment — all ended, as has their deal with Marvel, which seemed to be making money for everyone. The Dabel Brother wiki page makes reference to court proceedings regarding the Red Eagle Entertainment deal (for a series of Robert Jordan comic books) but that has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Problems were hinted at at this weekend’s Chicago Con, According to the Newsarama threads of the press release the Dabel brothers booth at the show was empty all weekend.

Dabel associate Derek Ruiz adds to the mystery by posting in the same thread:

Dabel Brothers news coming soon. And it’s pretty cool news if I say so myself.

Other Dabel personnel chime in to say there is nothing unusual going on, new deal to be announced. While we don’t doubt that people as enterprising and persistent as the Dabel Brothers will be able to get some new deals cooking, leaving behind lucrative and successful relationships with some of the top fantasy authors in the business doesn’t sound like a fabulous move — but we won’t know until more information is released.

Developing. PR below:

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. and Dabel Brothers Productions, LLC announced today that they are mutually ending their publishing relationship. In 2006, Marvel and Dabel Brothers signed an agreement for Marvel to market, print and distribute several limited and ongoing series, in addition to some other dynamic new properties. Founded in 2001, the Dabel Brothers have specialized in creating comic books and graphic novels based on the works of best-selling authors’ series such as Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter; George R. R. Martin’s Hedge Knight; and Orson Scott Card’s Tales Of Alvin Maker and others.

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. President and Publisher Dan Buckley explained, “We have great respect for the Dabel Brothers’ business and the relationships they have generated. Our partnership has been an exciting experience for both companies. We wish the Dabels well in their future publishing endeavors and hope to work with them again, should the opportunity present itself.”

“Working with Marvel was a dream come true for all of us, and we enjoyed the opportunity to learn from the comic book industry’s market leader,” said Ernst Dabel, President of Dabel Brothers Productions. “We’re looking forward to applying those lessons to our business as we resume our status as a self-publisher, and we plan to continue producing top-quality adaptations of best-selling science fiction, fantasy, horror and thriller novels by popular authors.

Going forward, Marvel will continue to publish Anita Blake Vampire Hunter by Laurell K. Hamilton; the Hedge Knight series by George RR Martin; Tales of Alvin Maker and Wyrms by Orson Scott Card; Magician Apprentice by Raymond Feist; Lords of Avalon by Kinley MacGregor; and Highwayman by R.A. Salvatore. Dabel Brothers Productions will begin work on its next wave of books, slated for release in early 2008.


  1. I’m always surprised no one makes much out of the Dabel Bros Hollywood manuvering.

    The Screenwriting Expo’s annual screenplay competition offers the chance to have the Dabel Bros. publish your screenplay. This year’s contest features the following text:



    Not only is Comic book studio Dabel Brothers Production’s back this year. This year, Dabel is backed by Marvel, its exclusive publisher. Ernst, Les, Pascal, and David Dabel will turn one of the competition’s scripts into a graphic novel, committing to a budget of over $50,000.

    The winner of the DB Pro Prize will work with DB Pro’s professionals to transform his or her screenplay into a graphic novel.

  2. I’m still waiting for something to get resolved regarding the Robert Jordan deal so that someone can finish the New Spring adaptation. Only 5 issues out of a planned 8 actually came out, and they paid a surprising amount of attention to details of the source material. I’d like to see it completed.

    I do find it interesting that Dabel Brothers went on to do a bunch of other high-profile comic adaptations of fantasy novels, and Red Eagle Entertainment practically dropped off the face of the earth. I’d never heard of them before New Spring, and the only projects they listed on their website were the comic and a film adaptation of the first book in the series. (I heard somewhere that their main purpose was to license Jordan’s novels, which fits.) Then, sometime during the last year, Red Eagle removed everything from their website except for a logo and an email address.

    That makes me inclined to believe Dabel Brothers’ side of the story, at least in that dispute. On the other hand, as you point out, they’ve jumped publishers a lot, which makes you wonder why…

  3. So… Dabel Bros signed a partnership deal with Marvel, and now it’s over and Marvel are keeping all the best licences?

    What did DBPro get out of this, exactly? And if it was just a question of terminating the partnership, how did Marvel get to keep those licences? There’s something odd going on here – it’s almost as if the Dabels have sold most of their business to Marvel while keeping the name.

  4. It seems as if the Dabel Brothers do not understand how business is done. They seem to persistantly shoot themselves in the financial foot.