Oh boy, will the drama never end. Dylan Squires, founder of Drunk Duck — the webportal purchased by Platinum Studios, and a source of some of its thousands and thousands of potential movie franchises — has left Platinum:

I just want to let you all know that a short while ago I left Platinum Studios to pursue new opportunities. DrunkDuck has been great, and I hope under Platinum’s guidance it continues to grow and prosper.

Everyone is free to contact me of course, and I’ll drop in now and then, but I think it’s time I shift focus and really concentrate on my future.

Xaviar Xerexes moves in quickly to ask what and how:

Can you work on other webcomic projects now?

I’m not… sure. I’d probably take the cautious point of view and assume the sale contract includes a provision that prevents me from leaving drunkduck and starting something competing with it. If I, in my non-existant legal knowledge would put something like that in, i’m sure Platinum would as well.

Squires does mention he’s now working on a new start up project.

MEANWHILE, over at TokyoPop, Benjamin Ong Pang Kean shows that Newsarama can do a good job when they try with a huge round up of Tokyopop news including reactions from multiple creators:

Tokyopop, the manga giant and one of the market leaders of the past few years is, depending on who you listen to, going through some reorganization efforts, heaving and bucking as it sheds creators and projects, or circling the drain. The company has been a target of the blogoshphere for quite some time, given creators and would-be creators’ issues with its contracts, but most recently, the company announced a substantial reorganization and reduction in output for the coming year. The move left many creators’ projects homeless.

There is much, much praise for Tokyopop’s editorial staff, but also many many unanswered questions…developing.

UPDATE: Part Two looks at what’s going on with Tpop’s various OEL titles.


  1. I bet some of Platinum’s investors would have loved to know that the guy who was running their websites and Drunk Duck wasn’t there for “months”. Just because they sure do talk up DrunkDuck a lot in their press releases and it seems from comments by creators there in the forums that there have been tons of bugs that nobody has attended to there.

  2. I read this in another Beat story a few minutes ago: “Finally, on one level this is a little alarming and circle-jerky. It’s sad when who writes what about comics gets more play than the fact that Image’s publisher doesn’t know the name of his own books, but, you know, that’s how it goes. ”

    I find it alarming Dylan doesn’t know what his contract with Platinum states, especially regarding what he can do once he leaves.

  3. “MEANWHILE, over at TokyoPop, Benjamin Ong Pang Kean shows that Newsarama can do a good job when they try”

    Doesn’t that violate your own decree against General Shitiness from yesterday?

  4. Newsarama forgot to include Return to Labyrinth, which IS continuing after very strong sales. The third volume is far along in production and looking great, volume 4 is in early stages.

  5. I think Dylan DOES know what his contract says, and it probably says “don’t talk about the contract!” Ha! So his “admission” that he doesn’t know whether he’s allowed to start a competing site or not, is just his way of talking around the non-disclosure BS.

    In fact, I bet Platinum probably specifically reminded him about that, considering there’s been a flying poop storm about creators leaking the “we promise to pay, don’t leak this letter” letter, as seen in Rich Jonston’s Lying in the Gutters.

    Platinum has also decided not to relinquish (or at leas has threatened to not give) Hero By Night rights back to DJ Coffman because he blogged about his non-payment (apparently non-disclosure clauses are more important than payment clauses)– despite the fact that he said nothing but POSITIVE things about Plat in said blog (well except the bit about not getting paid)!

    So… I think we can excuse Dylan for a little tiptoeing around this issue.

  6. Being ignorant of the origins and meaning of the name, let me ask this question:

    Who in their right mind thought it was a good idea to name a COMICS website “Drunk Duck” ?

    I am really curious to know…

  7. Since you ask Bill,

    Drunk Duck was originally a programming experiment. I had no domain name but asked a friend to draw a mascott character for me. Being a grand friend, he drew my recently expired duck “dead” along with my quail standing on it.

    DeadDuck.com was taken, and since it seemed to look “passed out”, i opted to buy DrunkDuck.com.

    Now you know.

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