Anyone following comic books these days is quite familiar with publishing juggernauts Marvel, DC and Image, but it’s important that we not forget the contributions of IDW, who sits firmly at the number four spot in the industry. Creating new franchises such as Locke & Key and 30 Days of Night have assuredly been instrumental in their success, but their mainstream titles based on properties such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Trek, and Transformers have sold like hotcakes as well.
Ted Adams, CEO of IDW Media Holdings, recently sat down with CBR and spoke fondly of how 2016 was the publisher’s “best year ever”:
“If you look at the divisions, specifically with publishing, this has really been a breakout year for us. We won the National Book Award, which is the first time a graphic novel publisher has ever accomplished that. Our lines across the board really seem to be working for us. That side of the business has really done well. Our games business is also up this year, pretty significantly. We had a couple of big things — we had a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles miniatures game that we started via Kickstarter, and also had great success with retail. That single product is the biggest single revenue-generating project in the 18-year history of IDW, which is pretty phenomenal, at least from our preorder standpoint. So that’s pretty exciting.
“The big driver for our growth this year is our entertainment division. We had two shows on this year — Wynonna Earp for 13 episodes on SyFy, then Dirk Gently with eight episodes on BBC America — both those shows have been renewed for second seasons; in fact, Wynonna Earp [has started] shooting in Calgary.”
In addition to that, he commented on the much lauded Batman/TMNT Adventures crossover done in conjunction with DC:
“Certainly those are important to us. We have a very long relationship with DC. One of my first jobs in comics was working for [DC Co-Publisher] Jim Lee at WildStorm, I consider him a good friend, and everybody here has relationships with folks at DC and vice versa. While, yes, we compete for direct market dollars, we are as friendly as competitors can be. Certainly there’s no question that the fan response to those crossovers has just been phenomenal. The Batman/Turtles book [by James Tynion IV and Freddie Williams II] that DC published [last] year, and the one that we’re now in the midst of publishing [by Matthew K. Manning and Jon Sommariva], people just absolutely love what we’re doing.”
Teaming pop culture icons such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with someone such as the Dark Knight would mean big sales figures for anyone, but we suspect that 2017 will be yet another prosperous year for IDW.