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November 3, 2010

Bob Schreck Leaves IDW For EIC Position At Legendary Comics

This is the kind of thing that everyone seems to know about except me, so please forgive me if this is old news. IDW's PR:
San Diego, CA (November 3, 2010) -- IDW Publishing today announced that senior editor Bob Schreck has left the company. Schreck is now the Editor in Chief for Legendary Comics, a new division of Legendary Entertainment.

"We appreciate all the hard work Bob has done for IDW, and are sad to see him go," said IDW CEO, Ted Adams. "But this is a great opportunity for Bob, and we wish him the best of luck."

Schreck joined IDW as senior editor in October 2009, after leaving DC Comics. During his time with IDW, Schreck was editor for several different series, including
Witch & Wizard, Strange Science Fantasy and the MGM Midnight Movies line. He was also editor and writer for Jurassic Park: Redemption
I wish Mr. Schreck all the best at his new gig -- he seems like a nice man, and he's edited some fine books over the years -- but two things pop into mind: one is that he never had the kind of big project going at IDW that I and I suspect many others thought he'd put together within a half-year or so of arriving at that company; another is that damn but there are a lot of comics companies trying to release material to a series of marketplaces that aren't really operating on all cylinders. The sad thing is, I bet no one even thinks of this in terms of the publishing implications, but will leap right over that potentially shaky piece of business to praise Legendary for their smarts in hiring someone qualified to provide them with a development arm in comics company form.

Updated: Okay, Legendary -- and it's Legendary Pictures, not Legendary Entertainment as in the IDW release -- has just sent over their press release. It's heavy on the world "iconic.":
Burbank, CA, November 3, 2010 -- Legendary Pictures has appointed veteran comic book editor Bob Schreck to the role of Editor-in-Chief of the newly-formed Legendary Comics, it was announced by Thomas Tull, Legendary's Chairman and CEO. Schreck joins Legendary Comics from IDW Publishing, and his appointment marks the launch of the new division dedicated to publishing original graphic novels.

Headed by Schreck, Legendary Comics plans to publish four to six graphic novels a year for both digital and traditional print distribution. The books will target Legendary’s well-established and powerful fandom demographic. Schreck begins at Legendary Comics the first week of November, and plans to release the inaugural project within the first half of 2011. He will be working closely with Kathy Vrabeck, President of Legendary Digital, and they will, as warranted, look to bring the newly-created comic-based IP produced by the venture to other entertainment platforms such as film and television.

"Bob is an iconic editor and one of most highly-regarded curators and editors of comic culture in our industry. He is the perfect leader with the right balance of passion and editorial skills to spearhead Legendary Comics," said Tull. "Legendary Comics is committed to being a new home for groundbreaking artists and the characters and stories they create, in an art form we love."

"Thomas and the Legendary team have a proven track record of cultivating talent and delivering unparalleled entertainment experiences, and I am looking forward to building Legendary Comics into a world-class label for the best writers and artists we know," said Schreck. "We have a real opportunity to deliver hard-hitting characters and exciting, innovative storylines to comic book aficionados. We are in the fortunate position of already having major support from the community and collaborations lined up with world-class creators."

Iconic comic creators Neil Gaiman, Max Brooks and Frank Miller are among those who are supportive of Legendary Comics.

Frank Miller stated, "Bob Schreck is a joy to work with. He's tough but affable, mindful of the publisher's needs but a happy warrior on the side of the artist. We've worked together to mutual satisfaction for years. Legendary has proven its 'fides all over the movie industry and I expect no less from its publishing arm. With Bob, they've made the perfect choice: the man's a talent magnet."
Okay, that actually makes more sense because it sounds like a tiny enterprise -- four to six books OGNs a year, working only with top of the line talent, might indeed be likely to make an impression in the book market or in the Wild West of marketplaces that is digital publishing. It still sounds less like publishing news and more like movie adjunct news, but maybe I'm just grumpy. And if Schreck is going to but out books with top-of-the-line talent at Legendary, it's going to make me wonder why there was never such a project at IDW.
posted 3:18 pm PST | Permalink

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