Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

January 20, 2015

Comic Riffs: Milestone Media Poised To Relaunch

This is really good news. I think there's a bunch of talent out there that would like to work on these comics, and I think the market has changed a bit in that comics aimed at an audience other than the absolute core audience are seen as a potential boon more than a massive inconvenience.

Milestone Media was a company founded by Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, Derek Dingle and the late Dwayne McDuffie in 1993 whose division Milestone Comics released a group of titles focusing on characters of color via a stand-alone universe style publishing arrangement with DC Comics (DC could publish or not publish; they had no editorial input). Titles included Blood Syndicate, Icon, Hardware, Xombi and Static.

My memory is that those books were memorable and as well-done as anything published in that sphere -- I could not have been further away from superhero comics at the time -- but were betrayed by an industry-wide rush to publish through what was still a bit of a ramshackle infrastructure. Image was publishing a lot of titles, there were companies wanting to cash in like Image had from '91 to '93 that were producing books willy-nilly and I recall even Marvel was publishing a freakish number of books in order to maintain market share. The industry-wide crashing that resulted began in 1994 and didn't really let up until the end of the decade. This was hardly the best time to carve out a sustainable comics operation. I also remember that at least a couple of the primary movers of Milestone got out of the company in terms of direct control well before they stopped publishing as their own entity in 1997, but what effect that might have had I don't know. The character/concept Static is probably the best-known of the Milestone properties, and has been the primary but not sole focus of Milestone Media's licensing efforts since that time. This has included occasional comic book appearances and use in the greater DC line, in addition to animation.

They're looking at print as well as digital, which I think is great; any number of potential partners, ditto; and it looks like their sorting out of the company will give them access to the old characters as well as let them do new ones. I wish them all the best.

The restored company will be based in LA.
posted 8:32 pm PST | Permalink

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