Tagged: DDP

Devil’s Due Departs Diamond Distribution

Devil’s Due Departs Diamond Distribution

Devil’s Due Publishing has pulled its distribution of comics and graphic novels from Diamond Comic and Diamond Book Distributors, effective today. The publisher will soon be announcing its new book store distribution partners, and will offer product direct to comic book retail outlets, as well as distribution through Haven Comic Distributors.

“For almost over a year Devil’s Due has been in an unwinnable situation wherein Diamond garnishes our revenues to pay back returns and fees it claims are owed from 2008 and 2009, making it impossible for us to keep up with payments to talent, printers, and other expenses while maintaining a stable business,” said Josh Blaylock, president of Devil’s Due, who was forced to wind down the company’s publishing rather than ramp up as it originally planned to do when hit with a rough economy in 2008. “We’ve exhausted every resource to get on track, with a primary focus on catching up with talent payments first and foremost, but when Diamond controls the money flow, that becomes impossible.”

The decision did not come lightly, adds Blaylock, “Of course this is the last thing a company wants to do in the Diamond dominated comic book industry,  but it is necessary if we are going to be able to ever again be able to turn the money faucet back on. I am hopeful that we will be able to work something out with Diamond in the future. Until we verify a number of questions regarding sales from late 2008 through the present, DDP will be utilizing other avenues of distribution to move back stock, as well as limited releases of select new material.

To order direct, DDP encourages customers to contact the numbers and emails below.

Haven Distributors

Devil’s Due Direct Sales: j.blay@devilsdue.net

It also welcomes fans to purchase digital downloads on Graphic.ly, iVerse through the iTunes App store, and comiXology, the latter of which currently has over 100 comics available at https://comics.comixology.com/#/devils_due including the never-released-in-print Hack/Slash – Mercy Sparx: A Slice of Hell crossover special, as the sales from these companies are going in large part towards paying off moneys owed to licensors and talent.

Devil’s Due Restructures

Devil’s Due Restructures

Devil’s Due Publishing has restructured their staff, with CEO PJ Bickett stepping down and two other staffers being laid off.

Bickett told Comic Book Resources, " I have officially separated from Devil’s Due." Replacing him on an interim basis will be DDP’s founder Josh Blaylock.

The lay offs include Editor Cody DeMatteis and Marketing Manager Brian Warmoth with Blaylock telling CBR, that their layoffs were “absolutely no fault of their own.”

"I have really enjoyed being a part of the DDP family for the past several years, and now it is time for me to move on to new challenges," Bickett said. "It was an honor working with such talented people, and I look forward to watching the company evolve."

Blaylock said in a release, "Coming from a strategic planning background, PJ was able to bring a fresh set of eyes to Devil’s Due. It has given us a unique perspective on the industry and where it’s going in years to come, and helped better prepare us for that."

Blaylock helped found the creative services outfit Kunoichi, Inc..and has been concentrating on that in lieu of DDP.  Now, Bickett will be spending most of his time on Kunoichi’s operations.  They recently entered into an agreement to purchase Arachia Comics.

Kunoichi and DDP have shared lineage and even shared Chicago offices blurring the line between the two. DDP currently works out of Los Angeles offices.

DDP has made its name with licensed properties, notably G.I. Joe and Halloween but lost the former to IDW and has suffered financially for it.  Their best known original title is Hack/Slash, which has been optioned by Rogue Pictures, a division of Universal Studios that just happens to be up for sale itself.

The Complicated Archaia Studios Press Sale

The Complicated Archaia Studios Press Sale

Over the last few days, there have been reports that Archaia Studios Press was being acquired by Devil’s Due Publishing. Not so, according to an official statement from Mark Smylie, Archaia’s founder. The company will be acquired by Kunoichi, Inc., instead.

Says Smylie, "We’re in the process of being acquired by Kunoichi, Inc., a creative services company based in Chicago that was co-founded and co-run by [DDP President] Josh Blaylock until he exited the company to focus solely on Devil’s Due."

This would explain some of the confusion, as Kunoichi maintains a close relationship with Devil’s Due. Kunoichi has been referred to as DDP’s "sister company." Further, Devil’s Due CEO P.J. Bickett owns Kunoichi as well.

Kunoichi exists to creating new materials for existing properties under contract to companies such as Marvel, Hasbro, and Rockstar Games. They have not, until now, been a publishing concern.

Bickett felt compelled to clarify matters by releasing a statement of his own: “Normally, Devil’s Due Publishing would not comment on unattributed rumors. But, due to the amount of queries we have received about this, we want to set the record straight.

“While DDP and Archaia Studios Press had some initial exploratory conversations, DDP is not acquiring ASP. We are continuing to have conversations with Archaia about the possibilities of working together in some capacity, as we are with many other publishers both big and small.”

Smylie’s statement goes on to say: “While we had some initial conversations with DDP directly, it will actually be Kunoichi that is acquiring us. Further cause for confusion may stem from the fact that we are still in separate talks with DDP about working together on a few opportunities once the Kunoichi acquisition is completed, including a potential publishing partnership of which we are one of several players in the fold. There’ll be more on all of that soon, I hope.


DDP to Aid Josh Medors’ Cancer Battle

DDP to Aid Josh Medors’ Cancer Battle

Devil’s Due Publishing announced that it would partner with Hypergraphia Comics, the American Cancer Society and the Hero Initiative to assist comic artist Josh Medors’ fight against cancer.  Hypergraphia will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sales of their graphic novel, Sabbath: All Your Sins Reborn, to the Hero Initiative, to be used directly in Medors’ battle with spinal cancer.
Devil’s Due and Hypergraphia Comics will also host a special evening at The Bean Post Pub in Brooklyn to raise additional funds for Medors’ medical expenses.  The benefit event will take place Saturday October 4, from 8 p.m. to midnight.  Medors, well-known for his art in the Sabbath series, has fought cancer since the beginning of the Sabbath line.  Sabbath: All Your Sins Reborn is a special edition collection of the Matt Tomao/Josh Medors horror title, Pogrom.
“We are thankful for the support of Devil’s Due and Hypergraphia,” said Tomao in a release. “They have really extended a kind hand to help Josh in his battle and gone above and beyond, a true testament to their friendship.”
The Bean Post Pub is located at 7525 Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn. For more information or to make a donation to Josh Medors, please visit Devil’s Due Publishing or the Hero Initiative.

Devil’s Due and Capcom Partner for Videogame-Based Comics

Devil’s Due and Capcom Partner for Videogame-Based Comics

Devil’s Due Publishing, the Chicago-based home of comic book titles such as Dungeons & Dragons, Demon Squad and the cult favorite Hack/Slash, recently announced that it will be teaming up with noted videogame publisher Capcom to launch four new comic book titles based on the company’s successful videogame properties.

Two of the four titles announced as part of this deal will be comics based on popular Capcom titles Bionic Commando and Lost Planet.

According to Devil’s Due President Josh Blaylock:

Not only are these awesome games, but they have great stories behind them ripe for comics, including a vintage classic with Bionic Commando that’s been revived along with the new sequel.

More details about DDP’s plans for Bionic Commando, Lost Planet and the two other new Capcom comics are expected to be announced in July at the San Diego Comic-Con. Be sure to check back here at ComicMix for all the details.

Interview: Josh Blaylock on ‘Voltron: A Legend Forged’

Interview: Josh Blaylock on ‘Voltron: A Legend Forged’

For the record, I’m a child of the giant robot generation. I grew up pondering the life lessons of 1980s cartoon series such as Robotech and Transformers, and formulated complex theories regarding the place of Go Bots and Tranzor Z in the hierarchy of the universe’s massive mechas. Looking back on it now, I’m fairly certain I had the makings of a fairly impressive thesis on the subject of giant robots completed before I was 10 years old.

However, there was always one wildcard in my studies: Voltron.

The 1984 series Voltron: Defender of the Universe featured a giant mecha composed of five smaller lion-shaped robots. Each lion controlled by a young pilot. Voltron and the "Lion Force" pilots defended the universe against a host of threats that often took the form of monsters launched into battle via coffin-shaped shuttles. The forces at play in the series were equal parts magic and science, and the title character’s ever-changing list of powers and abilities called upon during the series’ long run caused me endless frustration in my attempts to rank Voltron alongside his peers.

In 2003, I found myself thinking about Voltron (and humming the series’ theme song) once again when Devil’s Due Publishing began producing comics based on the Voltron series. Despite its highly praised development of the characters and mythos of the Voltron universe (including contributions from noted creators such as Mark Waid, Kaare Andrews and Dan Jolley), the series was cancelled in 2005 without concluding its final storyline.

Nostalgia for the character has endured, however, and it now appears as if 2008 will be another big year for Voltron and the Lion Force. Earlier this year, DDP released the Voltron Omnibus, a collection of the entire DDP run that includes the previously unpublished final issue of the 2003-2005 series. The Devil’s Due crew also announced the July release of Voltron: A Legend Forged, a five-issue miniseries that promises to take readers on "a spectacular quest, 1200 years into the past." The series will be written by DDP President Josh Blaylock, and feature interior art by G.I. Joe: America’s Elite artist Mike Bear.

I spoke with Blaylock about the new Voltron series and its place in the character’s complicated history, and picked his brain about the character’s role in the world of giant robots.  DDP also provided ComicMix with new art from the series, including both an inked and full-color version of the first issue’s Tim Seeley cover, as well as an E.J. Su variant cover featuring Voltron in its popular "Lion Force" form. Full-size versions of each cover are posted at the end of the interview.

COMICMIX: First, let me get the most general pair of questions out of the way: Why Voltron and why now?

JOSH BLAYLOCK: It’s been a while since we played with Voltron, but lately there seems to be something in the air. The DVDs are selling like crazy, the Reeboks shoes, the streetwear. All that, combined with the movie buzz, and it seems like a great time to kickstart a new Voltron miniseries, and who knows, maybe more.


Celldweller and Devil’s Due Remix ‘Halloween’

Celldweller and Devil’s Due Remix ‘Halloween’

For those in search of some appropriate mood music to accompany Devil’s Due Publishing’s Halloween: Nightdance, it sounds like the crew at DDP has you covered.

The publisher recently posted a free download link for a techno/rock/orchestral remix of the original Halloween movie theme, courtesy of  the musician known as "Celldweller" — or maybe it’s courtesy of the artist formerly known as Klayton. I can’t be sure.

Either way, here’s the musician bio from the news section of the DDP site:

Celldweller – the versatile outlet of the artist, performer, producer, songwriter, programmer, and remixer Klayton, fuses the electronics of drum & bass and techno, with rock and orchestral elements, meshing the synthetic and the organic, darkness with beauty, into a cohesive blend entirely its own. Celldweller’s sound has captured the interest of the Film/TV/Video Game industry having licensed every track from the Debut Celldweller album, including credits in James Farr’s Xombified Online Series, recently adapted to comic form by Devil’s Due Publishing.

Credits include: “CSI” (Superbowl Spot), "Spider-man 2,” "Spider-man 3,” “Superman Returns,” “Silent Hill,” “Doom,” "The Last Legion,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” “Supercross,” “XXX: State of the Union,” “Constantine,” “Catwoman,” “Redline,” “The Punisher,” “Dirt,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Paycheck,” “Timeline,” “Mindhunters,” “National Security,” “Bad Boys 2,” “Crackdown” “The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift,”  “Need For Speed: Most Wanted,” “Project Gotham Racing 3,” “Enter the Matrix” and “XGRA.”

You can download the track via the DDP site.

Devil’s Due Pop on ‘Incredible Change-Bots’, ‘Xombie’ Toys

Devil’s Due Pop on ‘Incredible Change-Bots’, ‘Xombie’ Toys

Well, here’s one that has me excited.

Toys based on Jeffrey Brown’s popular Top Shelf comic, The Incredible Change-Bots, as well as Devil’s Due Publishing’s Xombie: Reanimated, were among several products highlighted in a recent announcement of DDP’s new line of pop culture toys, Devil’s Due Pop.

From the official press release:

This March, comic book icons bounce out of the pages of Devil’s Due and into a new line of action packed life accessories called DEVIL’S DUE POP. Beginning with a package of classically retro Golden Age Sheena: Queen of the Jungle stickers, DEVIL’S DUE POP will include an array vinyl toys, personal journals, and usable artwork based on the properties that have made Devil’s Due Publishing one of the ten largest comic book publishers in the U.S.

The Sheena stickers will be followed by products themed around DDP’s licensed horror series, Halloween: Nightdance, and an original "Shawnimals" plush.

The publisher is saving the best for last, though, with the June release of an original vinyl figure based on the main character of one of my favorite under-the-radar titles, Xombie: Reanimated. The print series is a continuation of the animated online series Xombie, created by James Farr, who also writes the DDP title.

DDP also provided a look at the first in a potential line of toys based on Jeffrey Brown’s Incredible Change-Bots, a comic he created for the publisher Top Shelf. The series is a parody of the various transforming robot cartoons, comics and toys many comic readers are familiar with. The first character to get the toy treatment will be Balls, a robot who transforms into a golf cart.

Images from the upcoming line are posted after the jump.