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IDW Publishing at 15 - Ted Adams, Chris Ryall.. and Drift

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IDW Publishing at 15 - Ted Adams, Chris Ryall.. and Drift

Postby Va'al » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:09 pm

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In an article published on the comics section of the LA Times, IDW Publishing founder Ted Adams and chief editor Chris Ryall talk about the company, where it started and how it got to be what it is now, 15 years after its creation. And the Transformers show up too! Check out the whole interview here, and some relevant robotic snippets below.

The metamorphosis into a major independent player was complete when IDW won comics command of an army of robots in disguise.

“It sounds very trite to say it this way, but the one that really feels transformative to the company is when we started doing the Transformers," said Chris Ryall, IDW Publishing’s chief creative officer and editor in chief, who joined in 2004 and helped land the license the next year.

“People were going, ‘Wait a second, who is this little company in San Diego that was suddenly awarded this giant licensed property?'" Ryall said, noting that IDW won franchise creator Hasbro’s bidding process over larger and older publishers. This summer’s blockbuster movie “Transformers: Age of Extinction” included a character, Drift (voiced by Ken Watanabe), created in the company’s comics.

The editor, who has seen IDW’s monthly slate grow from about 10 titles a month to 60-70 titles a month in his decade at the company, and Adams both noted that, whether it’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” or “Godzilla” or “Star Trek," the company doesn’t pursue licenses unless it has people on staff who are already fans of the franchises.

[...]

Digital ventures are bringing people who rediscover comics on iPads and smartphones back into comic book stores, Adams said, citing anecdotal evidence and financial statements from IDW and other publishers that show print and digital revenues growing together over the last couple years. The company also is reaching out to kids in such stores as Target and Toys R Us with Micro Comic Fun Packs for its “My Little Pony” and “Transformers” titles that include sticker sheets and the like – an effort Adams said has been a hit, with more titles, including “Skylanders," lined up.
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Re: IDW Publishing at 15 - Ted Adams, Chris Ryall.. and Drift

Postby MegaDump » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:37 am

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Personally, I was amazed that this company had landed the TF comic rights. At first I thought it might be another Dreamwave, but thankfully there was no Pat Lee involved...

Now, reading their stories, it's with a complete lack of dull surprise (heh) that they've managed to prosper.

Good luck to them, I say, and congratulations on making it this far! IDW has done great things for the Transformers brand, ignoring some minor missteps along the way. Hopefully they can truly flourish with the addition of other licensed properties.
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Re: IDW Publishing at 15 - Ted Adams, Chris Ryall.. and Drift

Postby ZeroWolf » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:58 am

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You do have to wonder who the other companies were...Imagine if one of themwas DC or Marvel again.

All in all though I'm glad IDW have had the success, we've been given a lot of good stories thanks to them...(along with bad ones like Avengers vs Transformers, All Hail Megatron)
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Re: IDW Publishing at 15 - Ted Adams, Chris Ryall.. and Drift

Postby 1984forever » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:31 am

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This is what happens when rank amateurs get awarded a big licensed property.

I believe sexual favors were involved in the bidding process.
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Re: IDW Publishing at 15 - Ted Adams, Chris Ryall.. and Drift

Postby MegaDump » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:39 am

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ZeroWolf wrote:You do have to wonder who the other companies were...Imagine if one of themwas DC or Marvel again.

All in all though I'm glad IDW have had the success, we've been given a lot of good stories thanks to them...(along with bad ones like Avengers vs Transformers, All Hail Megatron)


I think you just answered your own question: Marvel crossovers would have had more Spider-Man/Transformer interaction, like in the original run...
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Re: IDW Publishing at 15 - Ted Adams, Chris Ryall.. and Drift

Postby ZeroWolf » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:22 am

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1984forever wrote:This is what happens when rank amateurs get awarded a big licensed property.

I believe sexual favors were involved in the bidding process.

You mean the amateurs are propelled into the big time? And succeed beyond their wildest dreams? Those lucky people, success stories like that aren't common in the comic world. As transformers fans we're lucky to have IDW.

Of course I reckon your comment was meant as an insult to IDW for not doing your ideas. Can't you just be happy for them? Transformers is thriving, we've got more complex stories, better figures and four live action movies. Now is a fantastic time to be a TF fan :) Can't we all just get along?
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Re: IDW Publishing at 15 - Ted Adams, Chris Ryall.. and Drift

Postby 1984forever » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:35 pm

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ZeroWolf wrote:
1984forever wrote:This is what happens when rank amateurs get awarded a big licensed property.

I believe sexual favors were involved in the bidding process.

You mean the amateurs are propelled into the big time? And succeed beyond their wildest dreams? Those lucky people, success stories like that aren't common in the comic world. As transformers fans we're lucky to have IDW.

Of course I reckon your comment was meant as an insult to IDW for not doing your ideas. Can't you just be happy for them? Transformers is thriving, we've got more complex stories, better figures and four live action movies. Now is a fantastic time to be a TF fan :) Can't we all just get along?

NO.

Dreamwave did a much better job sales and story wise.
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Re: IDW Publishing at 15 - Ted Adams, Chris Ryall.. and Drift

Postby Va'al » Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:17 pm

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Shame about the ethics.
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Re: IDW Publishing at 15 - Ted Adams, Chris Ryall.. and Drift

Postby MegaDump » Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:36 am

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1984forever wrote:
ZeroWolf wrote:
1984forever wrote:This is what happens when rank amateurs get awarded a big licensed property.

I believe sexual favors were involved in the bidding process.

You mean the amateurs are propelled into the big time? And succeed beyond their wildest dreams? Those lucky people, success stories like that aren't common in the comic world. As transformers fans we're lucky to have IDW.

Of course I reckon your comment was meant as an insult to IDW for not doing your ideas. Can't you just be happy for them? Transformers is thriving, we've got more complex stories, better figures and four live action movies. Now is a fantastic time to be a TF fan :) Can't we all just get along?

NO.

Dreamwave did a much better job sales and story wise.


You know what? I think you're right (not necessarily about the sales, I can't comment there, but definitely with the story). It didn't occur to me until just now, but at the time I REALLY enjoyed where things were going with the Dreamwave series, to the point where I remember being quite disappointed initially with the fresh start by IDW.

I guess after so long that had sort of slipped my mind and I had just gotten used to it, though I will concede they're doing a much better job now than they were back then.

It'd be great if IDW set up a limited-series type deal in which they re-print all the Dreamwave stuff, but have the original writers/artists FINISH the story runs they had started (minus Pat Lee, of course). In particular, I was always curious to see how War Within would have ended. I have seen some of the unfinished art pages without dialogue, but it's just not the same as a completed comic...
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Re: IDW Publishing at 15 - Ted Adams, Chris Ryall.. and Drift

Postby 1984forever » Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:05 am

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Same here, Megadump. I picked up that first issue from IDW and I felt cheated out of my money.

The problem is every time I mention Dreamwave people want to bring up the worst DW had to offer. Their ONGOING was way better than any of the fanfic that IDW puts out currently.
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Re: IDW Publishing at 15 - Ted Adams, Chris Ryall.. and Drift

Postby ZeroWolf » Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:54 pm

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So what happened with Dreamwave? I wasn't collecting during that period.

Also you felt cheated at IDW first issue because they went somewhere new and not carry on the already silly old G1 universe (I'm talking cartoon here, still working through the marvel comics) I mean how dare IDW do something new with the property they fought hard for and has done wonders, like autobot Megatron for instance. They've also made mistakes like the all hail Megatron fiasco. But every company does that, DW obviously did and paid for it.
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Re: IDW Publishing at 15 - Ted Adams, Chris Ryall.. and Drift

Postby MegaDump » Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:36 am

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ZeroWolf wrote:So what happened with Dreamwave? I wasn't collecting during that period.

Also you felt cheated at IDW first issue because they went somewhere new and not carry on the already silly old G1 universe (I'm talking cartoon here, still working through the marvel comics) I mean how dare IDW do something new with the property they fought hard for and has done wonders, like autobot Megatron for instance. They've also made mistakes like the all hail Megatron fiasco. But every company does that, DW obviously did and paid for it.


Actually, that's not quite the reason for DW's collapse. As far as I can tell, they were doing very well from Transformers, & their other, independent creations were selling satisfactorily. They should not have been in any financial difficulty... But all evidence I've seen seems to point the finger of blame solely on President/"Artist" Pat Lee. While he did do the hard work to get Transformers restarted as a comic, reigniting people's interests, his subsequently unscrupulous business practices gradually drove the company to bankruptcy.

To illustrate, Mr. Lee himself was driving around in an expensive sports car while artists & writers like Guido Guidi & Simon Furman were simply not being paid for the work they were producing. One thing that stood out in particular for me: I went to my local comic shop to purchase a new issue of DW's TF, only to be told that it was no longer available for distribution in my country (Australia). Apparently, DW (read: Pat Lee) had not paid Hasbro (or whoever) for the rights to sell this comic internationally - all the comics I had previously purchased were technically being sold illegally. See his TF Wiki entry for more examples of doucheness (http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Pat_Lee).

Aside from that, the story itself was not as bad as you might think. It kinda was and wasn't a continuation of the G1 TV series, set sometime between season 2 & the movie, ignoring the movie itself & seasons 3 & 4 (though season 3 & 4 characters were still present). Instead, it subtly "ignored-but-didn't" the events of the cartoon that had led up to that point while leading the story in a different direction from that point on, similar to a "What-If" scenario e.g. asking "What would have happened if X didn't (or did) happen?"
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Re: IDW Publishing at 15 - Ted Adams, Chris Ryall.. and Drift

Postby ZeroWolf » Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:36 am

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I see so it took the cartoon continuity as a base timeline of sorts and used their personalitys.

As for Pat Lee, that's really bad. Sounds like the name of the company was quite apt, as everything did go swimmingly like a dream for a while.
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Re: IDW Publishing at 15 - Ted Adams, Chris Ryall.. and Drift

Postby MegaDump » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:57 pm

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ZeroWolf wrote:I see so it took the cartoon continuity as a base timeline of sorts and used their personalitys.

As for Pat Lee, that's really bad. Sounds like the name of the company was quite apt, as everything did go swimmingly like a dream for a while.


Yes that's right, the cartoon was basically just a starting point. I think Pat Lee may still be floating on his own Dreamwave fantasy-land somewhere. I actually saw his work over at Marvel during a run in Iron Man a few years ago... I couldn't believe he was still getting work in the industry, considering his history!
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