15 Years of IDW - IDW Publishing's Ted Adams Interview
Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 5:27PM CDTCategories: Comic Book News, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Dr Va'al Views: 18,061
THE BEAT: Since we’re doing a 15-anniversary look back, I wanted to ask you if you if you could lay out kind of the structure of IDW. I know that you started it with some partners and then IDT came in as investor — can you just talk about who’s still involved and
what their roles are?
ADAMS: Yeah absolutely. I started IDW with three other guys in 1999 and when we organized the business we each owned essentially 25% of the business. So there were four of us who owned 25% and that continued on for quite some time. In the early days of the business actually we weren’t a comic book publisher, we were just a creative service company that was doing art and design for a variety of entertainment companies. And so for the first probably 3 or 4 years of IDW it was just the four of us and a handful of employees. We really started with an art book by Ash Wood and that led us to doing 30 Days of Night and CSI comic books. That was around 2001-02 was when we were first starting to publish comic books. But it wasn’t really until probably 2004, 2005 when our publishing business started taking off, around the time we picked up the Transformers license, and really started to expand our publishing business. (Editor-in-chief) Chris Ryall came in and really helped us build that business.
If you look at the licensed books that we did when we first got into the game versus the licensed books that we do today, they just weren’t as good. And there’s that stigma that’s associated with a licensed book that I’ve never really understood. I think it’s starting to go away. Our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles book is regularly on weekly Best Of lists. It was on a bunch of end of the year Best Of lists. The Godzilla book that we did with James Stokoe was critically acclaimed; the Transformers book that James Roberts writes for us is well received not just by people who like Transformers, but people who like well written comic books.
We also have comic books in the Transformers toys and it’s the same thing there. If you like that comic book, you got the Transformers toy as a gift for Christmas, you didn’t expect to get the comic book, it’s just a freebie in there. You read it, you liked it, the back of that comic book completely drives you to the direct market. If we’ve done our job right it very clearly explains to you, should you like this comic book, here’s the next thing to buy and here’s the place to buy it.