As 2013 begins we wanted to provide a quick update on some changes that are happening here at iFanboy HQ. You know how we love to keep you, the loyal iFanbase, aware of the happenings and some of these are pretty big, so take a seat and read on…
As many of you know, in 2010 iFanboy was acquired by Graphicly and Josh Flanagan, Conor Kilpatrick and myself became employees of Graphicly. The decision to join forces with Graphicly was a pretty easy decision for us. They were looking to get into comics, we know comics, we all liked each other. Easy decision. Over the past two years, we’ve been able to dedicate more time and resources to iFanboy thanks to their support, while also being actively involved in developing Graphicly’s business, a business that has taken some interesting turns. Some of you may have noticed that Graphicly has moved away from just digital comics and to supporting digital publishing in general while moving away from the app model and focusing on eBooks. This is a move that we have been actively involved in developing and wholeheartedly support. But, with Graphicly’s new business focus the need for iFanboy to be a gateway to the comic book world has become less important. This was something that both we and Graphicly CEO Micah Baldwin realized and so we have collectively worked to amicably split iFanboy from Graphicly and return it to an independent website owned and operated by the three of us once again.
Now before any speculation happens about nefarious business dealings or behind the scenes decisions let me be absolutely clear. This was a joint decision by all of us and there’s nothing to read into beyond that. Simply put, Graphicly is focusing their resources beyond comic books, and no one involved wanted to see iFanboy shut down as a result. So Graphicly generously worked with us to enable this transition back to independence.
Graphicly CEO Micah Baldwin asked me to include his point of view on this and provided the following:
“It was an easy decision to acquire iFanboy given its place as the pre-eminent community for comic book enthusiasts and collectors. There is no better place online to enjoy and share the stories we all love. It has been amazing watching that community almost double in size in such a short period of time, and now iFanboy no longer needs Graphicly to continue its meteoric pace, and therefore I am excited and proud to see Ron, Josh and Conor take stewardship of the community back over full-time.”
And so with that, iFanboy is an independent entity once again. So what does this mean for you, the iFanbase? Not much. iFanboy will continue to provide its unique view of the comic book industry as long as you keep coming and enjoying what the editors and the staff have to say. We have to thank those of you who are active iFanboy Members. Your support has been vital to keeping the lights on at iFanboy HQ, and you will continue to be. For those of you who want to help, but aren’t members or who chose to suspend your membership, stay tuned as we’ll have ways for you to show your support for iFanboy soon. In the meantime, click on the banners, shop at Amazon, support our sponsors, and just keep on enjoying all the great content iFanboy has for you everyday!
With that said about iFanboy, and in a bit of uncanny timing, I’d also like to announce that I will be resigning from all active editorial involvement with iFanboy, as well as resigning from my position at Graphicly.
This will probably come as a shock to many of you. Since 2001, iFanboy has been a passion and the focus of much of my dedication. Teaming up with two of my best friends to create something out of nothing was fun. To see what heights we’ve reached since then has been mind boggling. So you can only imagine how it is with a heavy heart that I’ve come to this decision. It was not an easy one to make, but given where I’m now headed, unfortunately there would be no way for me to do what I’ve done at iFanboy, on a daily basis, for the past 12 years.
For years when asked if I ever wanted to work in comics, I’ve laughed off the question, stating that I’m neither a writer nor an artist and would probably not do well as a creator. But, I’ve said, if there was one aspect of comics that interested me it was the publishing and business side. That was something that I find infinitely interesting (I published my own magazine in college) and that is exactly what I will be doing at Image Comics. I will be joining the Image team as the Director of Business Development, working closely with Publisher Eric Stephenson and Marketing & PR Director Jennifer De Guzman and the rest of the amazing staff at Image Central in Berkeley, CA. I will primarily be focusing on sales and marketing as I work to help Image continue the amazing success that they have been experiencing.
It’s no secret how much I’ve enjoyed Image Comics over the years. The start of the company in 1992 is what brought me back into comics after I gave up on them, and they’ve been a continual source of quality comics from some of the best creators around. But aside from any personal appreciation for the company, I feel that there is tremendous potential for Image Comics as a business. Even in light of the tremendous success they’ve had in recent years, I see amazing potential for Image Comics. In my discussions with Stephenson, I’ve been immensely impressed by their motivation to not rest on their laurels of past success and continue to push Image Comics to even greater heights. I’m honored to be asked to be a part of that effort and I believe that many of the skills that I’ve acquired and experiences that I’ve had in my career to-date have put me in a position where I strongly feel that I will be able to contribute to their growth and continued success.
It’s been so great to hear the level of support and enthusiasm from Josh, Conor and the rest of the iFanboy and Graphicly families on the decision to make this move. iFanboy means the world to me, and it pains me to have to move on, but the opportunity to work at Image Comics is one that I cannot pass up. Fear not though, considering my long relationship with Josh and Conor, I wouldn’t be surprised if I popped up on the podcast from time to time or if I run into the gang at upcoming comic cons, and I can only hope some of the exciting things we have planned at Image Comics will get covered by the excellent staff here at iFanboy.
As I make my exit, I can never thank Josh, Conor, Paul Montgomery and everyone at iFanboy enough for working with me on what’s been a crazy ride in the world of comics as we’ve turned iFanboy from three guys’ nights-and-weekends experiment into one of the best places online to celebrate comics. Additionally, I have to thank all of the creators and fine folks at all of the comics publishers for putting out great comics and letting us talk about them. And finally, I have to thank all of you for enjoying what we do and making iFanboy one of my personal, proudest accomplishments.
With my departure, there does leave a void that needs to be filled. Over the past two years, Paul Montgomery has stepped up to the challenge of working with Josh, Conor and myself (which can be a challenge in and of itself, believe me) and has not only become a mainstay at iFanboy, but one of the most talented and unique voices covering comics.
He rose from iFanbase commenter to iFanboy columnist to iFanboy editor and so now please join me in welcoming Paul Montgomery to full iFanboy status. He will be joining Josh and Conor as my editorial replacement, entering the Pick of the Week and Book of the Month rotation and taking my place on the iFanboy Pick of the Week Podcast.
This was one of the easiest decisions we’ve ever had to make as Paul has proven himself to not only be a way better writer than I am, but I can also admit that he’s funnier than I am too. Once I get him up to speed on his X-Men history, I can’t think of a finer person to pick up my slack and help continue to keep iFanboy as great of a place as it already is.
I know, this is a lot to take in. Thanks for baring with me through these announcements and I hope you continue to enjoy and participate in the world of iFanboy. I’ll still be around for another week, with my last Pick of the Week on January 23rd and last Pick of the Week Podcast on January 27th.
Thanks. For Everything.