Comic book publisher IDW Publishing, who has brought us the likes of 30 Days of Night and Locke & Key, announced today that it has acquired Top Shelf Productions, the home of Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (with Kevin O’Neill) and From Hell (with Eddie Campbell), Craig Thompson’s Blankets, and Jeff Lemire’s Essex County, among countless others.
“The acquisition of Top Shelf is a milestone for IDW,” said Ted Adams, IDW CEO and publisher. “We looked a very long time for a company that would complement our own publishing line-up, and in Top Shelf we found the ideal match. The addition of Top Shelf’s library further positions IDW’s leadership role among the top powerhouses in comics.”
Top Shelf will remain a distinct imprint within IDW and co-founder Chris Staros will join the company as Editor-in-Chief, Top Shelf Productions.
“IDW is committed to preserving and growing the Top Shelf brand, which we’ve long admired,” said IDW president and COO Greg Goldstein. “Chris and his team have built a great working relationship with creators, fans, and retailers alike, and IDW will work diligently to expand Top Shelf’s publishing capabilities and market reach while further developing those relationships.”
Founded in 1997, Top Shelf Productions offers a broad library of comic books and graphic novels from dozens of the industry’s top independent creators. Following the acquisition, Top Shelf’s headquarters will remain in Marietta, GA.
“Top Shelf and IDW complement each other perfectly,” said Top Shelf Productions co-founder and publisher Chris Staros. “We both started around the same time, and when I would watch IDW over the years, as a fellow publisher, I’d see them making smart move after smart move. Now I’m extremely excited to combine their talents and resources with Top Shelf’s award-winning literary approach to comics. And believe it or not, the idea to join forces hit us both at exactly the same time. Last year, as I was about to pitch Ted and Greg this ‘crazy’ idea, they approached me to suggest the same thing! How’s that for a good omen? Together, we’re going to be able to publish some incredible work. I’m really looking forward to this.”
The following is a Q&A that was included in the press release:
Will Top Shelf retain its own brand identity?
How will IDW Publishing’s new ownership role directly impact Top Shelf?
IDW will use its 15 years of publishing experience to further enhance Top Shelf’s incredible line-up and ensure that the backlist is always available to an expanded retailer and consumer base.
What role will Chris Staros have going forward at Top Shelf?
What about the rest of The Top Shelf staff?
How does this acquisition affect Top Shelf’s independent creators?
How will this transition affect retailers?
How did the transaction come about?