Tuesday, April 2, 2019

I'm a Tad Concerned for IDW

When I say, "IDW," I mean all of this.
Even though Bleeding Cool can be a bit of a tabloid-styled site in regards to news about the comic-book industry (and the site is hideous with ads), it does report a whole lot of stuff, and in that process manages to touch upon/notice things not always that talked about on other sites. Hence, it has been talking about how IDW seems to be a little unstable financially and its making me a tad concerned to hear about the company's increasingly shaky status. I like IDW, but recall reading an article once a year or so ago that I am now unable to find (sorry) that discussed how the company didn't seem to have a clear image/persona. Was it a publisher of commercially-licensed properties worldwide people are fond of like, "My Little Pony," and, "Transformers," or was it more of a place for quirky indie-titles along the lines of, "Popbot," and, "Satellite Falling," to name two books? Was it a company with an eye for funding multimedia properties (e.g. getting comics made into movies and television shows) or instead more interested in creating cool board games?  Was it an art-comic company as its acquisition of the smaller publisher Top Shelf would have seemed to indicate, or more interested in reprinting old comics at a huge size in their high-quality (and high-cost) Artist's Edition hardcovers? I like IDW, but what is IDW?

Perhaps in its effort to be so many things, IDW is struggling to succeed at any one thing due to being spread so thin. We roll our eyes at the cliché phrase, "Jack of all trades, master of none," but it can have some truth. IDW is appealing to a wide-range of people, but only in one category. They have fans who are only into the board-games, just the Artist's Editions, or only some of their books. Everyone thinks of IDW as different things, and this fragmentation arguably makes it hard for the company to have much of a unified image, unlike say, the actual company and fellow publisher, Image.

One of the first comics released by IDW years ago, and a good one at that.
When it first started Image was thought of as a bit of a Marvel and DC knock-off with its strange super-hero titles, but it has since grown to be a renowned publisher of a wide range of great indie titles. It has a wide variety of works, but it is known for being a place dedicated to giving creator's the rights to their titles and doing everything from a horrific ongoing zombie-epic to off-kilter original graphic novels about Jesus as a kung-fu master. Image does a varying number of comics, but people have a clear idea of what Image is. Can we say the same for IDW, and is that why it might be having so much financial trouble? I honestly have loved many titles released by IDW and even though I can't afford a big Artist's Edition book flipping through one at a local comic store once was a phenomenal experience. I honestly like IDW, even if I'm not sure what exactly IDW is/is trying to be. I just hope we all figure it out before its too late.

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