It seems another comic buyout is on the horizon, though this one deals with players outside the superhero mainstream. Dynamite Entertainment has announced that they have acquired the titles published by Dabel Brothers Productions and will begin to publish and distribute those books under the Dynamite banner beginning in 2010.
Long known as a publisher of comics based on science ficton and fantasy novels as well as movie properties, the company founded by Les and Ernst Dabel came on the comics scene in 2003 with their surprise hit adaptation of George R.R. Martin's "The Hedge Knight" before helping launch Marvel's best-selling "Anita Blake" series of adaptations in a co-branded deal that ran throughout 2007. But while many of their titles, up through a current crop that includes comics based on Dean Koontz's modern day "Frankenstein" and Jim Butcher's best-selling "Dresden Files" series of mystery/horror novels, have sold well, Dabel Brothers as a company has also had a tumultuous life as a publisher. Past partnerships with Marvel, Image and Devil's Due all ended abruptly.
Anchored by comics focusing on classic characters like the Lone Ranger and Red Sonja, Dynamite Entertainment has proven a viable force in the direct market over the past five years, making their purchase of the Dabel titles seem to grant the adaptations a better chance to continue than they had as independently published comics. Dynamite publisher and president Nick Barrucci spoke briefly with CBR about the deal.
"Things have been moving fast, and it's all come to a head in the last week or so. We're integrating the titles into our production schedule now," Barrucci said, adding of the Dabel titles strength in the bookstore market. "The Dabel Bros. helped bring new readers to comics. We want to help built on that accomplishment."
When asked how current series would continue in terms of relaunching with new #1s or continuing with their current numbering , Barrucci explained, "There's no cookie-cutter answer. We're basically rolling up our sleeves and will determine what is in the best interest of each title. The first book will appear in April."
As for the titles he's most excited to bring under the Dynamite banner, the publisher said, "Everything from Patricia Briggs to Dean Koontz to Jim Butcher – everything's exciting in this catalogue! We want to help these talented authors expand their audience to the comic fans who want them on a regular basis."
Official Press Release
Dynamite Entertainment announced today that they have signed a comprehensive agreement with Dabel Brothers Publishing to transition all of their titles to the Dynamite brand.
Dynamite will immediately assume creative development, production, printing, marketing and sales for all titles handled by Dabel Brothers Publishing. This includes books that were in the works and projects not yet announced. For the bookstore market, all graphic novels (unless pre-existing agreements prohibit from doing so) will be published by Dynamite and distributed through Diamond Book Distributors.
"Dynamite has impressed us with their ability to market their titles to such a broad audience," says Vice President, Les Dabel. "We are extremely happy about this transition, and I am stepping back now to let Dynamite do what they do best."
"We look forward to working with all of the distinguished authors on their great works and helping to bring them to a larger audience," stated Dynamite President, Nick Barrucci.
Founded in 2004, Dynamite Entertainment is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including Red Sonja, Project Superpowers, The Boys, Army of Darkness, Battlestar Galactica, The Lone Ranger, Zorro and more. Diamond awarded the company a "GEM" award for Best New Publisher in 2005 and another "GEM" in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%). Dynamite has also been nominated for several industry awards, including the prestigious "Eisner" Award, and consistently works with top flight and fan favorite creative talent such as Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jim Lee, Michael Avon Oeming, Matt Wagner and many others.
The first books will be shipping in April 2010, with subsequent titles shipping thereafter.
Please check http://www.dynamiteentertainment.com for additional updates and look for further announcements soon!