IDW To Hire New Executive Editorial Director – Instead Of EIC?

Yesterday, Bleeding Cool reported the word that John Barber, editor-in-chief of IDW Publishing – is no longer EIC of IDW. That John Barber was a former IDW Hasbro Group Editor who IDW rehired as new Editor-in-Chief in 2018 after he spent a two-year stint as a writer. And this followed our news that Hasbro was pulling both their Transformers and GI Joe licenses from IDW – and presumably My Little Pony, Action Force, Dungeons & Dragons, Jem And The Holograms, and ROM as well, though we had no clarification on those. And that neither IDW representatives, nor John Barber, responded to questions when asked. However, there's something that might show what is going on. A new job listing that's live for an Executive Editorial Director at IDW. Described thus;

This position will be responsible for developing licensed products for IDW Publishing, including single-issue comic books and graphic novels, and both managing and providing direction to the editorial staff to enable the highest quality creative output. This person will work closely with IDW's Publisher, SVP, Sales, Marketing & Strategy, Director, Content Strategy, and Managing Editor to ensure that all licensed publishing products maximize revenue, profitability, and brand visibility while ensuring the licensor's brand integrity.

The Executive Editorial Director will help to craft publishing plans and schedules for a multitude of monthly periodical series, graphic novel releases, original graphic novels, specials and annuals, and specialty products for all sales channels. This position will also be responsible for evaluating new licensor viability and establishing strategic goals for launch plans and ongoing product lines. The Executive Editorial Director reports directly to the Publisher.

Notably, there is no mention of working with an Editor-In-Chief, almost as if that titled position is gone, and Executive Editorial Director is taking those responsibilities. Here's what else you'll be doing.

The logo for IDW Publishing is, despite all appearances, not a trash can on fire.
The logo for IDW Publishing

Essential Functions

  • Partner with Publisher on the long-term strategy for approximately 220-240 periodical and 50-60 collection titles annually
  • Perform full editorial functions for titles on an ad hoc basis
  • Foster and maintain relationships with licensors and creators
  • Manage the creative process from conception through publication for those titles
  • In concert with the Publisher, SVP, Sales, Marketing & Strategy and Director, Content Strategy, develop publishing plans for all licensors, including monthly periodical series, graphic novel releases, original graphic novels, specials and annuals and specialty products for all sales channels
  • Monitor and enforce schedules and deadlines across the editorial team
  • In concert with the Managing Editor and VP Publishing Operations, monitor and adjust Production Schedule as needed to ensure proper schedules of titles with on time approvals
  • Proof, review, and approve licensed content comics and graphic novels
  • Identify new talent and maintain relationships with current talent
  • Manage a team of 10+ editors, directing and supporting the staff through supervision, goal setting, workload allocation, performance evaluation, and professional development
  • Working with VP Publishing Operations, train staff on best practices for productivity and overall performance
  • Alongside Business Affairs, advise on licensor contracts, amendments, and extensions
  • Collaborate with PR, Marketing, and Sales to maintain synchronized execution of projects
  • Attend conventions as needed


  • 8-10 years of experience in a comics editorial field
  • 5 years of management experience
  • Knowledge of comic book, publishing, and entertainment industries


  • Superior ability to manage a large group of people
  • Superior organizational skills
  • Superior written and verbal communication skills
  • Superior ability to multitask
  • Superior ability to work with tight deadlines
  • Excellent ability to understand what is appealing to readers
  • Superior copyediting and proofreading skills


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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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