Following his departure from Valiant Entertainment earlier this week, news which was first reporter by Bleeding Cool (pip pip), Joe Illidge has explained what he plans to do next in what will probably go down in history as the nicest "open letter to the industry" ever published by anyone in any industry. Normally, when one hears that a person has penned an "open letter" after leaving a high profile job, one expects the letter to unleash righteous fury on its subject.
Something to the effect of…
But Illidge went in a completely different direction in his letter, given as an EX-X-XCLUSIVE to the Hollywood Reporter's Graeme "Graham" McMillan. Instead of diatribes about the ills facing the comic book industry, Illidge referred to now as "the most exciting time to be in comics," kept things entirely positive, and revealed that he will focus on freelance editing of creator-owned projects going forward.
Below, read the letter in full:
This is the most exciting time to be in comics!
An industry fueled by grit, imagination, and the need to tell stories has more publishers now than ever before, harnessing the voices of more kinds of creators than ever before, to produce a vast library of stories every week, every month, every year.
Periodicals. Collected volumes. Webcomics. Zines. Digital Comics.
There are no barriers between the consumer and the story that cannot be overcome, no insurmountable obstacle preventing the storyteller from getting their ideas into the world.
We are in the most creatively competitive market of the industry's history, because of the diversity of good stories available.
Comic books are a nucleus for global entertainment and a magnet for companies looking to use the power of personal journeys and myth structure to leave an impression on the world.
At the center of all this possibility, realization of ideas, and life-changing artistic and business endeavors is the Creative Participant.
The people who dare to dream, who face the blank page, the blank screen, and courageously challenge the world with stories.
Stories are created by collaborative communities. Imagination villages. Those who are legion, who avenge, who believe in justice, and ultimately want a better world.
At Milestone Media, we planted a flag on the landscape of comics with the first, truly inclusive superhero universe.
At DC Comics, we brought a new level of variety, quality, and vitality to Gotham City and the world of Batman and his allies.
At Archaia, we fostered the vision of independent creators in ways that were prescient.
At Lion Forge, we created the catalyst for a contemporary vision of heroic drama.
At Valiant, we courageously opened the doors to emerging creators, in order to elevate characters to new heights.
I've been in the hero business for twenty-five years, and it's clear that the best time for comics is ahead of us, so I'm looking forward.
Forward to working with creators to realize unique, crazy, and distinctive visions that run the gamut of genre, style, and format.
Forward to team-building with companies who embrace their power as the caretakers of great and wondrous mythologies.
Forward to using my collective experience and daring ideas to keep pushing the comic book industry in a positive direction.
Forward to being an ally to you, for the better days ahead.
Let's make some great stories.