Bleeding Cool scooped everyone last week, announcing Jud Meyers as the new Publisher of IDW Publishing. Of all of the newly promoted people, he is the one with the least experience at IDW, only having worked there less than a year as Global Sales Director since last August. He does have wide experience within comic book sales however, but it is that which seems to have caused issues. The Hollywood Reporter posted last night that one day into the job, he had been placed on administrative leave. But why?
Initially working at Titan Publishing in London, Jud Meyers worked at a number of comic book stores in the UK in the early nineties, including Forbidden Planet, Virgin Megastores, and Meanwhile Comics. In 1994, Meyers moved back to New York City and took a position at Avalanche Of Wonder, a comic book mail-order service. Moving to Los Angeles in 1997, he then launched a similar company, Krypton Collectibles.
In 2003, Meyers co-founded with Carr D'Angelo, his first brick and mortar comic store, located in Sherman Oaks, California, the famous Earth-2 Comics. In 2009, Earth-2 formed a partnership with Geoff Johns and purchased Golden Apple Comics, turning it into another Earth-2 Comics. He later left Earth-2 and opened a new comic book chain, Blastoff with his partner, Scott Tipton.
It then transpired that Earth-2 Comics sued Meyers and Blastoff. In the suit, Earth-2 Comics claimed that Meyers had sold product from Earth-2 to Lone Star Comics and kept the proceeds off books, in his wife's name, ahead of setting up Blastoff as a rival store, for which Earth-2 also claims Meyer also took the Earth-2 customer list. Overall, Earth-2 claimed damages of in excess of $120,000. The complaint was eventually settled, but one of the witnesses against Meyers was Chris Powell, now at Diamond Comic Distributors.
Meyers was also named Director of Sales and Marketing at Humanoids. Which I am told, became a problem for Humanoids, as Chris Powell at Diamond, declined to work with him. Also, Humanoids appearance at retailer events and conventions would attract the attention of aggrieved retailers over Meyers' presence.
Then the final Blastoff Comics store closed last year and I understand the chain went out of business, still owing Diamond Comic Distributors around $35,000. There were then allegations that stock that had been consigned by collectors to Blastoff to sell, and then placed in storage, managed to make it to the marketplace without money – or stock – being returned yet to those dealers.
As a result of all this, former comic book retailers now working at Diamond Comic Distributors – and those who still believe Meyers owes them a pretty penny – have been rather standoffish in dealing with Jud Meyers, as he joined prominent comic book publisher IDW Publishing in his Global Sales role. DC's decision to leave Diamond knocked a lot of that on the head, but the appointment of Jud Meyers as Publisher of IDW unearthed it all again, and it made its way to Bleeding Cool over the last week. Right now, Diamond are not happy campers. I am told that Chris Powell, Chief Relationship Officer at Diamond/Geppi Family Enterprises continues to refuse to work with him and I am told that Tim Lenaghan, Chief Procurement Officer at Geppi Family Enterprises, has joined Powell in that. The negotiations between Diamond and IDW were handed over to Dirk Wood, IDW Director Of Marketing, who everyone loves, but this really should not be his job.
Will it be easier for IDW with Diamond now that Meyers is on administrative leave? And is this the reason why that decision has been made? IDW is not commenting. Melissa Gotto of the appropriately-named LA PR firm Scandal Co-Active told us that IDW has no further comment other than the statement that was released.
"IDW Publishing has put Jud Meyers on administrative leave. President Jerry Bennington will assume his responsibilities as interim Publisher at this time." – Ezra Rosensaft, IDW CEO.
There's a video that Jud Meyers made about the most important comic book to him, and it is one that a number of industry figures have been sharing amongst themselves this week with increasing levels of snark.