Virgin: That’s all she wrote

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Somewhere, Nicolas Cage is crying. Calvin Reid at PW gets the tale of the tape:

Although calls to Virgin Comics CEO and cofounder Sharad Devarajan (who is also president of Gotham Entertainment) have not been returned, sources confirm that the venture has been closed and that a statement will likely be issued soon. The closing appears to effect only Virgin Comics’ U.S. publishing operations in New York City and does not effect the operations of Gotham Entertainment, the Bangalore, India-based partner in the venture that produces comics targeted at the South Asian consumer market.

The company produced about 17 different comics series in addition to publishing about 18 trade paperback collections and 3 hardcover titles. It is unclear what will happen to the rights to these properties.

Comments

  1. Colin (Part 2) says:

    Wow seems strange hadn’t they just signed up Grant Morrison to do some stuff for them?

  2. They also were having Stan Lee create a superhero universe for them. This is now the second time that an artist or operation has thrown in the towel within months of my publishing an article about their endeavors. I don’t know what to make of that.

  3. Hope whoever gets Dan Dare treats him as good as Virgin did, it was fun getting that for my dad.

  4. The latest iteration of The CrossGen Syndrome.

    I look forward to the next one.

  5. So much for me “waiting on the trade” for Dan Dare.

  6. I look forward to a new publisher that learns from CrossGen’s and Virgin’s experiences.

  7. One thing Virgin is to be credited for is actively developing a new generation of comics talent in India. From what I understand, there are many artists and writers currently working there who come from advertising who want to shift into comics, but they lack the sort of hands-on years of reading and “grokking” comics most other comics-producing nations have. They have the artistic skill and the willingness to make comics, but not the decades of reading and thinking about comics. Indian cartoonists have a style of their own and with Virgin’s help, surely we’ll be seeing more of them in the years to come, both in print here and in India.

  8. One thing Virgin is to be credited for is actively developing a new generation of comics talent in India. From what I understand, there are many artists and writers currently working there who come from advertising who want to shift into comics, but they lack the sort of hands-on years of reading and “grokking” comics most other comics-producing nations have. They have the artistic skill and the willingness to make comics, but not the decades of reading and thinking about comics. Indian cartoonists have a style of their own and with Virgin’s help, surely we’ll be seeing more of them in the years to come, both in print here and in India.

  9. The thing is, at the end of the day, what did they bring to the table? What was new? The Grant Morrison ideas, the Stan Lee ideas, they might have been new, might have been great, but its too late in the coming(or was, now).

    What story does Guy Ritchie bring that needs to be told in comic form that he can’t tell 100 times better as a film sans the big M? One of the crucial elements in comics, the crucial question that needs to be asked when you are doing a comic, is why does this need to be told in the comic form? What is it about panels and word balloons that will enliven this story more than any other possible form of presentation?

    I didn’t see that consideration on the page of the comics from Virgin. More’s the pity.

  10. BobMc says:

    A shame. I wonder how long it’ll be before hack companies like Platinum Studios have to close their doors as well? That’s the only good thing that will come from this down market.

  11. “Jeremy Holstein Says:

    08/26/08 at 12:57 pm
    So much for me “waiting on the trade” for Dan Dare. ”

    My thoughts exactly.

  12. Yeah, beyond Dan Dare, I didn’t read any of their comics.

    But more importantly – what can we learn about how they did things so the same mistakes aren’t repeated?

  13. For starters, figuring out how the market works and exactly which market to create content for would go a much longer way than Virgin Comics ever did.

  14. Tom Spurgeon says:

    Evie, I’d like to hire you to do an article about Platinum.

  15. I wouldn’t count the Dan Dare trade out; I would expect that they’re printing these overseas, and with a slated October release date, they may already be on the boat.

  16. Torsten Adair says:

    So, does this mean those Dan Dare M&Ms are now worth more?

    Dan Dare was a licensed property, so I am sure someone (Titan?) will collect the story.

    Their comics were nicely done, and I enjoyed the Indian mythology titles.

    Since the parent company is not going out of business (unlike CrossGen), it will be interesting to see what happens with the rights.

  17. Tom: A ha ha. Yeah, I seem to have a toxic touch.

  18. pouring out shirley temple for them, as we speak.

  19. Hands up who’s even slightly surprised?

    *keeps hands firmly down*

  20. Christian G. says:

    Virgin going under? Ya Think?

  21. “… sources confirm that the venture has been closed and that a statement will likely be issued soon.”

    Or, I like to call it, “Tempt Not The Wrath of Laura Hudson!”

  22. Dan Dare says:

    Virgins are getting rarer by the day.

  23. Timothcat says:

    Kept trying to find a copy of Megas which had good buzz. Couldn’t find one anywhere in more than three months of looking.

  24. To be honest I always thought the Virgin books to be overpriced and too slim.

    I expected more with the Virgin name on it – better anyway – and I thought it would seriously branch out beyond the traditional comics reading audience.

    Ah, hopes – they dash on the rocks like a ship with no lighthouse to guide her.

  25. Abhay says:

    “One thing Virgin is to be credited for is actively developing a new generation of comics talent in India.”

    Animation is slowly moving into India; it’s my hope at least that alone will help spur an Indian comics scene. And in fact, it was my understanding there was already a nascent Indian “graphic novel” scene kicked off by Sarnath Banerjee’s Corridor and the founding of his publishing house Phantomville. If anyone knows more about that scene, I’d love to hear more about it, far moreso than anything about Virgin, but…

    “They have the artistic skill and the willingness to make comics, but not the decades of reading and thinking about comics.”

    Well: there actually have been Indian comics in the past. They don’t have a comparative industry as many countries to my knowledge, no, and I don’t know what the state of Indian comics was in 2006, what was being done to cultivate a new generation of creators, how active it was. Again, I’d love to hear more.

    But that said…. I remember looking at lots of religious comics made in India when I was a kid (not to mention reading cousins’ vast hardcover runs of old Phantom strips and Richie Rich strips, lots of Harvey, while visiting as a kid). I don’t really know what all is necessary for “grokking” though.

    That’s not to take away from your point that Virgin (hopefully) beneficially impacted a great many artists who (hopefully) will go on to continue to work and create. I don’t know if “credited” is the right word because they had their own motivations and… well…

  26. Michael says:

    “Evie, I’d like to hire you to do an article about Platinum. ”

    Not until she does a piece about Brand New Day for me.

  27. Michael, you can actually read my thoughts on the current ASM here. It hasn’t worked yet.

  28. Hadn’t Garth already committed to another Dan Dare series? I’d imagine he’ll probably get Dynamite to pull through again like they did for The Boys.

    I have no evidentiary reason for thinking that.

  29. Louis Lane says:

    I almost bought Virgin Comics’ Jenna Jameson title for the sheer irony alone. In the end (no pun intended), I decided to wait for the trade. Wonder if they’ll put out…uh, I mean put it out.

    LL

  30. Scott H says:

    I really enjoyed Snakewoman, and 7 brothers was pretty good as well.

  31. I had posted this to a previous item, but seems appropriate to gather it into the general comment about Virgin:

    Shame about Virgin. I flipped through an issue here and there at the LCS and nothing about them seemed to grab me.

    It seems a hard thing to do, start a comic company, successfully find a market and sell comics.

    Some talk of the economy as being a factor, but historically, people have turned to entertainment as a distraction when the times were tough.

  32. Great minds think alike!

  33. Day2Day Trading are proud to annouce that they are taking on the classic British character of Dan Dare and producing him in a 12″ inch action figure with full accessories. If you would like to kept imformed of the progress of the production please mail ajeff@day2daytrading.com Welcome back Dan Dare.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Virgin Comics, the comic publisher funded by Brit Billionaire Richard Branson and guided by new age guru Deepak Chopra, has ceased operations. [...]

  2. [...] o site da Virgin Comics ainda está no ar como se nada tivesse acontecido, pelo menos por hora. no release a editora diz que vai se mudar pra LA em busca de novos financiamentos, porque perdeu um grande que tinha, mas não cita nomes. alguns fatores nesse caso nebuloso são similares aos da Crossgen, outra editora de gibis de fantasia que chegou chegando mas queimou na reentrada da volta à Terra. [...]

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