In a statement made on his Instagram account, Mike Marts has announced that he is leaving his position as editor-in-chief of AfterShock Comics as of today.
Calling the decision to step down “extremely bittersweet,” he continued by saying that it was “exhilarating, exciting and challenging to build a company, and it’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world. Creating an infrastructure, establishing a creative vision and initiating a workplace culture were all tasks I thoroughly enjoyed… but now it’s time to pass the reins to new hands, to allow someone else’s creative tastes and instincts steer the tone and pace of this great company.”
Marts teased that his replacement “will be someone you all know and are familiar with,” while additionally teasing what he’s describing as “the next phase of my creative journey — a new initiative I am very passionate about.” He remains, he says, “AfterShock’s number one cheerleader. As I start the next phase of my creative journey, I will continue to read and support their titles, only now it will be fun not knowing what’s coming down the road.”
Before founding AfterShock Comics in 2015 with Desperado Publishing’s Joe Pruett, Marts had served as both executive editor of Marvel’s X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy franchises as well as DC’s Batman franchise; as such he was responsible for Grant Morrison’s lengthy run on the Bat-titles, as well as a number of fan-favorite X-Men titles.
AfterShock Comics’ primary focus has been creator-owned titles, with a line-up of creative talent that has included Margeurite Bennett, Sam Kieth, Donny Cates, Cullen Bunn, Garth Ennis, Paul Tobin, Steve Orlando, and Elliott Kalan. In 2020, the company teamed with television distribution company Rive Gauche to create AfterShock Media, a development and production company intended to bring the best of AfterShock’s comic book projects to the screen.
AfterShock Comics has, as of writing, not responded to a request for comment regarding the announcement of its incoming editor-in-chief.
It’s a year of change in the comics industry. Just earlier this month, San Diego-based publisher IDW Publishing was reporting on its progress so far this year, and looking to the future.