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Boom! Studios bought by Penguin Random House

Not content with distributing comics, now PRH is buying its own comics publisher

Boom! Studios
Image credit: Boom! Studios

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Independent comic book publisher Boom! Studios has been purchased by Penguin Random House, Popverse can confirm. The news, initially reported by Bleeding Cool, has been confirmed by Popverse, and was announced to staff at the company Wednesday morning.

It’s expected that Boom! will end its current relationship with Diamond Comic Distributors and join publishers including Marvel, IDW, Dark Horse, and Tokyopop in becoming exclusively distributed by Penguin Random House Publisher Services. The initial Bleeding Cool report mentions the possibility of layoffs within the company as a result of its acquisition, although Popverse has been unable to confirm that as of writing; additionally, Publisher’s Weekly is reporting that Boom! will become part of Random House Worlds, the publisher’s genre imprint, with Scott Shannon — who heads that imprint — taking over control of the company.

Boom! Studios was founded by Ross Richie and Andrew Cosby in 2005, launching with work from creators including Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola. Throughout its 19-year history, the company has published a number of acclaimed titles, including Irredeemable, Lumberjanes, Something is Killing the Children, BRZRKR, and A Vicious Circle, currently in development as a movie by Black Panther director Ryan Coogler. In 2017, 20th Century Fox purchased a stake in the company, which then passed to the Walt Disney Company with its purchase of Fox; that stake is part of the PRH acquisition, with PRH becoming sole owner of Boom! as a result.

Richie is leaving the company with the completion of the acquisition. Jen Harned, currently Boom! director of strategy and chief financial officer, will step up to lead the team in his absence.

Richie made a statement on the sale on Facebook, which reads in part, "This is exciting news for creators. PRH is the biggest publisher in the world. They will be able to get more of our creators’ comics into more fans’ hands in the book trade because of their experience and size and in the Direct Market they are the distributor of choice for Marvel. Their publishing has global reach and will be able to get creators’ series into the international global market in a way that will be simply unmatched by anyone else. This is exciting news for our retailers in the Direct Market. Random House Worlds, the division of PRH acquiring BOOM!, has experience publishing prose books of the biggest IP in the world, like Star Wars, Marvel, Critical Role, Magic The Gathering, and Dungeons and Dragons, so they love the pop culture space, understand its customer, and its distribution arm is already an experienced provider of Marvel Comics every week into the comic shop specialty space. This is exciting news for our fans. The biggest prose book publisher in the world is excited about comics and wants to get into the action and believes it is an area of growth. They want more people to read — more people to read comic books!"


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Graeme McMillan: Popverse Editor Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.
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