The comics industry was shaken when one of the pillars of the North American comics scene, IDW Publishing, announced that 32 of its 82 employees were being laid off, effective immediate, towards a planned "reset" of the company - including its movie/tv division. Earlier this month, Popverse did a deep dive into what really happened with help from current and former employees (including the new CEO Davidi Jonas), and provided it for our paid Popverse members.
We are now providing an excerpt of that 4500+ word piece talking with over a dozen IDW insiders, to begin to understand what really happened - beginning to how it didn't begin on April 27, 2023, but actually began years before.
The writing was on the wall for IDW, possibly as early as 2021
According to one source at the company who was among management before the layoffs, the murmurings of bad news on the horizon began some time before the actual wave of layoffs, following the release of IDW’s latest financial report on March 15, 2023; a report which revealed a loss from IDW Publishing of $335,000 in its first fiscal quarter, which ended on January 31.
"And for at least a year and a half if not longer, it has been very, very much known that IDW Entertainment was going to make a shit-ton of money in 2022, and [IDW Entertainment is] not going to make any money in 2023. None of that is a surprise: they knew that at the end of 2021.”
“We knew something was up. We knew some changes were coming,” the former employee tells Popverse. “The entire Board changed over, Davidi Jonas had come in [to the Board of Directors] on March 30…it was very clear that that was going to happen. So none of this was a surprise. It was clear that Davidi and other people were here to bring some kind of change. And for at least a year and a half if not longer, it has been very, very much known that IDW Entertainment was going to make a shit-ton of money in 2022, and [IDW Entertainment is] not going to make any money in 2023. None of that is a surprise: they knew that at the end of 2021.”
IDW Entertainment is the company’s movie and television division, which develops movies and TV shows based on IDW comic books and other properties it owns the media rights to. One prominent example that underlines the “shit-ton of money” IDW Entertainment brought in was the $4.3 million it reported in the first quarter of 2022, received from Netflix for the completion of the live-action second season of Locke & Key. In the first quarter of 2023 however, IDW Entertainment reported “no meaningful revenue recognition.”