It’s Alive Crowdfunded Reprint Imprint Will Leave IDW Pact

Founded by publisher Drew Ford as a Kickstarter-funded reprint imprint at IDW Publishing, It’s Alive!, which specializes in reprints of classic graphic novels, will leave IDW to become an independent publishing operation.

Ford said that he and IDW had reached an amicable and mutual agreement to separate their operations. He also emphasized that the imprint will continue its publishing program.

“I am leaving on good terms,” Ford said of the end of the IDW book trade and comics shop distribution agreement. “[What we're doing], it’s just simply not a good fit for what they are doing. I’m grateful to IDW and to [former IDW CEO] Ted Adams for greenlighting this project.”

It’s Alive! specializes in publishing reprint editions of classic but out-of-print graphic novels. All books published by the It’s Alive! imprint are funded by Kickstarter campaigns. The imprint produces a Kickstarter edition for its donors, which was then followed by a trade edition of the book that IDW would distribute to bookstores and comics shops.

The line debuted in 2016 with two long out-of-print works, Red Range: A Wild Western Adventure, a 1999 graphic novel by celebrated genre novelist and comics writer Joe Lansdale and artist Sam Glanzman; and Dope, a 1980s graphic adaptation of Sax Rohmer’s 1919 novel about a marijuana scandal, created by comics artist and historian Trina Robbins.

Ford acknowledged that while It’s Alive! reprint projects attract crowdfunding donations, the books sometimes struggle in the book trade. Since 2016, It’s Alive has raised nearly $100,000 in Kickstarter donations to fund current and forthcoming projects. “I’m looking for ways to create unique book collections for the book trade,” Ford said and noted that he has added freelance editor/designer John Cook and freelance restoration artist Allan Harvey to the It’s Alive staff.

IDW president and publisher Greg Goldstein said, “Both IDW and It's Alive! have come to the realization that these type of specialty comic book projects that Drew Ford has become known for seem to do best in a direct to market situation like Kickstarter.” Goldstein continued: “moving forward it makes sense for It's Alive! to pursue that avenue.  Down the road, if it makes sense for a specific project, the door is always open for IDW and It's Alive! to collaborate."

It’s Alive! has released two books via IDW and will release two books in 2019 to finish out the distribution agreement. The books are the graphic novel Voyage to the Deep by Sam Glanzman (which raised $13,244 on Kickstarter), and the graphic novel Family Man, written by renowned novelist Jerome Charyn and illustrated by comic book legend Joe Staton. 

As an independent house It's Alive! will also publish a series of 26 reprints of Combat, an acclaimed series of 1960s-era war periodical comic books written and drawn by Sam Glanzman, a legendary WWII veteran and comics creator, with cover art by a variety of all star artists.The first release of the Combat series is Dunkirk: From the Pages of Combat by Glanzman with a new cover by artist Walter Simonson, which will be published in January 2019.

In addition, It’s Alive! will release about eight book collections in 2019 (including some original material for the first time), among the reprints are, The Silver Metal Lover by Trina Robbins, Aztec Ace by Doug Moench, and The Lonely War of Capt. Willy Schultz by Will Franz and Sam Glanzman. New material includes Red Range by Keith Lansdale and Jok, and Airboy by Chuck Dixon and Dalibor Talajic, among others.

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