IDW Publishing and IDW Entertainment, divisions of IDW Media Holdings, have announced that Blake Kobashigawa has been named vice president, sales, IDWP. Joseph Hughes has been named director, creative affairs, IDWE and Marisa Stotter has been elevated to manager, creative affairs, IDWE.
“Blake and Joe, both of whom enjoyed tremendous success at one of the comic industry’s most storied operations, DC Comics, are the perfect choices to fill their respective crucial roles at IDW,” says Nachie Marsham, publisher, IDWP. “Blake is an innovative team-builder with a history of seeking out new business and strengthening existing relationships. Joe has impeccable taste, strong industry relationships and a passion for both creators and the creative. We’re privileged to have them on board.”
As IDWP’s new vice president, sales, Kobashigawa will be responsible for developing the company’s sales strategy, initiatives, campaigns and overall business objectives across all markets.
Kobashigawa previously spent more than seven years at DC Comics, working in multiple capacities including sales, marketing, business development and product development for the book trade, mass, digital and direct-to-consumer markets. At DC Comics, he spearheaded the Essential Graphic Novels program, and led its international book and mass market initiatives.
“My childhood dream was to work in comics and I’ve been a lifelong fan,” says Kobashigawa. “So, coming back to this industry that I love so much with this incredible opportunity at IDW is more than I could have ever hoped for. I’m beyond excited to dig in and expand IDW’s reach with comic shops, bookstores and mass market retailers, as well as librarians and educators.”
Since leaving DC in 2018, Kobashigawa has worked as industry operations head at Merchbar.com, a direct-to-consumer marketplace for official music merchandise.
Hughes moves up from an editorial role with IDWP to IDWE’s director of creative affairs. He will be responsible for working across the business to develop strategy and hone creative for IDW’s translation of its IP library into TV, film, podcasts and digital media. He will manage creator talent for all IDWE projects, identify and recruit creators to pitch new comics for publishing consideration and work with creative affairs and development to identify and curate titles to pitch to external talent.
During his time with IDWP, Hughes successfully developed and oversaw significant titles including “Star Trek,” “DuckTales,” “Samurai Jack” and “Sonic the Hedgehog” while building and maintaining relationships with major industry licensors. Hughes previously served as editor-in-chief at ComicsAlliance. During his tenure, the site received the Eisner Award for Journalism. Before being an editor-in-chief, Hughes worked at DC Comics as a direct sales representative and later as an assistant editor at the Vertigo imprint. He was previously a manager at Forbidden Planet in New York.
“Transitioning from publishing to the entertainment side of IDW is extremely exciting for me,” says Hughes. “This new position allows me to focus on all of my favorite aspects of the business — working with the best creative minds in the industry, bringing to life IDW’s library of beloved titles and discovering new and novel stories to transform into diverse media for fans to enjoy.”
Stotter moves from senior coordinator to manager, creative affairs, IDWE, where she will support the translation of library titles with media rights into their optimal ancillary format including tv, film, podcasts and other digital media.
Before joining the IDW team, Stotter was coordinator of scripted television for Conde Nast Entertainment. She started her career producing and directing the documentary “She Makes Comics.”
“I’ve been a comic book lover ever since I can remember, so when I landed in the IDW family, I couldn’t have been more excited,” says Stotter. “I’m looking forward to my expanded role with the company.”