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Just months after joining the company, Heavy Metal has promoted comics industry veteran Joseph Illidge to the position of executive editor, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The former senior editor for Lion Forge Comics and executive editor for Valiant Entertainment was named as co-managing editor alongside Ricardo Llarena in early March. His new role will see him develop new content and creator relationships for the long-running brand, which launched in 1977 with the debut of the iconic Heavy Metal magazine.
“Working in this exciting and expanded role at Heavy Metal is one of the biggest honors of my career,” Illidge said in a statement about his new position. “From the leadership to the entire team, Heavy Metal empowers and inspires us, to invite genius minds from around the globe to create the stories that will build the next level of entertainment. We can’t wait for you to see what the future of science fiction, fantasy, and horror looks like!”
“Joe is not only a legacy in the business, he is one of the most genuine, down-to-earth humans I’ve ever met. I am thrilled to have him evolving and growing within the Heavy Metal Universe,” Heavy Metal CEO Matt Medney added. “His contributions to our ‘Off The Page’ initiatives, bringing original comics to the screen, is integral to our success.”
Coinciding with Illidge’s promotion, Kris Longo has joined the company as chief sales officer, with the aim of developing licensing and co-publishing programs as well as taking control of the company’s advertising, marketing and promotional plans. Longo spent more than a decade as part of DC’s advertising and custom solutions group, as well as serving as the VP of business development for Bonfire Agency. He’ll remain in charge of Geek Riot Media, the pop culture marketing agency he founded in 2018.
“Kris’s savvy nature when it comes to monetization of products is unlike anything I’ve seen before, and like Joe, he is one of the most stand-up people I have met to date,” Medney said of Longo’s addition. “Having qualified leaders with the humanity these two have is something a company needs to cherish, and I am honored to have these two fellas working on Heavy Metal.”
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