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IDW is losing the publishing licenses to G.I. Joe and Transformers, the San Diego-based comic book publisher has announced.
The moves comes in the wake of The Hollywood Reporter reporting in December that Skybound, the imprint run by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, was in talks to pick up the license from Hasbro, the Rhode Island-based toy and media corporation.
“At the end of 2022, IDW will bid a fond farewell to the publication of G.I. Joe and Transformers comic books and graphic novels,” the company said in a statement provided to THR. “We’re exceedingly proud of our stewardship of these titles — 17 years with the Robots in Disguise and 14 years with A Real American Hero — and thank the legion of fans for their unwavering support, month in and month out. We’re also eternally grateful to every one of the talented creators who helped bring these characters to four-color life through our comics.”
My Little Pony and Dungeons & Dragons comics, based on the Hasbro brands, will be published by IDW, however.
While rumors painted the loss of the rights in immediate brushstrokes, the company still plans to put out a year’s worth of Joe and Transformers stories and comics.
The monthly Transformers series will wrap up by mid-summer, while the Transformers: Beast Wars series will come to its conclusion this summer, too. That will lead to two new miniseries events. The company will also publish a variety of special one-shot projects spotlighting heroes and villains from across Transformers history.
On the Joe front, the company is planning a blowout celebration later with milestone issue G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero no. 300 with Larry Hama, the veteran comics writer who launched the Joe brand with Marvel Comics in 1982, at the helm.
In the spring, G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero – Saturday Morning Adventures will offer a four-issue send-up of the beloved ’80s cartoon. And it being the 40th anniversary of the modern iteration of the military toy brand, several special projects are also in the works. Creators and release details will be released by IDW at a later date.
Licensed properties have been a major part of the business plan for IDW, which for a time rose to become a top non-DC and Marvel publisher after Image Comics and Dark Horse Comics. The company will need to refocus after earlier this year losing publishing rights to a Star Wars and a Marvel comic.
Skybound, meanwhile, has yet to comment on its potential deal with Hasbro.
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