Legendary Pictures forges into comic books
Looking to expand its inventory of intellectual properties, Legendary Pictures is launching a new comic books division to publish original graphic novels that can be adapted into film and television projects.
The unit, dubbed Legendary Comics, will be headed by veteran comic book editor Bob Schreck, who most recently worked at IDW Publishing, and previously spent nearly a decade at DC Comics after founding Oni Press and also working at Dark Horse Comics.
As editor in chief for Legendary Comics, Schreck will oversee the publication of four to six graphic novels a year both for digital and traditional print distribution. The first project will be published in the first half of 2011. Schreck will work closely with Legendary Digital President Kathy Vrabeck in helping to shepherd some of the newly created comic-based properties onto the big and little screen.
Hollywood's fixation with comic books led to Walt Disney Co.'s $4 billion for Marvel Entertainment in 2009 and to Warner Bros.' reboot of rival DC Entertainment.
Legendary Chairman and Chief Executive Thomas Tull said in a statement that Legendary Comics will be "committed to being a new home for groundbreaking artists and the characters and stories they create, in an art form we love."
Tull has forged close relationships over the years with such comic book artists as Frank Miller, whose graphic novel "300" became the basis of Warner Bros.' 2007 movie hit of the same name, which Legendary co-produced.
Legendary also co-financed Warner's Batman comic book to big-screen blockbuster "The Dark Knight," which amassed $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales in 2008.
The 6-year-old company likes to say that it focuses on movies targeted at mainstream audiences with a special emphasis on "the powerful fandom demographic."
-- Claudia Eller
Photo: A customer pores over graphic novels at the Golden Apple comic book store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times