by BK Munn
Joe Books, a publisher of graphic novels and licensed comics from Disney, declared bankruptcy on March 1, according to documents filed with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada. The company has left behind a list of creditors including a large number of freelance artists and cartoonists. Besides owing money to these creators, the company has a total deficit of over $3 million, including outstanding debts to heavy-hitters like Diamond Distributors, Disney, DreamWorks Animation LLC, and Hachette Book Group.
The company was founded in 2013 by two comics neophytes, tv producers Jay Firestone and Jody Colero (Lost Girl). Serial comics entrepreneur Adam Fortier (Dreamwave, Devil’s Due, UDON, Speakeasy) was also onboard from the start as the nominal publisher, but left the company in 2016. They had some early hits, with a bestselling “cinestory” of the hit film Frozen and a massive book of comics about Disney princesses. They also produced some Marvel superhero products, with a scheduled book adapting the recent animated Spiderverse film among their final efforts. The owners reportedly started the company with $1 million of their own money and kept pumping in more (one of the biggest creditors is Colero’s own production company Silent Joe, owed almost $700,000).
On March 1, 2019 Joe Books Ltd. filed an assignment pursuant to section 49(1) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act ( R.S.C. , 1985, c. B-3). FTI Consulting Canada Inc. was appointed trustee by the Official Receiver. The First Meeting of Creditors was held on March 20, 2019.
The list of individuals owed money includes many young creators: Aaron Feldman, Allison O’Toole, Andrew Thomas, Anne Mortensen-Agnew, Chris Dreier, Derek Fridoffs, Eile Bartolini, Gerald H. Dennis, Howard J. Ohne, Jack Briglio, Julie Chan, Kelly Armstrong, Meagan Kearney, Nicole Garber, Nini Vecchia, Paul Little, Steven Shanahan, Wes Dzioba, Arie Kaplan, Brianna Garcia, Emily Pohl-Weary, Jim Fanning, Pat Stand, Paul Benjamin, Rebecca Mills, Nicole Dalcin Lermen, Jason Flores-Holz, Stephanie Davis, Stephen Osgoode, Leah Persaud, Ashley Ramnarain, and Sara James.
see the pdf of documents here