Skybound Entertainment is an American multiplatform entertainment company founded by Robert Kirkman and David Alpert.[5][6] It operates in concert with Image Comics.[7]

Skybound Entertainment
IndustryEntertainment
Founded2010; 14 years ago (2010)
Founder
HeadquartersBeverly Hills, California, United States
Key people
  • Robert Kirkman (Chairman)
  • David Alpert (CEO)
  • Catherine Winder (CEO, Skybound North)
  • Jon Goldman (Managing Partner)
Products
  • Comic books
  • Video games
  • Books
  • Television series
  • Feature films
OwnerRobert Kirkman, LLC.
Subsidiaries
Websitewww.skybound.com

History

Skybound Entertainment is the company behind the long-running comic series, The Walking Dead,[8] created by Robert Kirkman. Since the company’s founding in 2010, Skybound has developed properties in traditional and new media, including comics, gaming, television, film, and digital media series. The company has since launched into the virtual reality space, and in 2017, created an in-house digital studio for online content.[9]

Subsidiaries

In 2016, Skybound Entertainment expanded internationally with the opening of Skybound North in Vancouver,[10] led by former Lucasfilm Animation executive Catherine Winder.

In April 2018, Skybound created Skybound Games to publish indie games and license video games based on its intellectual property.[11] In September 2018 it established Skybound Stories, a joint venture with Sky Group creating narrative videos games for mobiles.[12]

In 2021, Skybound became the largest shareholder in the listed game developer 5th Planet Games.[13] This strategic move was aimed at gaining better access to the European market. Two years later, in 2023, Skybound became the majority shareholder of the company.

Comics

 
Kirkman signing at Skybound's booth during 2016 San Diego Comic Con

In addition to the Eisner Award-winning comic book series, The Walking Dead, Kirkman’s other titles include long-running superhero comic Invincible, Outcast, Super Dinosaur, Oblivion Song, and Fire Power.

With a creator-owned driven platform, Skybound has also created other popular comic book titles that include fantasy adventure comic Birthright, by Josh Williamson, and the historical fiction comic, Manifest Destiny by Chris Dingess.

In 2017, Skybound released the revenge comic, Extremity, by creator Daniel Warren Johnson, and their first vampire horror comic, Redneck, by Donny Cates. Kill the Minotaur by writers Christian Cantamessa and Chris Pasetto, and artist Lukas Ketner is set to hit comic shops on June 14, 2017. Recently[when?], they have also started "Skyward" from the writer of the TV show Lucifer. In April 2021, it was announced a five issue miniseries called Skybound X would launch to celebrate 10 years of Skybound, with the book featuring different stories per issue, with one story being Rick Grimes: 2000 by Kirkman and Ryan Ottley.[14]

In February 2023, it was announced that Robert Kirkman and Lorenzo De Felici would launch Void Rivals, a new series that would kick-off a new shared comic universe.[15] In June 2023, it was later revealed that the book would launch the Energon Universe and that it would publish comics based on Transformers and G.I. Joe. This would include Void Rivals by Kirkman and De Felici, Transformers by Daniel Warren Johnson (which debuted in October 2023), Duke by Joshua Williamson and Tom Reilly (which debuted in December 2023), and Cobra Commander by Williamson and Andrea Milana (which debuted in January 2024).[16]

Skybound Comet

In 2021, it was announced that Skybound would start a new line entitled Skybound Comet, with graphic novels meant for YA and Middle Grade readers. The first of these books include Clementine: Book One by Tillie Walden in July 2022, Everyday Hero Machine Boy by Tri Vuong and Irma Kniivila in September 2022, and Sea Serpent's Heir Book One by Mairghread Scott and Pablo Tunica in October 2022.[17]

Television and film

After Alpert and Kirkman's success with AMC’s The Walking Dead, the duo announced plans for their second television adaptation for Kirkman's comic, Outcast in October 2013.[18] The series received a pickup order from Cinemax in February 2015.[19] Outcast centers on protagonist, Kyle Barnes, played by Patrick Fugit, fighting a demon that has plagued his small Virginia town for decades. The series lineup includes Philip Glenister, Brent Spiner, Reg E. Cathey, and Wrenn Schmidt. The first season premiered on June 3, 2016 and it was renewed for a second season.

Skybound partnered with Viki to develop Korean pre-apocalyptic drama Five Year. The series will be shot in Korea as a K-drama with a local cast and crew, and the parties plan to distribute the first 16-episode season on Korean television. The series, based on an original story by Kirkman, centers on a family facing an impending apocalypse within the next five years. In 2017, Skybound announced a partnership with 360 Powwow to produce Five Year in various Latin American markets.

Skybound produced Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics. This six-part docuseries explores a wide range of topics from the history and world of comic books and premiered on AMC on November 12, 2017.

In 2017, it was announced that a film based on Kirkman's second longest running comic series Invincible was being developed by Universal Pictures, with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg set to write/direct/produce the film with Kirkman serving as an executive producer. In 2018, it was announced that an adult animated series also based on Invincible was being developed for Amazon Prime Video featuring Steven Yeun as Invincible and J.K. Simmons as Omni-Man. The series is executive produced by Kirkman, who, in addition to serving as the creator, wrote the pilot and the season finale, with Simon Racioppa, David Alpert, Catherine Winder, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg serving as co-executive producers. The series was released on March 26, 2021 to general acclaim and has been renewed by Amazon for a second and third season, with the second season set to release in late 2023. The company's other film projects include the feature film AIR, starring The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus and Academy Award-nominated actor Djimon Hounsou. That same year, it was announced that Spin Master Entertainment and Atomic Cartoons would make an animated television series based on Super Dinosaur, a comic that Kirkman created alongside Jason Howard in 2011. The show launched in 2018.

In 2019, Universal Pictures announced the development of Renfield, a horror-comedy film about the character of the same name based on a pitch by Robert Kirkman, with Chris McKay set to direct. The film was produced by McKay, Kirkman, David Alpert, Bryan Furst, and Sean Furst in a joint-venture between Skybound and Universal. It released on April 14, 2023.

In November 2023, Skybound announced that it had acquired the Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation.[20][21]

Digital

 
Skybound CEO, David Alpert, at Skybound's Live Stream during 2016 San Diego Comic Con

In 2015, Skybound released the first-ever narrative virtual reality series, Gone, for Samsung's Milk VR platform. Gone surrounds the disappearance of a young girl from a playground, and the family's journey in learning what happened. The series was filmed in 360 degrees and includes shifting perspectives with "hotspots." "Hotspots" are used as clues, offering a fully immersive experience. Gone was directed by J.T. Petty

As of 2016, Skybound is set to produce a horror VR series, Lies Within, the first project out of Skybound’s partnership with interactive theatrical company Delusion.

In 2017, Skybound opened an in-house studio to create and expand original digital content. Since the opening of the space, Skybound developed a Live.me series focusing on diversity in TV and media hosted by Yvette Nicole Brown. Other original content filmed in the studio include the weekly series Skybound’s Happy Hour. Happy Hour features special guests every week to create The Walking Dead inspired cocktails. Former guests have included Ross Marquand and Michael Traynor.

Skybound Games

Skybound Games
Company typeDivision
IndustryVideo games
FoundedApril 4, 2018; 5 years ago (2018-04-04)
FounderRobert Kirkman
Headquarters,
US
OwnerRobert Kirkman, LLC
ParentSkybound Entertainment
DivisionsHowyaknow, LLC
Websitewww.skybound.com/games

In April 2018, Skybound announced the formation of Skybound Games, a publishing division focused on indie games, while also forming a mobile division Howyaknow, LLC.[22] Coinciding with the announcement, the company also signed publishing deals for console versions of the games Slime Rancher and The Long Dark.[22]

In October 2018, due to the collapse of Telltale Games, Skybound Games announced they would be working on finishing up the final two episodes of The Walking Dead: The Final Season, "Broken Toys" and "Take Us Back", to end the game adaptation of their series.[23] In addition to continued digital release, Skybound Games also released physical editions of the game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.[24]

In February 2019, Skybound Games announced plans to release the remastered versions of six classic Dungeon & Dragons games: Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate II, Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, Icewind Dale, Planescape: Torment, and Neverwinter Nights, developed for modern computers by Beamdog, as console versions (both as retail and digital) later in the year.[25] In 2020, Skybound Entertainment raised a new round of funding from the gaming company Com2uS Studios. The two companies signed a deal to develop a The Walking Dead mobile game.[26]

License and merchandise

Skybound's party game, Superfight, kickstarted in 2013. Superfight is a game where players battle made up superheroes against each other, in ridiculous, and often heated, hypothetical arguments. In 2014 Darin Ross partnered with Skybound to publish the game. Superfight has 19 expansion packs to date.

In 2017, Skybound signed a deal with Druid City Games for release of its game The Grimm Forest, which raised over $400,000 on Kickstarter.

Titles

Feature films

Release date Film Details
Director(s) Production companie(s) Distributor(s) Budget Gross
2015 Air Christian Cantamessa Automatik Entertainment Stage 6 Films
Vertical Entertainment
2023 Renfield Chris McKay Giant Wildcat Universal Pictures $65 million $26.7 million

Television shows

Year Show Details
Creator(s) Production companie(s) Network(s) Season(s) Episodes
2010–2022 The Walking Dead Based on The Walking Dead by: Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard
Developed by: Frank Darabont
Idiot Box Productions
Circle of Confusion
Valhalla Entertainment
AMC Studios
AMC 11 169
2015–2023 Fear the Walking Dead Based on The Walking Dead by: Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard
Developed by: Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson
Square Head Pictures
Circle of Confusion
Valhalla Entertainment
AMC Studios
7 101
2016 Scare PewDiePie Felix Kjellberg Maker Studios YouTube Red 1 10
2016–2019 Outcast Based on Outcast by: Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta
Developed by: Robert Kirkman
Circle of Confusion
Fox International Studios
Cinemax 2 20
2018–2019 Super Dinosaur Based on Super Dinosaur by: Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard
Developed by: Kevin Burke
Chris "Doc" Wyatt
Spin Master Entertainment
Atomic Cartoons
Corus Entertainment
Teletoon (Canada) 1 26
2020–2021 The Walking Dead: World Beyond Based on The Walking Dead by: Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard
Developed by: Scott M. Gimple
Matthew Negrete
Idiot Box Productions
Circle of Confusion
Valhalla Entertainment
AMC Studios
AMC 2 20
2021–present Invincible Based on Invincible by: Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley
Developed by: Simon Racioppa
Skybound North
Wind Sun Sky Entertainment
Point Grey Pictures
Skybound Animation
Amazon Studios
Amazon Prime Video 2 12
2022 Tales of the Walking Dead Based on The Walking Dead by: Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard
Developed by: Scott M. Gimple
Channing Powell
Illiterate Manifesto
Idiot Box Productions
Valhalla Entertainment
Circle of Confusion
AMC Studios
AMC
AMC+
1 6
2023–present The Walking Dead: Dead City Based on The Walking Dead by: Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard
Developed by: Eli Jorné
Idiot Box Productions
Valhalla Entertainment
Circle of Confusion
Schneibot
AMC Studios
AMC 1 6
PSI Cops Bart Batchelor
Chris Nielsen
Corus Entertainment
Oddfellows Labs
Skybound Galactic
Wind Sun Sky Entertainment
Sony Pictures Television
Adult Swim (Canada) 1 24
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon Based on The Walking Dead by: Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard
Developed by: David Zabel
Idiot Box Productions
Valhalla Entertainment
Circle of Confusion
Remainder Men
AMC Studios
AMC 1 6
2024–present The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live Based on The Walking Dead by: Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard
Developed by: Scott M. Gimple
Danai Gurira
Andrew Lincoln
Valhalla Enertainment
Circle of Confusion
Hush Hush Films
Gurazoo Productions
Idiot Box Productions
AMC Studios
AMC 1 6

See also

References

  1. ^ Ntim, Zac (June 7, 2023). "Skybound Entertainment & 5th Planet Games To Acquire 'The Minister' Producer Sagafilm". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  2. ^ Couch, Aaron (January 11, 2022). "Skybound Animation Sets Marge Dean as Studio Head". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  3. ^ "Announcing Skybound Galactic!". Skybound Entertainment. October 18, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  4. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (November 30, 2023). "'Invincible' Studio Skybound Expands to Japan with Focus on Anime & Local IP". Animation Magazine. Retrieved December 2, 2023.
  5. ^ Gardner, Eriq (April 4, 2016). "Robert Kirkman Seeks to Stop a "Hijack" of 'The Walking Dead'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  6. ^ "THE WALKING DEAD Trademark of TWD Productions LLC - Registration Number 4429084 - Serial Number 85030452 :: Justia Trademarks". trademarks.justia.com. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  7. ^ Frequently Asked Questions – imagecomics.com
  8. ^ Crecente, Brian (October 17, 2018). "'The Walking Dead' Video Games: An Oral History". Variety. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  9. ^ Gaudiosi, John (November 26, 2012). "Skybound Entertainment Founder Robert Kirkman Talks Comics, Video Games And The Walking Dead". Forbes. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  10. ^ Skybound North
  11. ^ Sirani, Jordan (April 4, 2018). "Skybound Announces New Games Publishing Division". IGN. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  12. ^ Lanier, Liz (September 13, 2018). "New Venture Skybound Stories Will Create Mobile Narrative Experiences". variety.com. Penske Business Media, LLC.
  13. ^ "Skybound Entertainment made a US$10.5 million investment in Danish developer 5th Planet Games-". breakinglatest.news. September 9, 2021.
  14. ^ "Announcing Weekly Comic Skybound X – Featuring Rick Grimes and Clementine!". Skybound Entertainment. April 13, 2021. Retrieved October 10, 2022.
  15. ^ "ROBERT KIRKMAN & LORENZO DE FELICI LAUNCH A NEW SHARED COMICS UNIVERSE IN VOID RIVALS #1". Skybound Entertainment. February 24, 2023. Retrieved June 14, 2023.
  16. ^ "SURPRISE! TRANSFORMERS & G.I. JOE LAUNCH A NEW SHARED COMIC BOOK UNIVERSE TODAY". Image Comics. Retrieved June 14, 2023.
  17. ^ "We're Launching a New Star-Studded YA & Middle Grade Graphic Novel Imprint: Skybound Comet!". Skybound Entertainment. June 24, 2021. Retrieved October 10, 2022.
  18. ^ Graeme McMillan (November 4, 2013). "Report: Valiant Pushes Robert Kirkman's 'Outcast' Toward New Name". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  19. ^ Ben Lee (February 13, 2015). "Cinemax orders Robert Kirkman's Outcast to series". Digital Spy. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  20. ^ Wu, Valerie (November 4, 2023). "Skybound Entertainment Acquires Historic Animation Festival Spike & Mike's With Plans for Revival". Variety.
  21. ^ Sarto, Dan (November 4, 2023). "Skybound Entertainment Relaunches Iconic 'Spike & Mike's Festival of Animation'". Animation World Network.
  22. ^ a b Sarkar, Samit (April 4, 2018). "Skybound gets into the indie game publishing business". Polygon. Vox Media, Inc. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  23. ^ Liptak, Andrew (October 7, 2018). "Skybound Games will finish the final season of Telltale's The Walking Dead". The Verge. Vox Media, Inc. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  24. ^ Wales, Matt (February 4, 2019). "The Walking Dead: The Final Season's last episode gets a confirmed March release date". Eurogamer. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  25. ^ Takahashi, Dean (February 7, 2019). "Walking Dead creator Skybound Games will publish Beamdog's classic RPGs to consoles". Venture Beat. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  26. ^ "Com2Us invests in Skybound Entertainment for new The Walking Dead mobile game". Venturebeat.com. January 29, 2020. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  27. ^ Pepose, David (August 22, 2016). "Best Shots Reviews: SUPERGIRL: REBIRTH #1, POWER MAN & IRON FIST #7, DEMONIC #1". Newsarama. Purch Group.
  28. ^ Bloomfield, Chelsy (December 19, 2018). "Hardcore #1 Had Potential but Failed to Live Up To Its Namesake". Bleeding Cool. Avatar Press.
  29. ^ "Great British Bake-Off Finalist Gets a Tabletop Game". GAMING. Retrieved November 28, 2022.
  30. ^ Pitts, Lan (May 29, 2018). "BRET BLEVINS Returns To Co-Pilot IMAGE's STELLAR With JOE KEATINGE". Newsarama. Purch Group.

External links