EXCLUSIVE: IDW CEO Makes Creator-Owned Debut with New Horror Anthology

As IDW Publishing's CEO and Publisher, Ted Adams is heavily involved on all fronts of the multifaceted company -- not only overseeing its diverse publishing slate, but also serving as executive producer on IDW Entertainment ventures like TV series "Wynonna Earp" and "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency."

So it's a bit surprising to hear that in 2017 he's adding even more to his plate by writing his first creator-owned comic book series, the horror anthology "Diablo House," alongside newcomer artist Santi Perez. Adams has written comics before, including a 2015 adaptation of Richard Matheson's "The Shrinking Man" illustrated by Mark Torres, but this will be his first original comics concept -- and it came about due to the time-honored comic book convention tradition of the portfolio review.

"I was in Barcelona last year for the Barcelona Comics Festival, and was doing portfolio reviews," Adams told CBR in an interview. "I met an artist named Santi Perez. It's very rare that this happens. but I loved his art so much that I actually tried to buy some of his original art when he was showing it to me, which he wouldn't sell me. But I hired him basically on the spot to do some work for us."

Initially, Adams envisioned Perez drawing a comic book for another writer, but eventually decided he wanted to work with the artist himself.

"He's a little slower than is necessarily commercially viable for a creator-owned book, so I reached out to a couple of writers that are friends of mine to see if they wanted to work with him, but wasn't able to line anything up, so I decided I would write a book for him," Adams, one of IDW's founders, said. "My book is very much in the vein of the DC horror comics that were prevalent in the '70s -- 'House of Mystery,' 'House of Secrets,' 'Ghosts,' 'The Witching Hour,' all those kinds of books."

Although the book deals with the supernatural, the setting of "Diablo House" sticks very closely to IDW's headquarters in San Diego.

"The premise is that there's a house in La Jolla, California, called Diablo House, which is modeled after Antoni Gaudí's work in Barcelona," Adams told CBR. "Basically, in this house, there's a host, just like there would be in classic horror comics, and people can go in and essentially sell their soul to their devil. Every issue's going to be a throwback to those twisted tales from the '70s. Every issue is going to be a standalone story. I'm looking forward to sharing it with the world."

As you might expect, Adams' busy schedule means that fans shouldn't expect "Diablo House" anytime too soon. The first issue is done, but Adams said he's looking to get more in the can before soliciting the series, with the publisher aiming for somewhere in the second half of 2017.

"Santi's an amazing artist, and he's very slow, but even as slow as he is, he's drawing faster than I'm writing," Adams said. "Time is definitely my nemesis right now."

Check back soon with CBR for our full interview with Ted Adams, discussing IDW's 2016 and what he's looking forward to from the company in 2017.

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