iFanboy splits with Graphicly as Ron Richards joins Image

The comics news site/podcast iFanboy, which was acquired in February 2010 by Graphicly, announced this afternoon it has "amicably split" with the digital comics distributor turned e-book distributor. At the same time, iFanboy co-founder Ron Richards and Image Comics revealed he has been hired as the publisher's director of business development.

"Now before any speculation happens about nefarious business dealings or behind the scenes decisions let me be absolutely clear," Richards wrote of the split with Graphicly. "This was a joint decision by all of us and there’s nothing to read into beyond that. Simply put, Graphicly is focusing their resources beyond comic books, and no one involved wanted to see iFanboy shut down as a result. So Graphicly generously worked with us to enable this transition back to independence."

Graphicly announced in April that it would move away from distributing comics on its own app and instead focus on providing visually based books and comics to eBook platforms like Apple's iBooks, Amazon's Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook.

In his new role at Image, Richards will work with Publisher Eric Stephenson and Marketing & PR Director Jennifer De Guzman, focusing on developing sales and marketing strategies for its print and digital comics and extending the company's brand.

"The opportunity to work at Image Comics, the source of such talented people creating amazing comics, is truly an honor,” Richards said in the Image press release. "By melding together my knowledge of the comic book industry with years of business and technology experience, I hope to contribute and continue the tremendous success they've had and help propel Image to even greater heights.”

He will be replaced at iFanboy by editor Paul Montgomery, who joins remaining co-founders Josh Flanagan and Conor Kilpatrick.

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