IDW Publishing has hired Joel Elad as its Direct Market Sales Manager. Elad will be the publisher’s liaison to comic shop retailers as well as manage the company’s retailer exclusive variant cover program.

Elad was most recently the co-owner of NewComix.com, an online comic book retailer he co-founded in 1998. He has also worked as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Top Cow Productions. While at Top Cow he marketed titles such as Mark Millar and JG Jones Wanted and worked closely with retailers on a national basis. He also has experience consulting with comic book stores, publishers, conventions as an independent contractor for Certified Guaranty Corporation (CGC), a third-party comic book grading company.

Elad also co-founded the So Cal Comic Con, a one-day comic book and toy convention in the San Diego area. He personally recruited guests such as J. Scott Campbell, George Perez, Marc Silvestri, Herb Trimpe, ROb Liefeld, Howard Chaykin, and John Kricfalsi. He is also the Regional Advisory Board Member for the HERO Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping comic book creators in need.

“We continue to expand what we do here at IDW, producing everything from Television shows to board games,” said IDW’s VP of Marketing Dirk Wood. “But the cornerstone of our business continues to be our partnership with comic book stores. We’ve been looking to expand our communication with the Direct Market, to reach out to our most important customers on a consistent basis. With Joel’s experience and understanding of the market, it’s clear he’s the right person for the job.”

“I’m extremely thrilled to be joining this organization, as I feel IDW is part of my extended family after our previous successes together,” says Elad. “I can’t wait to contribute any expertise or perspective that I have to forge and enhance lots of beneficial partnerships with comic book retailers worldwide. I’m very honored to be a part of this team and I’m looking forward to the possibilities that lie ahead.”