Creators Syndicate (a.k.a. Creators) is an American independent distributor of comic strips and syndicated columns to daily newspapers, websites and other digital outlets. When founded in 1987, Creators Syndicate became one of the few successful independent syndicates founded since the 1930s and was the first syndicate to allow cartoonists ownership rights to their work. Creators Syndicate is based in Hermosa Beach, California.
|Print and digital syndicate|
|Industry||News articles, News Columns, Comics|
|Founded||February 13, 1987|
|Founder||Richard S. Newcombe|
|Headquarters||Hermosa Beach, California, U.S.|
|Richard S. Newcombe - Founder/CEO; Jack Newcombe - President; Melissa Lin - Vice President of Business Affairs; Marianne Sugawara - Vice President of Operations; Simone Slykhous - Managing Editor|
Creators Syndicate originated on February 13, 1987, after the December 24, 1986-announced sale of the Irvine, California-based News America Syndicate to King Features Syndicate, a print syndication company owned by The Hearst Corporation. The pending sale of News America Syndicate, which was first reported by Advertising Age in October 1986, prompted 36-year-old News America Syndicate president Richard S. Newcombe to leave NAS in January 1987 and use financial backing from London-based publisher Robert Maxwell to form Creators Syndicate before the close of the NAS' sale.
Ann Landers, then the world's most widely syndicated newspaper columnist, also announced that she was leaving NAS to join the newly formed Creators Syndicate. Within a month, Creators Syndicate acquired the syndication rights to the enormously popular comic strip B.C., and a few months after that acquired the syndication rights to the cartoon works of Herblock, an American editorial cartoonist and author known for his commentary on domestic and foreign policy.
Milton Caniff was another of several important cartoonists who had tried unsuccessfully to secure rights to their creations. In 1946, he walked away from the enormously popular Terry and the Pirates comic strip because his syndicate insisted that they own his creation. After Creators Syndicate was founded, Caniff sent Newcombe a postcard saying, “To put it on the record: Hooray!!!" Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Mike Peters told Editor & Publisher magazine, "It's long overdue that syndicates realize a new day is here. Indentured servitude went out in the 1500s." Johnny Hart, creator of B.C. and The Wizard of Id, called Creators “a history-making venture in syndication." Bil Keane, creator of The Family Circus, described Creators Syndicate as "the first breath of fresh air the syndicates have had in 100 years of existence." The New York Times ran a story about Newcombe with the headline, “A Superhero for Cartoonists?” Today, largely as a result of Creators Syndicate, all syndicates grant cartoonists ownership rights to their work.
In 1991 Creators Syndicate took over Heritage Features Syndicate, which was part of the conservative Heritage Foundation. In 2008 Creators Syndicate acquired the Copley News Service, a wire service that distributed news, political cartoons, and opinion columns.
In 2011 Jack Newcombe became President of Creators Syndicate, and together with Rick Newcombe started Creators Publishing and Sumner Books, which have published more than 150 titles.
During the past several years, Creators has expanded its business to include Creators Publishing, Alpha Comedy, a literary and lifestyle magazine, a political website, a podcast network, and Sumner Books, an e-book and audiobook publishing company.