For this week’s “Seven Questions” segment, I wanted to give you all a little more inside information about one of our behind-the-scenes peeps, Shawn Kirkham! You’ve seen a ton of his posts on the site, and probably had a great experience with him at conventions. Shawn works as our Director of Business Development here at Skybound HQ. You wanna know how that goes? Read below!
1- First off, Shawn, tell us your background. How did you get into the comics industry?
I’ve been a lifelong fan of two things: music and comics. Well… also Lego and cupcakes, but that’s another story. Anyway, I was lucky enough to spend eight years working at major record labels here in Los Angeles. Then a few years ago, one of my closest friends (thanks Sina) asked if I wanted to volunteer at SDCC for Skybound. I of course said yes, and after working a year’s worth of conventions for free, Robert and JJ asked if I wanted to make the jump from music to comics. My answer was yes, and here I am working in a dream job.
2- Business Development—what is that?
That’s a great question, and I’m still trying to figure it out myself. Basically I wear many hats here at Skybound. I do marketing, licensing, social media, product development, a little of everything.
3- Knowing that you do conventions, which is your favorite? Are you more of a small show guy, or do you like the intensity that is San Diego Comic-Con?
I absolutely love SDCC. There’s nothing quite like it in the world. It is completely overwhelming and so much fun. But it’s the smaller shows like Image Expo that I truly love. Being able to easily walk around and meet new artists is the best part. I found one of my favorite new artists at Image Expo: Hainanu Saulque, check his stuff out at www.nooligan.com.
4- Speaking of art… How do you balance upholding quality and artistry in what clearly is a “More! More! More!” Walking Dead market?
That’s a pretty easy thing to do when you’re working with Robert. He has a very keen eye and a great business sense. We’re all fans and collectors, so we know what types of products we’d want to buy and what we wouldn’t. If it falls into the latter category, then we won’t do it.
5- I’m still waiting for high-end Walking Dead jackets. Just saying. You’ve been here over a year now, how has the position evolved for you?
I think I’m the one doing the evolving. It’s kind of like that scene in Prometheus when the black liquid dripped into the pond and those snake things came out, and then they became those other things, but weren’t the things that we thought they would be. But then at the end of the film, they were sort of what we expected, but not really. It’s just like that.
6-I seriously cannot believe you just referenced Prometheus… maybe I fell in love with you a little more. Okay, we all have proud moments/ labors of love here at the office- mine being the Michonne action figure, and The Walking Dead: The Covers- what are yours?
By the way, I love that Michonne SDCC exclusive. The poncho kills it! I have so many things that I’m proud here at Skybound. I’d have to say that the proudest moment was seeing some of our SDCC booth workers participate in The Walking Dead Escape after working a full 12 hour day on the con floor. The fact that they were completely excited and energized after running away from zombies for 35 minutes at Petco Park at the end of the night was an amazing thing to behold.
7- Alright, you can’t say you worked in the music industry and NOT dish on what’s been playing on the iPod/ radio!
Well, I’m a pretty eclectic music lover. Currently I’m listening to a hip-hop collective out of Minneapolis called Doomtree. You can always find some Clutch playing on my iPod (also one of Ryan Ottley’s favorite bands). And I’ve also been listening to a local LA metal band called Ampora. These guys are legit. Oh, and I can’t forget about our Lady Gaga and Katy Perry dance parties in the office.