It is with a heavy heart that Oni Press announces the medical retirement of longtime editor Jill Beaton. Since starting with the company in 2007, Beaton has been an integral part of the Oni Press team. Beaton oversaw a body of work that includes acclaimed and best-selling titles like Ted Naifeh’s Courtney Crumrin, John Allison’s Bad Machinery, R Stevens’ Diesel Sweeties, and the recent smash hit Letter 44 by Charles Soule and Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque, among many, many others.
“Jill brought me into the Oni Press family via Letter 44, and helped to guide that project from a silly little verbal pitch I gave her in Chicago years ago into a series that I think is among the finest work I’ve ever done,” said writer Charles Soule. “She is a fantastic editor who navigated the inevitable hiccups from pitch to production with endless grace and skill, and that book – and many, many other incredible stories over the years – simply wouldn’t be as good as they are if she hadn’t put her definitive Jill Beaton stamp on them.”
“Every single page she touched was the better for it,” added Diesel Sweeties creator R Stevens. “I couldn’t have done what I did without her.”
Beaton possessed a lauded acumen of traditional editorial skills, but her abilities reached far beyond those conventional bounds. Imbued with the warmth and effervescence typically eroded from most editors by deadlines and wanton caffeine abuse, Beaton spearheaded the acquisition and development of a number of all-ages titles such as Joey Weiser’s Mermin, Joshua Williamson and Vinny Navarrete’s Sketch Monsters, and Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, and Emma Vieceli’s Avalon Chronicles, to name a few.
“Jill has been a great friend and, more importantly, a skilled taskmaster, gently coaxing me to do my best work, helping me brainstorm, catching my many mistakes, and always, always reminding me that I’m good at this job,” said Courtney Crumrin creator Ted Naifeh. “I only hope I gave her the same encouragement.”
Beaton also became responsible for one of Oni Press’ most popular convention fixtures, the “Make Your Own Monster Panel.” Creating an opportunity for children of all ages to create fantastic creatures with comics creators like Naifeh, Navarrete, and Double Fine Action Comics’ Scott C. Held at multiple conventions across the country, the “Make Your Own Monster Panel” became a runaway hit and symbolizes Beaton’s commitment to filling the world with as many creative, inspiring, and downright fun comics as possible.
Though she’s stepping down due to continuing health issues, Jill will always be a part of the Oni Press family. Her dedication and talent will echo through the halls and hearts of the Oni Press offices forever.
“Jilly is one of the kindest, most compassionate, and intelligent people I’ve had the pleasure of encountering in my 15 years in comics,” concluded Oni Press Editor in Chief James Lucas Jones. “Her insights, her humor, her dedication, and her heart have been fixtures of my daily life for so long, I honestly can’t imagine what things will be like without her. Her love of the comics and creators of Oni Press will be felt forever. We miss her already.”