Something to CHEW on: Replicas from Skelton Crew Studio coming

There will be Chogs.

The creators of the Eisner and Harvey-winning comic CHEW and Skelton Crew Studio have reached an exclusive license agreement for the studio to create a line of prop replicas based on the series.

"We're positively thrilled about this deal. The Skelton Crew Studio's commitment to quality is obvious, and we've been looking for the best way to get CHEW-related stuff into the hands of fans, readers and collections – and this is it,” said John Layman, writer of the New York Times best selling series. “This is going to be a great partnership and one of the absolute CHEW highlights of an already monumental year for the book."

CHEW is drawn by Rob Guillory, the 2010 Harvey Award winner for Best New Talent.

"I've been a fan of Skelton Crew Studio's work for a while, and I couldn't imagine CHEW being in better hands,” said Guillory. “And personally, I cannot wait to have their CHEW merch on my shelves! The fans are going to LOVE what we have in store."

Skelton Crew Studio, a small sculpting house out of Maine, is already the exclusive home of replicas based on IDW’s popular “Locke & Key” by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.

“CHEW is such a great book and these guys are amazingly creative, so I’m pretty amped,” said Israel Skelton, owner of Skelton Crew Studio. “Can I resist saying it? It’s a comic I’m really anxious to get my teeth into.”

Skelton has plans to tackle Chogs, badges and, of course, fan-favorite Poyo. The studio will roll out the first CHEW replicas in late 2012. Check out and in the coming months for updates.

The latest trade paperback from CHEW, published by Image Comics, “Major League Chew,” hit shelves in May. The latest issue, the spin-off one-shot CHEW: SECRET AGENT POYO goes on sale Wednesday, July 11.

The latest release from Skelton Crew Studio is a limited edition Omega Key from "Locke & Key," this year's 2012 San Diego Comic Con International exclusive.

Layman, Guillory and Skelton will all be attending SDCC this week.
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A is for April

Hope everyone’s spring is off to an awesome start. Our winter just flew by. Too many projects, but in a good way.* A life-size TARDIS dominated January. It’s installed at Hill House, complete with lights, sound and working phone (but sorry, I can’t divulge the number.) Many thanks to Al Landry, Corey Vintinner and Mike St. Germain for helping make it happen. * The Angel Key has been waiting in the wings — pun fully intended — so we could release it with the Animal Key as what we hope is a nice surprise. Sales for both open at 12 a.m. EST April 1. The first 400 pre-orders for the Angel will have tags signed by the amazingly talented Gabriel Rodriguez. (Talented and the nicest Chilean we know.) Both keys ship in May. * We wanted to give a shout-out to British sculptor Jamie Macfarlane. He did an amazing job on the Animal and we can't wait to see more of his work. * What’s down the ‘pike? Well, we hope fans go nuts when they scope out our next couple keys. We’ll say no more.* Making plans already for SDCC. Hope to meet a lot of you there. I do plan an exclusive, one that I hope is music to your ears. OK. Enough. Clearly, there’s too much near-April giddiness at Skelton Crew headquarters. Have a key you need to see? As always, drop us a line.Israel
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Happy Holidays

What a year it’s been, personally and professionally, from the debut of nine new “Locke & Key” keys to the arrival of Skelton Crew Jr. This month saw mentions of the studio on The Onion’s A.V. Club, CNN, The Mary Sue and Wizard - what a way to end 2011.Here’s to starting 2012 with a bang. * The Moon Key is going to debut just after midnight EST on Jan. 1, signed by the one and only Joe Hill. We’re doing this release a little different. Instead of a two week pre-order window for his autograph, the first 400 keys will be signed by Joe. They’ll ship in late January. * The Angel Key, signed by Gabriel Rodriguez, will come out in February and we’ll release it the same way - the first 400 have his autograph. We’re hoping to hit you with many more keys in 2012, and the line-up isn’t confirmed yet, so if you’ve got a key that MUST be made, drop us a line. We’re definitely listening. Thanks again for all the support and kind words. From us to you, have an amazing New Year. Israel
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Back in Black

Man, it feels good to be back in the key business. The last three months I’ve been behind the scenes sculpting and working on cool projects I can’t talk about yet. To answer one question I’ve heard a few times this week – Why’d you pull the Animal and Undertree Keys off the site? – let’s just say I’m squirreling them away for later this winter. (Pun intended.) Undertree and Animal will go back up when they’re ready to ship.Meanwhile: - The Whispering Iron and Legacy Edition Omega Key, the key to Black Door, go live today. I’m excited about both but have to admit to a soft spot for the Omega. I’d been planning to release it timed to the last arc, but couldn’t resist. Hope people dig it as much as I do. - Stay tuned for cool signing news on the next two keys. - You know what? Don’t stay tuned at all: Best-selling writer Joe Hill is autographing one key, obscenely-talented Gabriel Rodriguez is autographing the other. Really psyched the guys are willing to take the time out of their crazy, award-winning schedules. But what keys are they signing? Well, I guess you will have to wait for that. - I have plans for December. Big plans. Deluxe plans. More later. Hope everyone’s well and hope you had a great Halloween. If you notice some of the e-mail now is being answered by Kathryn, that’s my wife. Skelton Crew Jr. is almost ready to start answering phones and if the studio keeps growing like this, he’ll have to. Israel
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And Now For Something Slightly Different

Hope everyone’s sliding smoothly into fall. I wanted to share a little news and a pic.- The Whispering Iron will debut online at the end of the month, alongside the long-awaited Undertree Key. The Whispering Iron is featured in the back of Clockworks 1 on the last page and, as a sculptor, too cool to ignore. This was the issue I’ve been waiting for —  to finally see the Black Door in all its creepiness. As always, Joe and Gabe knocked it out of the park. - A prototype of the Chain Key is below. It’s a little under three feet long and a few pounds. I’d love to hear if there’s any interest in a piece this large. On that note, still pricing out the Giant Key. Trying to get the cost somewhere under “astronomical” is proving to be a challenge. - I’ll have word next month on a cool signing timed around Halloween with the pre-order key, for now, under wraps. October should also see the Animal Key, followed by the Angel Key in November. - If you’re curious for a little more Skelton Crew back story, Jill “Nerdy Bird” Pantozzi had a nice piece in Newsarama last week. Larry Fire’s the Fire Wire also did a write-up –  thanks to both for the kind words. I’m hearing the same MTV rumors about the TV series that you are. Man, wouldn’t that be amazing? That surely would end my 20 year MTV hiatus. Israel
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San Diego Goodness

Couldn’t make it to Comic Con? As it turns out, I couldn’t either. Instead of catching my flight I was in the ER with my first kidney stone yesterday. Pretty awful, but I did get a get-well-soon call from Walt Simonson, a great consolation prize. And speaking of that, two consolation prizes for those of you who also are not in sunny San Diego this weekend:- The Giant Key prototype is below. (Seen here on G4 today with Blair Butler.) It took a crazy amount of work and, like the Ghost Door, wouldn’t have been possible without Mike “Germazing” St. Germain and Peter “Laser Eye” Gill. We’re still working up the final numbers on cost, hope to have details in late August. It’ll definitely be on a made-to-order basis. (Shipping alone from Maine to California was $160.)- Starting Monday, we’re going to try something new, a sort of post-order window: Orders placed for the new comic con exclusive IDW Key before Aug. 8 will receive a tag signed by two of the busiest – and nicest – guys in comics, IDW CEO Ted Adams and IDW Chief Creative Officer Chris Ryall. Meanwhile, in other key business, the Undertree Key will be coming in late August, followed by the Animal Key in September. Really appreciated all the support and have a great rest of the summer. Here's looking forward to NYCC, where, fittingly, the Mending Key might be the con exclusive. I'll throw up a prototype when it's finished. And, of course, huge congrats to Joe for taking home the Eisner for Best Writer and to IDW who raked in five Eisners overall. Well deserved. Wish I could have been there to toast you.Israel
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Studio Locke Down

Sorry it’s been so long between updates. We’ve been crazy busy trying to get sculpts done for San Diego. I’ll be at SDCC and bringing with me a limited edition con exclusive, the IDW Key. I’ve wanted to tackle it since seeing the key in the comic included with IDW: The First 10 Years. I’ve also got two versions of the Hercules Key, the Undertree Key and the Animal Key in different stages of production, all due out within the next couple of months. (The Hercules Key, formerly known as the Beast Key, won the fan choice vote back in February.) Because a lot of fans asked, I’m also releasing a Legacy Edition Head Key this month, plated in antique rose gold. Legacy edition runs aren’t limited or numbered and going forward, some keys will get limited edition variants and legacy runs, some won’t. I hope to run into a bunch of you at SDCC – I’ll be the one with the shaved head and the black t-shirt, I swear, you won’t miss me . . . I’ll also have a few goodies at the IDW booth in addition to the con exclusive key, so please stop by and check them out. Thanks, too, to everyone who’s offered well wishes and sleep advice for the baby. We were able to hit the snooze alarm this morning, twice, for the first time since he was born – that has to be a good sign. Israel
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1 of 1

We’ve had our hands full over here at the studio – turns out, it doesn’t matter how many warnings you get about the impending sleepless nights, it’s not quite real until it’s here. Although our little rock star is keeping us up all night, he's pretty darn amazing. We will start taking orders for the Shadow Key in a few weeks, and it really looks great. I think people are going to dig this one, and it may be my new favorite key. That may soon be trumped, though, by the Beast Key, which won the Fan Choice vote. Gabe’s design on this key rocks, and it’s currently underway and tentatively set for April. I appreciated all the votes, and the interest in a life-size Giant Key. More to come on the latter. Thanks for all the well wishes for the baby. Feedback is always welcome, as is any tip on convincing a two-week-old that he ought to hit the hay before midnight.Israel
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Updates, News & Fan Choice

Hope everyone had a great holiday, up to and including Groundhog Day and Super Bowl Sunday. Many thanks to those who pre-ordered the Anywhere Key. We received the signed tags from Gabe last week – the man has a very cool autograph, if we do say – and those keys started shipping Friday in the order that pre-orders were placed. We hope to see the last keys off on Wednesday.

That’s the update, which leads to a bit of news: We’ll be marking keys temporarily sold out and taking a little bit of downtime over the next few weeks as we welcome Skelton Crew junior. As soon as everyone is settled (and sleeping) we’ll open sales back up with the kick-off of the new Legacy Edition Shadow Key. That’s still tentatively set for the end of the month; we’ll drop a quick note when it’s ready. That’s the news, which leads to opinions, but not ours. We want to hear from you. I’d like to make the next key a fan choice between the Beast Key and the Mending Key. (Beast is the sword-like key on the cover of February, Mending opens the healing medicine cabinet.) Honestly, I can’t wait to tackle both of them, and I’m sure I will, but I’d love to hear what you’d like, so please, drop me an e-mail by Feb. 14. Majority wins.

I’m also interested in gauging interest in a very limited, made to order life-size Giant Key.  You could probably guess that it wouldn’t be inexpensive, but it would be pretty cool.

Have a great few weeks. I think mine will be a happy blur. Israel
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Because you asked for it.

Man, I ate too much.

I know it may have felt like a long delay to some but I’m happy to say that we plan to open the pre-order window for the Anywhere Key in the next 10 days. It’ll stay open for two weeks, with Locke & Key’s own amazing Gabriel Rodriguez autographing all of the pre-order tags. With transit time to Chile and back, we can’t guarantee a Christmas delivery, but we’ll get them out the door as soon as possible.

Speaking of transit time, please check out our FAQ page for information about international shipping and whether Gabe can sign any other keys while he’s at it. (OK, maybe we’ll just head off the latter right here: He’s a busy guy, so unfortunately, no.) And for a full reveal of how truly nerdy I am, check out this kind piece by the Bangor Daily News’ Emily Burnham. Yes, I really did try making Wolverine’s claws out of blueberry rakes as a kid.

But, that’s not all.

On this Black Friday eve, we also wanted to let you know some news we’ve been sitting on for a bit:

The Ghost Key is back. Sort of.

In December we’ll also debut the new Legacy Edition Ghost Key, an updated sculpt with hollowed eyes and that same antique silver finish. Ever since we secured the license this summer, a lot of fans have contacted us disappointed that they haven’t been able to find the sold out San Diego Comic Con exclusive Ghost Key. We hope this new version satisfies them without stepping on the toes of those fortunate 500. It’s in a long velvet bag and won’t be numbered, further setting it apart from the SDCC key. Pre-orders for it start the same day as the Anywhere. We’ll drop a very quick note the day before they go live online.

I know today I’m thankful for friends, family and everyone who’s been so supportive. Now, to fall asleep watching the Bond marathon on Syfy.

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