Graphic novel and genre fiction indie Rebellion has acquired Whitaker's Almanack from Bloomsbury for an undisclosed sum.
Whitaker's assets, including its current Almanack edition, online database and backlist dating back to 1869 were put up for sale last November after 17 years in Bloomsbury’s hands. They have now all been bought by the Oxford-based indie.
Rebellion is perhaps best known for its work with British comics, acquiring both the Fleetway and IPC Comics catalogues and rebooting classics including Roy of the Rovers and Sexton Blake. The new acquisition marks a drive into non-fiction from Rebellion’s c.e.o. Jason Kingsley, a popular history buff who has a YouTube channel called Modern History.
He said: “Whitaker’s Almanack has been a trusted resource to academics, libraries and editors for a century and a half. Now more than ever, responsible and informed providers of fact are essential. I am delighted that Rebellion is able to acquire Whitaker’s and take it forward into the 21st century, building on Rebellion’s reputation for innovation and recognition of Britain’s incredible publishing heritage.”
Rebellion has appointed senior commissioning editor Michael Rowley to run Whitaker’s and its non-fiction list.
Sarah Broadway, head of special interest publishing at Bloomsbury, said: “I am thrilled that Whitaker’s has found such a great new home. The Rebellion team have strong vision for the brand and I’m delighted that this historic publication will continue to provide us all with the facts that we so clearly need in this era of ‘fake news’.”
Whitaker was founded in the 1850s by Joseph Whitaker, an editor at the Gentleman’s Magazine and founder of The Bookseller. Whitaker's Almanack was bought by British publishing company The Stationery Office (TSO) and was taken on by A&C Black, a subsidiary of Bloomsbury Publishing, five years later.