Joseph C. Lauria

Publisher and CEO

Joseph C. Lauria

Joseph Lauria, founder, Publisher and CEO of Illustrated Media Group, LLC, spent much of his career as an independent attorney and investment banker advising small to middle market companies on a variety of legal and financial matters, especially industry consolidations.

Lauria earned a B.A. in Political Science from Drew University and a J.D. from the National Law Center at George Washington University. He practiced law with Connell, Foley & Geiser, P.C., a New Jersey law firm from 1987 to 1990. Subsequently, he served as President of Beacon Capital Finance, a financial advisory firm that provided an array of investment banking services to small and mid-sized companies. In 1998, Lauria co-founded Hometown Auto Retailers, Inc., a publicly traded consolidation of automobile dealerships with annual revenues of $240 million. From 1998 to 1999, Lauria served as a Director of Brooks, Houghton & Company, a New York City based private investment banking firm.

Lauria became interested in the comics industry as comics recently began to garner increasing publicity and media exposure. In 2001, he co-founded PeterFour Productions, publishers of the critically acclaimed SpecWar, a powerful, gritty comics series based upon the real-life operations and adventures of Navy SEALS.

Lauria’s investigation of the comics industry as a candidate for a potential roll-up led him to the conclusion that the greatest opportunity lay in the tremendous yet underutilized potential of comics as a medium for advertising, marketing, promotion, education and as premiums. He noted that the existing comics entertainment industry largely disdains the commercial, or so-called "custom comics" business, principally because the major companies lack of management and talent experienced in commercial, advertising and informational communications. Lauria found that there was in fact, a substantial, albeit scattered, talent pool of outstanding cartoonists with advertising and real-world communications experience. He also discovered several qualified, capable executives with comics, advertising, marketing, educational and/or promotional experience.

In late 2002, Lauria founded Illustrated Media Group, LLC, to aggressively pursue opportunities in comics publishing, and began assembling a top-flight team of executives, marketers and creative people. In May, 2003, he hired Jim Shooter, a legend in the entertainment comics arena, who is also widely regarded as the premiere custom comics creator in the field, to serve as Creative Director and Editor in Chief of Illustrated Media’s Custom Comics Division. With Shooter and the small army of talent eager to work with him, Lauria intends to make Illustrated Media the powerhouse of the custom comics field.