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The Circle of Trust Archive

The Circle of Trust is the paid subscriber content for listeners of the Adventures In Design podcast. Containing over 300+ episodes and 500 hours of design, illustration, printing and business tips n tricks. Hear every episode in it’s entirety! The Circle of Trust has the full Adventures In Design audio catalog, featuring every episode with bonus content added or you can choose to go straight to the bonus content. Every topic possible on following your creative passion as a hobby or career has been covered in this collection and we’re not even close to finishing the conversation adding another 200 episodes in 2016. 

651 - Shawn Kirkham of Skybound

David Defeo


Shawn Kirkham is in charge of everything you've ever wanted own from Skybound Entertainment. Lunch boxes? Check. G.I. Joe-esque Walking Dead Shiva Force Toys? Check. That insane bat wrapped with barbed wire he's holding on the cover? Yep! We can go ahead and define his day to day as a dream job and Shawn lets us through the doors of Skybound and into the world he helps create that spawned everything from The Walking Dead to Outcast to Saga. The American Dream is evolving into an entirely new beast centered around pop culture and Shawn is right at the center of harnessing the merchandising power behind one of the most powerful IP's around today. The real question is how and where does the next generation consume all of this content? Skybound is building an engaged community that helps provide some of the answers to that question and our interview with Shawn is an insightful look at the what is working in the uncharted new world of pop culture.

Talking Points

  • Pacing, commutes, and entertainment.
  • Skybound is juuuuuuust right with their clubhouse of creativity.
  • Crafting a piece of the puzzle and building your place.
  • Breaking down the wall.
  • From a fan to the second Skybound employee and the organic growth of the company.
  • Getting to geek out a little earlier than the rest of us.
  • Founding the merchandising arm of The Walking Dead at Skybound.
  • Licensing, making what you like, and finding what your fans want.
  • Unboxing the Megabox and analyzing the subscription model for profitability.
  • Rewarding loyal customers, a nostalgia that never fades, and simpler times.
  • Paid positioning to a well defined market.
  • Partnering up and the world of video games.
  • Split seasons with never ending release dates layered across multiple shows that makes for a lot of promotional material.
  • Intellectual Property, Corporate Overlords, or keeping the ownership for yourself.
  • The new Keepers Of The Gate and actively acquiring the next big thing.
  • Moving on to the next thing and borrowing credibility from past projects.
  • Variables in production and believing in your product.

Circle Of Trust Talking Points

  •  Flukes, timing, and the next iteration of the American Dream.
  • YouTube Celebrities and the next generation.
  • Keeping spending fun with what we have left and stealing the stoke.
  • Remembering Red Flags from the music industry and how they apply to current consumer culture.
  • Crafting a community.
  • Sales, social media, and personal bandwidth. 
  • Shawn’s white whale.
  • Infamous mix ups and a being built for Desk Times.



Tony Moore was the co-creator of The Walking Dead and he sat down with Mark back when AID was about to become a daily show. He shares his journey through illustration, comics, and Masters Of The Universe.

Back at MondoCon we got the opportunity to interview Becky Cloonan. Her accomplishments are vast, her illustration skills are undeniable, but her ability to tell a story is what truly sets her apart as a master of her craft.

It was almost like Jen Bartel was the first Magna Cum Laude to graduate from AID University when she unfolded her life story for us on AID 436. Her journey in and out of comics and back again is an incredible one we can all learn from.