Dark Horse loses Star Wars Comics to Marvel

The Disney folks have done a lot of things to entertain me over the years but I think I say somewhat safely that they are kind of control freaks. A friend of ours works at one of the parks as a princess and she’s not allowed to say anywhere on the internet that she does, though she can post pics of her dressed up and refer to the pics as her friend “princess ________”.

I get this to a point. MGM tried to screw with Disney so it is no surprise that Walt would not let them use Mickey to dance with Gene Kelly which prompted a switch for the movie Anchor’s Away to use our cartoon  mouse friend from Tom and Jerry.

1063531I do think that pulling the licensing away from Dark Horse for the newly acquired Star Wars franchise is a mistake. I’m sure Marvel will do fine with it, until we get a Spider-man cross over at least. But Dark Horse Comics has been doing ground breaking and amazing work on the comics they produce with the Star Wars name on them. Great stories, great art. Wonderful covers. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it is something I really believe. This is not broken.  Of course at the end of the day it of course is probably the money. Why not dismiss a wonderful publisher when you have your own comics company under your thumb?

I’d like to thank Dark Horse fro some great reading on these titles. And I probably won’t be making the switch to Marvel with Luke and Leia.

This is from Mike Richardson, publisher of Dark Horse:

The End of an Era

13453All things come to pass. So too, do all licensed deals. I am sad to report that Disney, the new owner of Lucasfilm, has notified us here at Dark Horse of their intention to move the Star Wars publishing license to another of their recent acquisitions, Marvel Comics, beginning in 2015. This will end a partnership that has lasted more than two decades.

For those who are new to the industry, Dark Horse revolutionized the treatment of comics based on films. After a history of movie properties being poorly handled with little regard for execution and continuity, Dark Horse took a new approach, carefully choosing licenses and approaching them with excitement and creative energy. Our goal was to create sequels and prequels to the films we loved, paying careful attention to quality and detail, essentially treating those films as though they were our own. Star Wars has been the crown jewel of this approach. We began chasing the title as far back as 1989, and with the launch of Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy’s Dark Empire, a new era in comics was born. I’m not ashamed to admit that we were Star Wars geeks, and we have been determined to spare neither effort nor expense in the pursuit of excellence.

It is ironic that this announcement comes at a time when Dark Horse is experiencing its most successful year ever. For obvious reasons, we have prepared for this eventuality by finding new and exciting projects to place on our schedule for 2015 and beyond. Will they take the place of Star Wars? That’s a tall order, but we will do our best to make that happen. In the meantime, 2014 may be our last year at the helm of the Star Wars comics franchise, but we plan to make it a memorable one. We know that fans of the franchise will expect no less. The Force is with us still.

Mike Richardson

About Dark Horse

Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent such as Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Brian Wood, Gerard Way, Geof Darrow, Guillermo Del Toro and comics legends such as Will Eisner, Neal Adams, and Jim Steranko, Dark Horse has developed its own successful properties such as The Mask, Ghost, Captain Midnight, and X. Its successful line of comics, books, and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Mass Effect, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Halo, Serenity, The Legend of Zelda, Game of Thrones and Domo. Today Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic book publisher in the US and is recognized as one of the world’s leading publishers of both creator-owned content and licensed comics material.