Richardson started out by opening his first comic book store, Pegasus Books, in Bend, Oregon, in 1980. From there he was able to use the funds from his retail operation to start his own publishing company. Dark Horse Presents and Boris the Bear were the two initial titles in 1986 and within one year of its first publication, Dark Horse Comics added nine new titles to its roster, including Hellboy, The American, The Mask, Trekker, and Black Cross. Frank Miller's Sin City is one of the most famous works associated with Dark Horse, and it has become something of a signature comic to the publishing house. They also established a reputation for publishing licensed works such as Aliens, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Conan, and Star Wars.
In 2011, Dark Horse Presents relaunched including the return of Paul Chadwick's Concrete and Steve Niles' Criminal Macabre, as well as new talent including Sanford Greene, Carla Speed McNeil, Nate Crosby and others. In late summer of 2018 a set of comic books for Mysticons be were released.
|Dark Horse Comics|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||Milwaukie, Oregon|
|Distribution||Diamond Comic Distributors|
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
|Key people||Mike Richardson|
Mike Mignola (Hellboy)
Frank Miller (Sin City)
Eric Powell (The Goon)
Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)
Geof Darrow (Hard Boiled)
Mike Allred (Madman)
Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo)
|Fiction genres||Horror, thriller, terror, crime, superhero|
Dark Horse publishes many licensed comics, including comics based on Star Wars, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Predator, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Conan and Who Wants to be a Superhero? Dark Horse also publishes creator owned comics such as Frank Miller's Sin City and 300, Mike Mignola's Hellboy, Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo, Gerard Way's Umbrella Academy, Overwatch, and Michael Chabon's The Escapist. Today, the comic arm of the company flourishes despite no longer having its own universe of superpowered characters. Dark Horse also published the English translation of The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia in 2013.
Like Dell and Gold Key, Dark Horse was one of the few major American publishers of comic books never to display the Comics Code Authority seal on its covers.
From 1993 to 1996, Dark Horse published a line of superhero comics under the Comics' Greatest World imprint, which was later renamed Dark Horse Heroes. After 1996, publication of this line came to a near halt, ceasing production of any books concerning the characters with the publication of the last crossover books involving Ghost, in the early 2000s.
Legend was a comic book imprint at Dark Horse Comics created in 1994 by Frank Miller and John Byrne as an avenue for creator-owned projects. Its logo was a moai drawn by Mike Mignola. Later on, other creators were asked to join them. The imprint ended in 1998.
Dark Horse Manga is an imprint for Japanese manga. Publications include Akira, Astro Boy, Berserk, Blade of the Immortal, Ghost in the Shell (manga), Lone Wolf and Cub, Trigun and Blood Blockade Battlefront by Yasuhiro Nightow, Gantz, Hellsing and Drifters by Kouta Hirano, Blood+, Multiple Personality Detective Psycho, FLCL, Mob Psycho 100, Oreimo, and America's longest running manga series, Oh My Goddess! by Kōsuke Fujishima. Dark Horse also publishes a number of CLAMP titles, including Clover, Chobits, Okimono Kimono, Cardcaptor Sakura, Magic Knight Rayearth, and Gate 7. A manga magazine titled Super Manga Blast! was published by Dark Horse starting in the spring of 2000. It was discontinued in December 2005 after 59 issues.
Maverick was an imprint for creator owned material.
Publications ranging from novels to film books by Leonard Maltin about John Landis, to comic related material such as a biography of Will Eisner, to health books. They have also published a series reprinting Playboy interviews. The M Press imprint was created to publish a diverse list of both literary fiction and non-fiction prose for authors with a unique voice. One such series is Orchid by Tom Morello, published from 2011–2013. The newest addition to M Press is an original graphic novel The Fifth Beatle by Vivek Tiwary, Andrew Robinson, and Kyle Baker, published on November 2013.
In 2011, Dark Horse launched their iOS app and online digital comics store, followed by the release of the beta version of a native Android app in 2012. Any device with a modern web browser can be used to read Dark Horse comics at their web store.
Initiated in 1998, Dark Horse Deluxe rolled out a line of merchandise that included model kits, toys, apparel and collectibles. Its original purpose was to draw on Dark Horse properties but expanded to include such collectibles as Tim Burton's Tragic Toys for Girls and Boys, Joss Whedon's Serenity, and merchandise for the popular video-game franchise Mass Effect. Dark Horse, working with Big Tent Entertainment and the NHK broadcasting corporation, brought Domo-kun to the United States with a series of products ranging from Qee figurines to journals and stationery sets.
Dark Horse Comics has acquired the rights to make comic book adaptations of many popular films and series. Some of these include Aliens, Army of Darkness (before Dynamite Entertainment acquired the license), Indiana Jones, Predator, RoboCop, The Thing, Star Wars, The Terminator, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and its spin-off, Angel), Planet of the Apes, Let Me In and Avatar: The Last Airbender.
In 2014, Lucasfilm announced that, as of 2015, future Star Wars comics would be published by Lucasfilm's corporate sibling, Marvel Comics. In 2018, in the wake of the Disney-Fox merger, a ComicBookRumours.com article raised the question about whether the same outcome will happen with the Aliens and/versus Predator comics.
Dark Horse's production studio arm, Dark Horse Entertainment, produces films and television shows based on Dark Horse Comics. Established by Richardson in 1992, Dark Horse Entertainment set up shop on the lot at Twentieth Century Fox through a first-look deal with Larry Gordon and Largo Entertainment. Dark Horse Entertainment has produced over two dozen films and television projects.
The following are TV projects based on Dark Horse comic books:
The following are feature films based on series from Dark Horse Comics:
Adventures in Oz is a collection of five graphic novels by Eric Shanower set in the Land of Oz. They were originally published separately from 1986 to 1992. The first four, The Enchanted Apples of Oz (1986), The Secret Island of Oz (1986), The Ice King of Oz (1987), and The Forgotten Forest of Oz (1988) were published by First Comics. The fifth, The Blue Witch of Oz, was published by Dark Horse Comics in 1992. The hardcover edition contained an extensive appendix by Shanower about his Oz comic work, including previously unseen artwork and comics, as well as alternate endings to some stories.The five volumes were collected, revised, and published in an omnibus edition by IDW Publishing in 2006. Recently, the collection has been split into two pocket-size volumes called Little Adventures in Oz.Aliens (Dark Horse Comics line)
Aliens is a line of several comic books set in the fictional universe of the Alien films published by Dark Horse Comics from 1988 forward. The stories often feature the company Weyland-Yutani and the United States Colonial Marines. Originally intended as a sequel to James Cameron's 1986 film Aliens, the first mini-series features the characters of Rebecca "Newt" Jorden and Corporal Dwayne Hicks. Later series also included the further adventures of Ellen Ripley. Other stories are completely unique to the Alien universe, and are often used to explore other aspects of the species, such as their sociology and biology. The comics are generally considered non-canonical to the main Alien film series.Batman/Hellboy/Starman
Batman/Hellboy/Starman is a DC Comics/Dark Horse Comics two-issue intercompany crossover comic book miniseries written by James Robinson with art by Mike Mignola published January to February 1999 featuring fictional heroes Batman, Hellboy and Starman.Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight is a comic book series published by Dark Horse Comics from 2007 to 2011. The series serves as a canonical continuation of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and follows the events of that show's final televised season. It is produced by Joss Whedon, who wrote or co-wrote three of the series arcs and several one-shot stories. The series was followed by Season Nine in 2011.
The series was originally supposed to consist of about 25 issues, but eventually expanded to a 40-issue run. The series also spawned a handful of spin-off titles, including a Tales of the Vampires follow-up and one-shots focusing on Willow and Riley.The success of the series prompted IDW Publishing and Joss Whedon to publish a concurrent continuation of the Angel television series, titled Angel: After the Fall, and a Spike comic book series, which bridges some aspects of continuity between After the Fall and Season Eight. A motion comic version of the series debuted in 2010.Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Twelve
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Twelve: The Reckoning is the sequel to the Season Eleven comic book series, a canonical continuation of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The series was published by Dark Horse Comics and began on June 20, 2018. The series consist of four issues, co-written by creator Joss Whedon and Christos Gage, and illustrated by Georges Jeanty. It is the final season of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer canonical comic book series.Dark Horse Entertainment
Dark Horse Entertainment is a motion picture and television production arm of American comic book publishing company Dark Horse Comics.
They also have a sub-label, Dark Horse Indie.Fray (comics)
Fray is an eight-issue comic book limited series, a futuristic spin-off of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Written by Buffy creator Joss Whedon, the series follows a Slayer named Melaka Fray, a chosen one in a time where vampires (called "lurks") are returning to the slums of New York City, and the rich-poor divide is even greater. Volume one is drawn by Karl Moline (pencils) and Andy Owens (inks).
The series was published by Dark Horse Comics beginning in 2001, with delays between the first six and the final two issues caused by Whedon's TV commitments, during which Moline illustrated Route 666 for CrossGen Comics. After the series' conclusion in August 2003, a trade paperback collecting the whole series was also published by Dark Horse. In a short video promoting the charity Equality Now Joss Whedon confirmed that "Fray is not done, Fray is coming back. More than that, I will not say." This was reiterated in 2007's Comic Con where Joss stated that he "absolutely would be returning to that world." Fray next appears as a main character in the 2008 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight crossover story arc, "Time of Your Life", by Whedon and Moline.
The series was closely linked to the concurrently airing seventh season of Buffy, with coinciding depictions of the Slayer's mystical scythe and her origins, a major contributor to the expansion of the canonical "Buffyverse" in which Buffy the Vampire Slayer and other related stories are set. Melaka Fray also appears in the story "Tales", by the same creative team as the series, in the anthology comic book Tales of the Slayers.Limited series (comics)
In the field of comic books, a limited series is a comics series with a predetermined number of issues. A limited series differs from an ongoing series in that the number of issues is finite and determined before production, and it differs from a one shot in that it is composed of multiple issues. The term is often used interchangeably with miniseries (mini-series) and maxiseries (maxi-series), usually depending on the length and number of issues. In Dark Horse Comics' definition of a limited series, "This term primarily applies to a connected series of individual comic books. A limited series refers to a comic book series with a clear beginning, middle and end." Dark Horse Comics and DC Comics refer to limited series of two to eleven issues as miniseries and series of twelve issues or more as maxiseries, but other publishers alternate terms.Predator vs. Judge Dredd
Predator vs. Judge Dredd is an intercompany crossover featuring the galaxy's greatest lawman and the galaxy's greatest hunter. It was originally published in 1997 in serial form in the Judge Dredd Megazine and a three-issue mini-series by Dark Horse. It was then collected as a trade paperback.Son of the Mask
Son of the Mask is a 2005 comedy film directed by Lawrence Guterman. The film stars Jamie Kennedy as Tim Avery, an aspiring cartoonist from Fringe City who has just had his first child born with the powers of the Mask. It is the stand-alone sequel to the 1994 film The Mask, an adaptation of Dark Horse Comics which starred Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz.
It also stars Alan Cumming as the god of mischief, Loki, whom Odin has ordered to find the Mask. It co-stars Traylor Howard, Kal Penn, Steven Wright, Bob Hoskins as Odin, and Ryan and Liam Falconer as Tim's baby Alvey. Ben Stein makes a brief reappearance in the beginning of the film as Dr. Arthur Neuman from The Mask to reestablish the relationship with the mask and Loki. Bill Farmer and Richard Steven Horvitz provide the voice and vocal effects of Masked Otis. The film was panned by critics and became a box office bomb, grossing just $59 million against its $84–100 million budget.Star Wars (manga)
Four Star Wars films were adapted to manga by Dark Horse Comics between 1998 and 1999: Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), and Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999).Superman and Batman versus Aliens and Predator
Superman and Batman versus Aliens and Predator is a comic book co-published by DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics. It was written by Mark Schultz, with art by Ariel Olivetti. It is a crossover in which Superman and Batman have to battle both the Aliens and Predator. While both superheroes have had crossovers with the monsters individually, this was the first time they were with both at the same time. The two-part series was released on January 8 and then on February 14, 2007.Tarzan in comics
Tarzan, a fictional character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, first appeared in the 1912 novel Tarzan of the Apes, and then in 23 sequels. The character proved immensely popular and quickly made the jump to other media, including comics.Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes
Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes is a 2016 comic book miniseries combining the Tarzan and Planet of the Apes media franchises.The Umbrella Academy
The Umbrella Academy is an American comic book series created and written by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá. The first six-issue limited series, The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite, was released by Dark Horse Comics, between September 19, 2007, and February 20, 2008. It won the 2008 Eisner Award for Best Finite Series/Limited Series. A second series, The Umbrella Academy: Dallas, followed in 2008. The first issue of a third series, The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion, was released on October 3, 2018. A proposed fourth series is in development. A television adaptation was announced to be in development in July 2015 and premiered on Netflix on February 15, 2019.