At 35, Oregon’s Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a significant cultural force


Comic book lovers, rejoice! 2021 marks the 35th anniversary of the launch of the Oregon-based franchise, Dark Horse Comics, and has become a major name in the graphic novel and entertainment industry.

Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson started his business while running a comic book store in Bend. It attracted some of the best artists and writers in the industry with editorial independence – and financial incentives – that big brands DC and Marvel wouldn’t offer in 1986.

“We not only offered creators ownership of their properties when we partnered with them, but we were also able to pay them their Marvel and DC rates, which was not always the case with companies other than Marvel. and DC, ”Richardson told KLCC.

“A lot of the top-selling creators, we gave them a much higher percentage than their Marvel and DC rates because they get a portion of the profit.”

Over time, titles such as “Hellboy” and “Sin City” have become household names, establishing Dark Horse’s place as a creative force in the independent comic book market – and film adaptations have failed. hurt.

Popular Dark Horse franchises include “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “HELLBOY”.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Dark Horse has also been engaged for graphic novel adaptations of popular franchises, including “Star Wars”, “Aliens”, “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “Avatar: The Legend of Korra”.

Netflix has adapted one of Dark Horse’s titles “The Umbrella Academy” into a hit hit, which is currently filming season 3.

Richardson says he’s ready for another 35 years and attributes a few things to Dark Horse’s longevity.

“Because we’re not focusing on one area and because we’ve never tried to compete directly with Marvel and DC, I think that’s one of the secrets,” Richardson said.

“Our partnership with our designers, trying to strike a deal that will appeal to every designer, contributes to longevity, to these relationships with some of the best designers and some of the new designers who join us. “

2021 also marks 19 years since Richardson founded Dark Horse Entertainment Inc., which produced blockbuster films like “The Mask” and “Timecop”. Overall, the company has produced more than two dozen film and television projects.

Copyright 2021, KLCC.

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