Sunday, 12 January 2014

Star Wars at Dark Horse No More

This is sad news indeed for the good folk over at Dark Horse comics and perhaps for both Star Wars and comics fans in general.

Disney has made the decision to bring the comics publishing license for Star Wars inhouse, moving it from Dark Horse to Marvel. This is an entirely understandable move; now that they own LucasArts, there's no reason for a third party publisher to be making money off what will no doubt end up being one of Disney's most profitable licenses, so it makes perfect business sense to hand the license over to Marvel. But I can't help feeling sorry for the Dark Horse crew; they've done bucket-loads for the industry over the course of their almost 30 year history, helping bring manga to western audiences and effectively creating the comics crossover; they've produced some excellent movies through Dark Horse Entertainment (and some best not mentioned); given us the continuing stories of Whedon's Buffy & Firefly that TV execs refused to; and they're the publisher my all-time favourite comic character Hellboy!

And, lest we forget, they also gave us the excellent The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia.

Long Live Dark Horse!

All 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.
See the original post @ The End of an Era