Dark Horse Comics is an American comic book and manga publisher. It was founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson in Milwaukie, Oregon, with the concept of establishing an ideal atmosphere for creative professionals.
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 The American, The Mark, 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 token comic to the publishing house.
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.
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, 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.Art Adams
Paul Chadwick, Dave Gibbons, and Geof Darrow were also on the initial Dark Horse Legend launch tour.
Dark Horse Manga is an imprint for Japanese manga. Publications include Akira, Astro Boy, Berserk, Blade of the Immortal, Ghost in the Shell, 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, 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.
Dark Horse also publish a number of Korean manhwa titles, including Banya: The Explosive Delivery Man.
Maverick was an imprint for creator owned material.
The DH Press imprint publishes novelizations of Dark Horse's more popular comic book titles, including Aliens and Predator. DH Press has now been absorbed by DH Books.
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 most recently, 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 2013 CCP Games announced that Dark Horse would be publishing a series of comic books based on stories collected from players of the MMORPG EVE Online.
In 2014, Lucasfilm announced that, as of 2015, future Star Wars comics would be published by Lucasfilm's corporate sibling, Marvel 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 Mask (1995–1997 animated series)
Timecop (1997–1998 series)
Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot (1999–2001 animated series)
The B.P.R.D. Declassified (2004 special)
The Amazing Screw-On Head (2006 pilot)
Dark Matter (2015)
The following are feature films based on series from Dark Horse Comics:Dr. Giggles (1992)
The Mask (1994)
Tank Girl (1995)
Barb Wire (1996)
Mystery Men (1999)
G-Men from Hell (2000)
American Splendor (2003)
Timecop 2: The Berlin Decision (2003)
Alien vs. Predator (2004)
Sin City (2005)
Son of the Mask (2005)
Hellboy: Sword of Storms (2006, animated, direct-to-video)
Hellboy: Blood and Iron (2007, animated, direct-to-video)
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
El Zombo Fantasma (2010)
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)
The Legend of Tarzan (2016)
Beasts of Burden
Emily the Strange
The Umbrella Academy (cancelled)