Randy Stradley, VP of Publishing, Retires at Dark Horse
In 1985, comic store owner Mike Richardson approached friend Randy Stradley with his plan to start a comic book publishing company. The idea was to not only allow writers and artists to tell the stories they wanted to tell, but to actually own the work they created. They pasted up the first issue of Dark Horse Presents on the counter of a comic shop, hoping they could sell 10,000 copies in order to break even. Instead, the book sold 50,000 and the rest, as they say, is history.
Over the next 35 years, Stradley played a key part in shaping Dark Horse’s publishing line, editing seminal series including Concrete (Paul Chadwick), Boris the Bear (Co-written with Richardson), The American (Mark Verheiden), Hard Boiled (Frank Miller/Geof Darrow), Give Me Liberty (Frank Miller/Dave Gibbons), Dark Horse’s own creation Ghost, Sin City (Frank Miller), and the publication that started it all, Dark Horse Presents. He was also central in elevating licensed comics to previously unseen heights with properties such as Aliens, Predator, Godzilla, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and Star Wars.
In the announcement, Stradley said:
After three and a half decades, I believe I’ve done just about all that I can. It has been a great ride, and I want to think Mike Richardson for the tremendous opportunities he’s afforded me. It’s with mixed emotions that I step down, but I know that Dark Horse will continue on to new heights, and that the company is in good hands.
As a writer, Stradley’s work has left an indelible mark on popular culture. His writing on the original Aliens Versus Predator series inspired a film franchise yielding two movies, and the tales of Lieutenant Janek Sunber from Star Wars: Empire and the trials of Jedi Das Jennir in Star Wars: Dark Times remain beloved touchstones for readers of the bygone Expanded Universe.