Tag Archives: mike richardson

Bang! with Idris Elba and Mind MGMT get adaptations as Dark Horse and Netflix extend their partnership

Netflix and Dark Horse Entertainment have extended their first look deal. Under this multi-year deal, Dark Horse will continue to give Netflix a first look at its IP for both film and TV. 

Netflix and Dark Horse recently collaborated on the third season of The Umbrella Academy, which in its first four weeks reached the Netflix Global Top 10 in TV in 91 countries with 283.55M hours viewed (as of July 17, 2022) 

New projects in active development under the Dark Horse Entertainment banner include:

  • Bang! starring Idris Elba and directed by David Leitch 
    • Based on the comic series by Matt Kindt and Wilfredo Torres, the feature film adaptation of this stylish spy thriller will be written by Kindt and Zak Olkewicz
    • Producers: Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg for Dark Horse, David Leitch and Kelly McCormick for 87 North, and Idris Elba
    • When a terrorist cult sets out to start the apocalypse with a series of novels meant to brainwash their readers, the world’s most celebrated spy is sent to track down and kill the author responsible.
  • Mind MGMT with Curtis Gwinn set to Executive Produce this series adaptation of the comic book series by Matt Kindt
    • A young woman stumbles onto the top-secret Mind Management program. Her ensuing journey involves weaponized psychics, hypnotic advertising, talking dolphins, and seemingly immortal pursuers, as she attempts to find the man who was MIND MGMT’s greatest success – and its most devastating failure. But in a world where people can rewrite reality itself, can she trust anything she sees?
    • Executive Producers: Curtis Gwinn, and Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg for Dark Horse
  • Next up for Dark Horse is the 8 episode series Grendel, based on the classic comic by Matt Wagner. Andrew Dabb created the series, which is in post-production.

Previous Dark Horse Entertainment releases include the Netflix film Polar, starring Mads Mikkelsen, the Netflix animated series Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles, returning later this year with Season 2, and the animated film Chickenhare and the Hamster of Darkness, which recently spent four weeks on the Netflix TV (English) Top 10. 

Dark Horse Entertainment

Embracer Buys Dark Horse After Mega Deal to Buy Asmodee

Dark Horse Comics

Embracer Group is on a buying spree to end the year. Just lack week, the video game behemoth announced the intended acquisition of Asmodee, the board game publisher, for €2.75 billion (about $3.1 billion in US dollars). Now, the conglomerate is purchasing Dark Horse Media, making it the tenth operative group of the Embracer group. Dark Horse founder and CEO Mike Richardson will continue to lead the company with existing management.

According to the announcement, Dark Horse “owns or controls” more than 300 intellectual properties. It strengthens Embracer Group’s content development in comic publishing and film and tv production. Asmodee in the recent year has expanded its non-game publishing (books, art books) and also recently announced moves to bring its properties to film and television.

In the acquisition, Embracer Group gains Dark Horse Comics, Dark Horse Entertainment (film and television), and Things from Another World (retail with three locations and e-commerce). In the Asmodee acquisition, it was revealed that Asmodee owned two stores including the popular Miniature Market which it bought in 2021. The purchase of Asmodee and Dark Horse quickly expands Embracer’s retail operations with both physical and e-commerce options as well as its reach into television and film. The firm is clearly looking at how to expand its existing properties beyond their initial silos of release.

In the announcement, Embracer specifically mentioned the “untapped potential in creating games based on Dark Horse IP”. Embracer Group is the parent company of 86 video game development studios representing over 250 IPs in over 40 countries. Studios include THQ Nordic, Gearbox Entertainment, and others with properties such as Saints Row, Dead Island, Darksiders, Timesplitters, World War Z, and Borderlands.

Darksiders and Dead Island have seen comics based on them released by Dark Horse while Borderlands has had comic tie-ins published by IDW Publishing.

Between these two purchases, Embracer quickly becomes an IP powerhouse with the abilitiy to release concepts across video games, tabletop games, comics, movies, and television.

The amount of the purchase has not been revealed “due to commercial reasons” but Embracer will purchase 80 percent of the shares of Dark Horse from a seller based in Hong Kong and the remaining 20 percent of the shares from CEO Mike Richardson and COO Neil Hankerson. The transaction is expected to be completed in early 2022.

Review: Cloaked #1

Cloaked #1

Out of nowhere a vigilante appeared to strike fear into criminals. A mix between Batman and the Punisher, the “hero” took on crime in a “major American metropolis” and then disappeared. Twenty-five years later one of the richest people in the world has hired a former police officer, now detective, to try to figure out who the mystery hero really was. Cloaked #1 is an interesting start to the series that sets up an intriguing mystery that mixes noir/detective style with spandex.

Written by Mike Richarson, Cloaked #1 feels a bit like a throwback to 1990s Dark Horse when series like Hellboy and X were just starting out. There’s a “get back to the roots” aspect about it that’s intriguing in its execution and look. The concept of the series is pretty simple, unmask a hero who disappeared but the comic takes that and mixes it with a look and style that’s much more like the recent renaissance of detective comics that have launched in the past decade.

Roger “Jake” Stevens is the detective at the center of the story and his character is rooted in the genre, strereotypes, and clichés. He’s a former police officer. He’s slightly crooked and doesn’t follow rules. He grew up a troubled youth. Then there’s the relationship issues including an affair. It’s almost like check list for the genre was used when creating the character. It’s not a bad thing and in some ways makes getting into the series a bit easier. It’s familiar and allows the reader to just sit back and enjoy the concept without having to really focus too much on the character specifics. We generally know who Jake is since we’ve seen this character so many times in the past.

Part of the throwback charm to Cloaked #1 is the art by Jordi Armengol. Joined by Nate Piekos on lettering, the comic looks like it would have fit right in with the Dark Horse Legend imprint. It also has a certain look to it that has it have a vibe similar to the modern detective comics that have been made popular by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and others. Interestingly, I think the art actually stands out most in the action scenes featuring the former superhero and has me wanting to see a series of that character with Armengol on art. There’s some issues, a sidekick’s forehead looks a little weird and out of proportion, but overall, there’s a solid match of the art to the style of story.

Cloaked #1 is a debut with a lot of potential. The comic ends in an interesting place and it’s easy to make some guesses as to where it will go from here. Hopefully, the series delivers more than my current suspicions but its mix of spandex and detective stories is an interesting one that creates a read that’s just slightly different than what else is on the shelf.

Story: Mike Richardson Art: Jordi Armengol
Color: Jordi Armengol Lettering: Nate Piekos
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindle

The Icon Shines a Bright Light into the Dark Corners of Truth, Justice, and the American Way

From writer and Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson, alongside artist Jordi Armengol, comes the cataclysmic crime miniseries, The Icon.

Twenty-five years ago, a genuine masked hero came out of nowhere to declare war on crime. All of America celebrated the exploits of the black-clad vigilante as he took down one lawbreaker after another, until suddenly he vanished. But when down-on-his-luck investigator Jake Stevens is hired to find the long-missing dark avenger, his inquiries threaten to expose the myth behind the mask. In gritty realistic detail, The Icon shines a bright light into the dark corners of truth, justice, and the American Way.

The Icon #1 (of four) arrives in comic shops December 15.

Lady Killer is Coming to the Screen Adapted by Diablo Cody and Starring Blake Lively

Academy Award Winner Diablo Cody will adapt the screenplay for a film based on the Dark Horse Comic Lady Killer. Lady Killer was written by Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich and illustrated by Jones. Blake Lively will star in the film from Netflix.

Lady Killer takes place in the 1950s focusing on Josie Schuller, the perfect housewife. Josie also secretly works as a hired killer for the mafia who finds out about her double life and decides to have her killed.

The comic series debuted in 2015 running for two volumes, each five issues, and wrapping up in 2016.

Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg of Dark Horse Entertainment and Blake Lively and Kate Vorhoff for B for Effort will produce the film.


Purchase: comiXology: Lady Killer, Lady Killer 2 – Amazon: Lady Killer, Lady Killer 2 – Kindle: Lady Killer, Lady Killer 2

Lady Killer

Graphic Audio and Recorded Books Ink Book Deal with Dark Horse Comics

Graphic Audio and Recorded Books have inked a content publishing deal with comic book publisher Dark Horse Comics. As part of the agreement, Graphic Audio will publish several proprietary graphic novels by Dark Horse, while Recorded Books will publish audiobooks for several Dark Horse prose novels to be named soon.

Here’s a taste of what’s to come!

      September 2021

  • The Mask: I Pledge Allegiance to the Mask by Christopher Cantwell and Patric Reynolds
  • X Volume 1: Big Bad by Duane Swierczynski and Eric Nguyen

     November 2021

  • Ghost: In the Smoke and Din by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Phil Noto, Jenny Frison, Alex Ross
  • Living with the Dead: A Zombie Bromance by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse Founder and CEO) and Ben Stenbeck

The titles will be available on Graphic Audio’s website store at www.graphicaudio.net and everywhere digital audiobooks are sold.

An Online Trend Turns Deadly in Creeping

From writer Zack Keller, with an original story by Mike Richardson, and art by Doug WheatleyCreeping takes you on a horrifying journey where fun and mischief take a shocking turn into the ultimate fight for survival. 

“Creeping” is sweeping across social media—a dangerous online trend that dares participants to spend the night at a frightening location—from crumbling cemeteries to derelict morgues. As more people join in, the competition increases—who can outdo the latest scary destination? One group of thrill-seekers is determined to find the most terrifying place in the world—and an abandoned medieval fortress-turned-asylum fits the bill, but they soon realize they are in for more than they bargained for.

Creeping will be in comic shops on October 13, 2021, and in book stores on October 26, 2021 and retails for $19.99.

Creeping

Mike Mignola is Drawing Monsters in a New Documentary Being Kickstarted

Hellboy has appeared in countless graphic novels and comic books, prose novels and short story collections, acclaimed role-playing games and videogames, three live-action films and two animated features, and has inspired countless toys and collectibles. Now, award-winning Hellboy creator Mike Mignola is getting his turn in the spotlight in the all-new documentary Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters, which tells the definitive story of one of the most influential and important comic book creators of all time. This feature-length film includes never-before-seen interviews conducted with the legendary creator at his studio, drawing demonstrations, behind-the-scenes footage from comic book conventions, and interviews with some of the most influential people in entertainment, including Neil Gaiman (American Gods), Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar, Victor LaValle (The Ballad Of Black Tom), artist Tara McPherson, and comic book superstars like Vita Ayala, Duncan Fegredo, Fábio Moon, and Joe Quesada. Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters is now on Kickstarter for a month-long campaign that runs throughout March.

As one of the most successful independent comic book creators, Mignola has inspired generations of writers and artists. Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters provides an in-depth look at his legacy, from the beginning of his career working as an inker for Marvel Comics to his success with Hellboy. The film features never-before-told revelations from Neil Gaiman about the Mignolaverse and the production of Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy II, and an interview with Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar discussing Mignola’s influence on her creation. 

The documentary features Mythbusters host Adam Savage, Hellboy film actor Doug Jones and actress Vanessa Eichhotlz, novelists Christopher Golden (of the bestselling Ben Walker novels) and Victor LaValle (The Ballad Of Black Tom), Dark Horse Publisher and founder Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Editor Katii O’Brien, Marvel EVP of Creative Development Joe Quesada, comic book writers Vita Ayala (The Wilds), Chris Roberson (Hellboy & The B.P.R.D.) and Thomas Sniegoski (Young Hellboy), and award-winning cartoonist Fábio Moon (Daytripper), as well as interviews and art demonstrations with painter Jason Shawn Alexander, Duncan Fegredo (Hellboy: The Wild Hunt), Michael Avon Oeming (B.P.R.D.: The Soul Of Venice), award-winning colorist Dave Stewart and, of course, Mignola himself.

Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters is being co-directed and produced by Jim Demonakos (founder, LightBox Expo and ECCC) and Kevin Hanna (Clockwork Girl), an American director noted for his work in feature film, animation, comic books, and television.

The Kickstarter campaign features tiers with the Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters film digitally or on Blu-Ray, as well as a Kickstarter exclusive t-shirt, original art, a commission from Mignola himself, the opportunity to receive an executive producer credit on the film, and an incredible Hellboy Portfolio Print Set that is exclusive to the Kickstarter campaign, featuring new 9″x12″ Hellboy prints by Mignola and Dave Stewart, Laurence Campbell, Duncan Fegredo, Alex Maleev, Fábio Moon, Mike Norton, Paolo Rivera, Craig Rousseau, Tim Sale, and Ben Stenbeck. All the artists involved have previously drawn interiors for various Mignolaverse books.

Filming will continue and is scheduled to be completed in the fall/winter of 2021, with the finished film debuting by spring of 2022.

Hellboy’s Mike Mignola and Dark Horse Founder Mike Richardson Comment on the Recent Scott Allie Revelations. Rinse. Repeat.

Earlier this week, new revelations came out about the behavior of comic editor/writer Scott Allie including harassment, retaliation, and emotional abuse towards others in the industry. This is beyond the documented 2015 assault on a comic creator that happened at San Diego Comic-Con.

Hellboy Creator Mike Mignola and comic publisher Dark Horse were quick to distance themselves from Allie stating they would no longer be working with him. But, both Mignola and Dark Horse continued to work with Allie after 2015 despite his admission of the assault and concerns from staff, some of who have come public with raising concerns with management. It wasn’t until 2017 that Allie “left” Dark Horse though he continued to edit their top titles including Hellboy, which he would later pen some issues in that universe, and on Gerard Way’s Umbrella Academy. He continued to work with the company on a freelance basis and his role became even MORE PROMINENT after 2015 as he began to write issues. Despite Allie’s reputation for abuse, he was still chosen to provide “oversight” on the Image benefit anthology after the Las Vegas shootings. He was replaced after the outcry.

The protection of Allie went beyond Mignola and Richardson and is a prime example of the industry unwillingness to put action to words.

While Dark Horse quickly made a statement that echoed their 2015 statement, yesterday, the company founder Mike Richardson spoke up.

As has been pointed up by so many, Richardson’s statement rings hollow. In 2015, he stated among other things:

Dark Horse agrees 100% with the EEOC Guidelines.

So are we to take his statement above that Dark Horse HASN’T been doing what’s legally required like no retaliation and zero tolerance? If Dark Horse, and Richardson, agreed with guidelines in 2015, what have they done in the five years since?

They “rehired” Allie as a freelancer.

Mike Mignola expounded upon his short Tweet from the day the news broke in a post entitled “I Believe and Completely Support Shawna Gore”:

About Scott Allie—

Scott was my second editor on the Hellboy series at Dark Horse. He was only meant to be my temporary editor, just for the one comic (THE CORPSE) and a more senior editor was supposed to take over after that. But, as the story goes, he saved me from making a rather big mistake on that one comic and I requested that he stay on as my regular editor, and we ended up working together for something close to 25 years.

From the earliest days I heard stories of his drunken behavior at conventions—stupid stuff like jumping fully clothed into fountains. It was joked about and I was not aware that there was anything at all more serious going on.

The drunken incident in 2015 made it clear that there was a much more serious problem that needed to be dealt with. I spoke to him about it. Others spoke to him about it. He agreed that the drinking was a problem and we were all led to believe he was getting help for that. And to the best of my knowledge he DID get help for the drinking problem. 

Around this time I started to hear rumors of other past incidents—alcohol-fueled behavior that seemed limited to drunken, juvenile pranks. There was nothing specific and I never heard the names of any specific persons involved in these other incidents. I continued to write these off as just more of his stupid drunken episodes. I became aware that some people did not like working with Scott. While our working relationship had always been good I know his editorial style could be aggressive and off-putting and I honestly believed this, coupled with the past drinking problem, was the reason for the trouble. The truth of course is that after a very long and very productive working relationship I did not want to believe there was anything more to these stories. I was blind because I wanted to be blind and that’s on me and it’s something I have to live with.

After the news about Cameron Stewart and Warren Ellis broke last week, Scott’s name started to bubble up on social media again. Until yesterday I had never heard about Scott’s assault of Shawna. I wish I had known.  I understand there are many reasons why no one would approach me with something like that—the shame and embarrassment of course and, sadly the perception that Scott and I were good friends. Had I heard any of what I’ve heard in the last 24 hours I would have severed all contact with Scott Allie at once.

But where there is smoke there is almost always fire and after a while there was so much smoke—clearly I had to finally take a hard look at the situation, had to contact some friends and associates, people who had been close to Scott and find out what had really been going on—and I was horrified but what I started to hear. I wish I had asked this questions much sooner. After so many years I wanted to give Scott the benefit of the doubt—as the son of an alcoholic I wanted to blame the booze. I was fooling myself and I will regret that forever. My heart goes out to all his victims. And Shawna—I have known Shawna almost as long as Scott and have always considered her a good friend– and now to discover that she has been living with this all these years — I am heartbroken. And of course I am furious at Scott and at myself for not realizing what was going on so much sooner.

I’m writing this now because I need to address Scott’s victims. Their stories need to be heard. They need to be believed.

Comics need to do better. We all need to be more accountable. All companies need to have responsive HR departments. Companies need to recommend training about what to do when they hear about assault, harassment, or inappropriate behavior from co-workers or colleagues.

As a creator I need to do better, I need to set a better example, both in the stories I tell and the people I choose to tell them with.  

M

As many have said, Mignola is part of the reason that Allie was allowed to stay around and his behavior was excused. There was a fear that if Allie was fired, Mignola would leave and Dark Horse would struggle. In other words, dollars mattered more than lives. Artist Amy Reeder spoke up to say exactly this:

You were the reason he still had a job, they feared repercussions from you. Maybe he manipulated you, I don’t know. All I heard is, they couldn’t fire him because it’d cause Mignola to leave and the entire company would fold. It was tough to hear that about a fellow creator.

Allie’s behavior wasn’t a secret, it was known to the point that Dark Horse made jokes about it publicly calling him “Bitey.”

Former employees have spoken up:Former editor Jim Gibbons Tweeted: 

Scott Allie is far and away the most despicable, abusive, and awful person I’ve ever worked with. The amount of trauma he’s caused the people who have worked with him is extreme.

Another former staffer wrote that:

Scott Allie’s continued abuse of staff was an open secret employees were actively discouraged from speaking about at Dark Horse. While head of editorial, he was not allowed to have women in his office w/his door closed bc he repeatedly shouted or otherwise harassed staff to tears.

Regular Hellboy colorist Dave Stewart has spoken out:

I am with @ShawnaGore. Scott Allie is and was a manipulator and liar. I stopped working with him a couple years ago when I found he was a predator using alcoholism as a cover for his bad actions. I found that out by digging around and asking questions.

Former Hellboy creator John Arcudi has some of the most damning statements. Not only does he mention learning of Shawna’s assault in 2017 but telling Mignola which then would go on to employ Allie until this past week:

Former Hellboy collaborator Guy Davis would indicate the toxicity of the Hellboy team went well beyond Allie:

regarding DarkHorse/BPRD~ I quit the series in 2011 because of the toxic behavior of Allie, Mignola, Arcudi and cut all contact. In 2015 with news of Allie’s assaults and DH “response”, I cancelled The Marquis HC from DH (which never had a contract for them to solicit)

To clarify my leaving BPRD in 2011, that was due to a toxic work environment with the team. I had no knowledge of Scott’s harassments until announced in 2015

The above shows there’s a rot that has infested Dark Horse for almost a decade (at least) and gone unchecked. Excuses are made and basic legal requirements not followed. What’s to believe that 2020 is any different than 2017 or 2015? Actions speak louder than words and in the five years since our initial reporting, all we’ve got is words.


If you are a U.S.-based victim of sexual assault in need of help, contact RAINN at 800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

Dark Horse Releases a Statement Regarding Scott Allie. Rinse. Repeat. (Update)

With new accusations levied against Scott Allie, Dark Horse has released a statement that they will no longer be working with Allie.

Dark Horse Allie Statement 2020

They went on to Tweet:

It is critical that employees feel safe, secure and supported in the workplace. They should feel safe in making these inexcusable actions known without fear of reprisal. Dark Horse Comics will dedicate itself to ensuring that this will not ever happen again within our company.

Does that sound familiar? It’s similar to what they said in 2015 when earlier accusations over assault were levied against Allie.

Dark Horse is committed to ensuring and maintaining a positive, safe, and respectful environment for its employees, creators, and fans and we expect all who represent our company to behave in a professional manner. Disciplinary actions are handled internally at the company and we do not comment on them publicly.

Dark Horse Founder Mike Richardson stated:

I applaud Ms. Asselin’s Intentions in dealing with sexual harassment in the comics industry.

I also want to make one thing very clear: Dark Horse as a company, and myself as an individual, take the kinds of inexcusable incidents reported by Ms. Asselin very seriously—doubly so when it involves one of our employees. In cases such as these, we have been proactive in our response, with a variety of professional services involved, all with the goal of changing behavior. Additionally, a number of internal responses are acted upon, including termination if such behavior continues. Under no circumstance is any individual “harbored.” In this particular case, action was taken immediately, though we did not, and cannot, perform a public flogging, as some might wish.

Secondly, there is no “us-against-them” attitude here. I have an open door policy and every employee, no matter where she/he sits in the company, is invited to come in to my office with any complaint or observation, at any time. I restate this policy constantly. I won’t go into the assumptions made here that are just untrue, because my intent is not to undermine the purpose of her piece, but no one here has ever turned a “blind eye” to these behaviors, not in this case, not in any case. With regard to sexual harassment, it is simply not tolerated. Dark Horse agrees 100% with the EEOC Guidelines.

Ms. Asselin turns her eye toward me. I have never met or talked with Ms. Asselin. If she knew me, she would learn that I am extremely sensitive on this subject, being the father of three daughters and having experienced first hand the effects of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. I have fought against that harassment, not just in a social environment, but also within our own publishing schedule. I have also fought for gender equality in our school system and championed social and racial diversity both in and out of Dark Horse, activities I am still involved with. Her assumption that my longevity somehow “embeds” within me an attitude of inappropriate permissiveness is not only wrong, it is insulting.

I agree that harassment of any kind, routine or not, is unacceptable. It always has been. We at Dark Horse will renew our efforts to make sure that our company is never again mentioned with regard to this type of occurrence. As quoted in the article, our goal has always been to provide a positive, safe, and respectful environment for its employees, creators, and fans.

– Mike Richardson

But, five years later, here we are with Allie up until today working with Dark Horse on books even after the previous revelation. Actions speak louder than words and so far, in our eyes, Dark Horse has failed that test. The publisher needs to come forward with what internal changes have been made to ensure something like this never happens again.

Update: Dark Horse Founder Mike Richardson has released a statement laying out concrete steps the company is going to take. Keep in mind, “no tolerance” is legally required and retaliation is also illegal at a federal level. Dark Horse has announced they are complying with the law.

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