Tag Archives: polarity

NYCC 2019: Magnetic Press Becomes Independent Under the Polarity Banner

Nils: The Tree of Life

Three years almost to the day after the acquisition of Magnetic Press was announced at New York Comic Con, the former Lion Forge imprint is announced to return to its status as full-service publisher under the David Steward II founded Polarity holding company, which also operates Lion Forge Comics and Oni Press.

Independently established in 2014 by founder Mike Kennedy, former publisher of Archaia Entertainment, Magnetic Press was acquired by Lion Forge in October of 2016 and rebranded as The Magnetic Collection. Kennedy has received numerous accolades in Magnetic’s first five years of operation, including 17 Eisner Award nominations over their first four consecutive years of eligibility.

Titles planned for 2020 include the dystopic fantasy Nils: The Tree of Life by Jerome Hamon and Antoine CarrionStreamliner by FaneParis 2119 by Zep and Dominique Bertail, and Gunland by Captain Artiglio. The coming year will also the continuation of sci-fi series Infinity 8 by Lewis Trondheim and ORPHANS by Roberto Recchioni and Emmanuel Mamucari, as well as the return of several popular series including KLAW by Ozanam and Jurion and The Ogre Gods by Hubert and Bertrand Gatignol. Other titles will be announced in the coming months, with Magnetic offering something for all ages across its diverse lineup. 

The company will also build a robust gaming catalogue with new original projects and more, adding to current titles like the graphic novel/RPG hybrid Hugo Broyler and the fantasy card game universe The World of Cassyno.

Magnetic Press, LLC will be distributed in both the direct and book markets exclusively by Diamond, with an active digital first strategy through Comixology.

Graphic Policy Weekly Episode 1: Pilot

Welcome to the launch of Graphic Policy Weekly, our new weekly show going over the biggest comic news out there.

On this debut episode:

  • Last week and this week’s comics!
  • Marvel Celebrates 80 Years
  • Dark Horse and Netflix cut a first look deal

Main story:

  • Polarity, Lion Forge, and Oni Press, this past week’s biggest comic news. We dissect what it means, why it happened, and why you shouldn’t believe the spin.

Polarity’s Oni Acquisition Leaves Staff Scrambling for Jobs, to Pay Bills, and Medical Coverage

While some were praising the acquisition of Oni Press by Lion Forge‘s new parent company Polarity, there was a very human side to the story as individuals were laid off just hours after the announcement. That’s even after the initial press announcement article said staffing decisions were still being made about that.

While many rightly pointed out those fired were women, queer, disabled, and people of color, they are also human beings with bills to pay and medical expenses to cover. They need our help in the short term and jobs in the long term.

While an official butcher’s bill isn’t know, we’ve been told from those in the know that most of Lion Forge’s staff has been laid off along with some of Oni’s. In essence, Oni was acquired to absorb Polarity’s comic publishing arm and run that operation out of their Portland office.

The firings undermine the quote from a damage control interview where Polarity/Lion Forge founder David Steward II has said:

…there are things that we have to do, unfortunately, from a business standpoint to make sure that the organization stays healthy and that we’re able to continue to keep on our mission going forward.

Part of the initial announcement of Polarity was one of investment and funding. While the elimination of redundant positions would be expected in a merger/acquisition, this mass layoff, including another 11 laid off recently at Lion Forge, signals a business hemorrhaging money, a comics and entertainment dot com bubble in the making. It’s a sign of weakness, not strength. It also has become the story of the acquisition.

It looks like those fired are again in the double digits leaving talent out their for other publishers to snatch up including award winning creators. Some of that talent directly responsible for the diversity in creators and content that the company claims is a priority.

The layoffs also make little sense unless production is also being cut, otherwise you’d have a smaller staff producing the content of two publishers. No matter the careful spin by Polarity, there’s many questions they haven’t answered.

Below are just some of those looking for work or need our help to help cover medical expenses (if there are more, please comment below or contact us so we can add them):

This is just some of those laid off and the real people behind corporate decisions beyond their control.

There’s much more to come to this story.

Layoffs Have Already Begun Due to the Oni/Lion Forge Merger

Update: We’ve been told of many more layoffs but attempting to confirm the extent so as to not exaggerate. If anyone has more specific details or can confirm what we’ve been told, please contact us.

The press release and announcement isn’t even 2 hours old and already staff are losing their jobs due to the merger of Oni Press and Lion Forge. We’re told there’s multiple staffers who have been let go of the around 40 staff involved. In the initial story staffing decisions were mentioned but it’s happening much sooner than expected.

Mergers will lead to staffing cuts as positions overlap but decisions can take weeks, months, or longer to shake out. The Disney/Fox merger for instance is expected to cause up to 10,000 jobs lost over the next year as decisions are made.

We’ll let the Tweets below do the talking.

https://twitter.com/swindlesoiree/status/1126173121348694016

Lion Forge and Oni Press Merge Under Polarity

Rumors have been swirling of buyouts and mergers in the comics publishing world for some time and this year it looks like some of that is finally play out with today’s announcement that Lion Forge and Oni Press have announced a merger. Polarity, the parent company of Lion Forge, will become the majority owner of the new combined entity, with James Lucas Jones serving as president and publisher and the Oni team leading creative and business operations.

The combination of the two companies creates an industry player focused on creator-owned, cutting-edge licensed partnerships and original content. Both companies are known for engaging diverse and under-served audiences. In March 2019, Oni Press held 0.74% of the dollar share and 0.64% of the unit share for Diamond Comic Distributors. In 2018, the publisher made up 0.83% of the dollar share and 0.54% of the unit share.

The deal, which streamlines and concentrates the editorial, marketing, production and operations in Portland, OR, was orchestrated by Polarity president, Edward Hamati, who oversees administration and corporate development for Polarity.

As part of this transition, Joe Nozemack is stepping down as president and will move to a board and advisory role with the company. Sarah Gaydos will be serving as editor in chief of the new company. The staffing of the two companies is still up in the air as both have about 20 employees.

The move comes after the announcement of Polarity, Lion Forge’s parent company and its focus on expanding its reach into other media such as games, television, and film.

From Comics to Beyond, David Steward II Launches Polarity

David Steward II

News was revealed today that Lion Forge founder David Steward II has been quietly expanding his portfolio over the past year to meet the demands of today’s modern audiences. The goal is to go beyond comics but also television, movies, streaming, and gaming. In early 2018, Steward formed Polarity, a holding company and investment platform and began recruiting a new team of professionals.

The focus is authentic content for a global audience and Polarity has recruited individuals beyond the traditional Hollywood roots.

To form Polarity, Steward sought out talent from the business world to augment the creative talent led by himself and Carl Reed, Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of several companies in the Lion Forge brand family.  Polarity oversees operations for the portfolio and pursues new business opportunities to expand the company’s offerings.  

David recruited Edward Hamati, Polarity’s President, in early 2018. The two previously worked together at a private equity firm. Hamati also leads the firm’s corporate development activities including mergers and acquisitions and investments.

The core management team includes Shonagh Clements (Chief Legal Officer) and Angie Smith (Chief Financial Officer), well regarded industry professionals and leaders. On the portfolio operations side, the team includes Chip Schafer (VP, B2B services focus) and Rick Johnson (VP, publishing focus).

Polarity is based in St. Louis, MO with an office in Boston, MA.

BOOM! Studios Title Polarity Optioned by Fox 21 Television Studios

BOOM! Studios has announced that Fox 21 Television Studios has optioned the TV rights to Polarity, the limited comic book series created and written by Say Anything frontman Max Bemis and illustrated by artist Jorge Coelho about a man with bipolar disorder who, after he stops taking his medicine, discovers he has super-powered abilities. The collected edition of the series was nominated for a Harvey Award in 2014.

The pilot is being written by Max Winkler and Matt Spicer, who were recently hired by The Walt Disney Company to write the “Rocketeer” reboot. Winkler will also direct the pilot.

BOOM! Studios’ Ross RichieStephen Christy, and Josh Levy are set to executive produce with Jason Carden of Winkler’s production company, Walcott Entertainment.

Polarity_V1_preview_Page_01

Preview: Polarity Vol. 1 TPB

Polarity Vol 1 TPB

Written by: Max Bemis
Illustrated by: Jorge Coelho
ISBN13: 9781608863464
Diamond Code: OCT131011

What if having super powers meant losing your mind? Tim Woods is a bipolar artist stuck in the world of hipsters, meaningless sex, and vain art — better known as Brooklyn. But after he survives a near fatal car accident, Tim discovers that his mental instability is more than just a disorder, and that his bipolar medication hasn’t just been subduing his manic depression…it’s been suppressing his super powers. This collection comes with a free download code for the entire POLARITY E.P., including a fifth original song written and performed by Max Bemis!

Max Bemis is not only an incerdibly talented songwriter (and lead singer for the band Say Anything), but an exciting, fresh voice in comics. Jorge Coelho serves up dynamic, expressive action while keeping POLARITY grounded. Plus everyone hates hipsters, right?

The combination of a very personal story with a completely fresh take on the nature of super powers had us hooked from the beginning.

 

Polarity_V1_preview_Page_01

 

BOOM! Studios in December 2013

DECEIVERS #1

Author: Steven Grant
Artist: Jose Holder
Cover Artist: Stephane Roux
$3.99

WHY WE LOVE IT: Everybody loves a good underdog story, and we’re no exception. Make that double for your classic Robin Hood-style “steal from the rich, give to the poor” yarns, and when you couple that with Steven Grant’s (2 GUNS) crackling dialogue and beautiful artwork from Jose Holder? We couldn’t resist!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: DECEIVERS is a globetrotting espionage action/comedy populated by charming, clever characters and thrilling sleight of hand, perfect for fans of films like Catch Me if You Can and the Ocean’s 11 series.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Lincoln McCord and Prince Adony Zaruka are two American con men living abroad in Europe, posing as an oil magnate and the descendant of long-lost royalty to live the high life by leeching off the European elite. But when an international thief begins wreaking havoc on their marks, the deceivers are enlisted by a rogue CIA agent to help entrap him.


DAY MEN PEN & INK #1

Author: Matt Gagnon & Michael Alan Nelson
Artist: Brian Stelfreeze
Cover Artists: Brian Stelfreeze

WHY WE LOVE IT: It’s pretty simple. We think Brian Stelfreeze is one of the industry’s best artists and storytellers and deserves to be showcased in his purest form. As fans of Brian’s art, we wanted this for ourselves.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: Stelfreeze is known around the convention circuit as a great mentor to young creators with an understanding of the craft of making comic books that is second to none. A rare opportunity to learn the creative process of a comics industry luminary.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Collecting DAY MEN #1-2 in an over-sized prestige format, DAY MEN: PEN & INK #1 presents Brian Stelfreeze’s artwork stripped down to the inks side-by-side with in-depth annotations from the entire creative team. This item will be limited to the initial print run.


THE MIDAS FLESH #1

Author: Ryan North
Artist: Shelli Paroline & Braden
Cover Artist(s): A: John Keogh B: Emily Partridge C: Noelle Stevenson D: Signed “Writer’s” Edition

WHY WE LOVE IT: We have been having so much fun with writer Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics, To Be Or Not To Be: That Is The Adventure) on ADVENTURE TIME that we couldn’t resist the opportunity to publish a new original idea of his. And it is​ original.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: We’ve all heard of The Midas touch. You know, the Greek Mythology about the man who did a number on himself by wishing for everything he touched to turn to gold? Who better to turn that tale on its head with a heavy dose of sci-fi than Ryan North? Also, did we mention the Utahraptor?

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Fatima and her space crew have decided to return to Earth—a planet completely sectioned off, abandoned, and covered in gold—to find out exactly what happened to this once thriving planet and see if they can use that knowledge against the evil empire that’s tracking them down. As luck would have it, they just landed the most powerful weapon in the universe: some ancient dead guy’s body.


PROTOCOL #2

Author: Michael Alan Nelson
Artist: Mariano Navarro
Cover Artist: Stephane Roux

Being a member of this family means a lifetime of death, danger, changed identities and buried memories. After the mysterious murder of a fellow orphan, our agents are thrust head first into another mission. On the tail of the high society funders of the terrorist-operation Black Friday, our agents are further from the truth then they could ever imagine.


 IMAGINE AGENTS #3

Written: Brian Joines
Artist: Bachan
Cover Artist(s): A:  Khary Randolph  B. Felipe Smith

Elliot is kidnapped and Dapple’s sinister plan is in full effect. With imaginary friends from all around the world gathering together, mankind may finally lose the upper hand. IMAGINE agents, Terry and Dave, may not have the wits to save the day, but with the help of  Elliot’s mother and imaginary friend, they may just have a chance.


SONS OF ANARCHY #4

Author: Christopher Golden
Artist: Damian Couceiro
Cover Artist: Gary Brown

With Kendra’s life on the line, tensions rise and guns are drawn. As the Ghost Brothers close in on Kendra’s location, Jax must win Lin over to the side of  honor and family, driving the Sons closer to war with Griggs.


HIT #4

Author: Bryce Carlson
Artist: Vanesa R. Del Rey
Cover Artist: Ryan Sook

There’s no honor among thieves, and the same goes for crooked cops… Beaten, bloodied, and betrayed in an abandoned junkyard, the end looms near for Slater as Blair reasserts his control over the Hit Squad and exacts his plan to bring Los Angeles to its knees.


ROBOCOP: LAST STAND #5

Story: Frank Miller
Sequential Adaptation: Steven Grant
Artist(s): Korkut Öztekin
Cover Artist(s): Declan Shalvey

RoboCop and Marie have been set up. Fighting with every ounce of strength and wit they can muster, Marie and RoboCop must face an army of android Ottomos coming at them from all directions. With no chance of survival, they can only hope that their deaths will mean the end of OCP.



3 GUNS #5

Author: Steven Grant
Artist: Emilio Laiso
Cover Artist: Rafael Albuquerque

Burned by her government handler and left for dead, Joey must team up with Bobby and Marcus to fight their way through both the separatist militia and the Russian mafia with stolen weapons and money intact.


SUICIDE RISK #8

Authors: Mike Carey
Artist: Elena Casagrande
Cover Artist: Tommy Lee Edwards

When Leo decides to fully embrace his powers, something hidden deep inside him will finally find its way to the surface With Nightmare Crew’s plan in full affect, Leo will  make a decision to change everything.


CLIVE BARKER’S NEXT TESTAMENT #8

Author: Clive Barker & Mark Miller
Artis: Haemi Jang
Cover Artist: Goni Montes

Tristan & Elspeth finally reach Providence, but after Wick’s latest strike, their efforts may be in vain. And what does Julian want in Paris?


HELLRAISER: THE DARK WATCH #11

Author: Clive Barker & Brandon Seifert
Artist: Tom Garcia
Cover Artist: Lorena Carvalho

As the war between Hells rages, the three people to hold the title of Lead Cenobite — Elliott Spencer, Kirsty Cotton, and Harry D’Amour, each attempt to end the conflict in their favor.


REGULAR SHOW: SKIPS #2

Author: Mad Rupert
Artist: Mad Rupert
Cover Artist(s): A: Mad Rupert  B: Kory Bing  C: Sabrina Scott  D: Rachel Saunders

This vacation isn’t what it seems and Skips is starting to think there is a lot more going on with the tourists then just fanny packs and sunscreen. Will he be able to figure out what is really going on before his day suddenly repeats? Join Skips in this crazy adventure…that just might never end.


HEROBEAR AND THE KID: THE INHERITANCE #5

Author: Mike Kunkel
Artist: Mike Kunkel
Cover: Mike Kunkel

It’s the final issue for HEROBEAR AND THE KID: THE INHERITANCE! Tyler and Herobear finally face off with the mastermind behind all of their trouble, Von Klon! The secret behind Tyler’s grandpa is revealed…


ADVENTURE TIME: CANDY CAPERS #6

Authors: Yuko Ota and Ananth Panagariya
Artist: Ian McGinty
Cover Artists: A: Yuko Ota B: Emily Warren C: Fellipe Martins D: Andy Hirsch

It’s the conclusion to this sugary sweet mystery of a series! Has Peppermint Butler finally found Ooo’s new protectors? Will Cinnamon Bun ever stop trying to help? You definitely don’t want to miss this final issue as Peppermint Butler and Cinnmon Bun finally figure out what has happened to Finn and Jake!


 

REGULAR SHOW #9

Author: KC Green
Artist: Allison Strejlau
Cover Artists: A: Ian Bertram B: Laura Birdsall C: Tom Hunter D:  Michael DeForge

Mordecai and Rigby have a plan! It’s only a matter of time before our friends finally have their time in the sun, but will they be able to make it? Will Benson finally be able to stop their shenanigans for good? It’s going to be a crazy issue starring our favorite park employees!


GARFIELD #20

Author(s): Mark Evanier & Scott Nicke
Artist(s): Andy Hirsch & Gary Barker
Cover Artist(s): Gary Barker & Mark & Stephanie Heike

We’re got a holiday season treat for you — Pet Force! Planet Dorkon’s finest are back for an all-new adventure and the fur will fly.


BRAVEST WARRIORS #15

Author: Eric Esquivel
Artist: Mike Holmes
Cover Artists:  A: Tyson Hesse  B: Kali Fontecchio  C: Laura Knetzger  D: Ian Bertram

Have you ever wondered where the Bravest Warriors got their super rad weapons? Were they found in a yard sale, was it some prize after a series of training, or was it just a twist of fate and a lot of luck that lead our heroes to their most trusted weapons? Find out the true story in this issue!


ADVENTURE TIME #23

Author: Ryan North
Artists: Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb
Cover Artist(s): A: Mike Holmes B: Brad McGinty C: Genevieve Farley-Tremblay D: Bryan Turner

Will Princess Bubblegum be able to stop her creation from spreading, or is already too late for the Kingdom of Ooo?! With the Kingdoms Heroes under it’s influence it leaves Marceline and Princess Bubblegum in a race again time as they try to find a way to not only save themselves, but everyone else in Ooo!


PEANUTS #14

Authors: Charles M. Schulz, Various
Artists: Charles M. Schulz, Various
Cover Artist: Charles M. Schulz

Schroeder could not be more excited. It is the most important day of the whole year…Decemeber 16th! Beethoven’s birthday! Unfortunately, no one but Schroeder seems to have remembered. Enjoy this twist on the birthday spirit along with a wonderful series of new and classic Peanuts stories.


DEATHMATCH VOL. 2

Author: Paul Jenkins
Artist: Carlos Magno
Cover Artist: Paul Jenkins
$14.99

The second round of the ultimate battle royale begins here, as the world’s greatest superheroes are forced to fight each other to the death in a mysterious, other-worldly prison. The mysteries grow deeper and the casualty list grows longer as DEATHMATCH continues.


 POLARITY VOL 1

Authors: Max Bemis
Artist: Jorge Coelho
Cover Artist: Frazer Irving

WHY WE LOVE IT: The combination of a very personal story with a completely fresh take on the nature of super powers had us hooked from the beginning.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: Max Bemis is not only an incerdibly talented songwriter (and lead singer for the band Say Anything), but an exciting, fresh voice in comics. Jorge Coelho serves up dynamic, expressive action while keeping POLARITY grounded. Plus everyone hates hipsters, right?

WHAT IT IS: What if having super powers meant losing your mind?Tim Woods is a bipolar artist stuck in the world of hipsters, meaningless sex, and vain art — better known as Brooklyn. But after he survives a near fatal car accident, Tim discovers that his mental instability is more than just a disorder, and that his bipolar medication hasn’t just been subduing his manic depression…it’s been suppressing his super powers.

This collection comes with a free download code for the entire POLARITY E.P., including a fifth original song written and performed by Max Bemis!


Fairy Quest VOL 1: Outlaws

Authors: Danielle Corsetto
Artist: Zack Sterling
Cover Artist: Stephanie Gonzaga

WHY WE LOVE IT: The combination of Paul Jenkins (DEATHMATCH, Inhumans) and Humberto Ramos (Amazing Spider-Man) delivered a smart, but sweet fairy tale we’re smitten with.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: Jenkins and Ramos took fairy tales and created a rich, unique world that is at once familiar and wholly original. Adventure, beautiful art, and a girl and her wolf. What’s not to love?

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: The world of Fablewood, where all of the stories that have ever been told live side-by-side, is a sinister place indeed! Under the watchful eye of the dreaded Mister Grimm and his Think Police, Red Riding Hood and her Wolf must risk everything to try and escape and find sanctuary in a mysterious place called the Real World…


ADVENTURE TIME: EYE CANDY VOL 1

Author: Various
Artist: Various
Cover Artist: Paul Pope
$24.99

WHY WE LOVE IT: One of our favorite parts of working on ADVENTURE TIME is how we’ve been allowed to let all sorts of unique artists play in this magical world with a monthly assortment of inspired covers.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: Not everyone can find or buy every ADVENTURE TIME cover, but fans of the series and fans of art will not want to miss this cover gallery collection.

WHAT IT IS: The ADVENTURE TIME collection every fan has been waiting for! This book collects every cover from the ADVENTURE TIME ongoing series from issue #1 to #15.


HAWKEN: MELEE #1 (OF 5)

Author: Dan Abnett
Artist: Federico Dallocchio
Cover Artist: Tim Bradstreet
$3.99

A new, bi-weekly miniseries featuring high-action mech combat from the world of HAWKEN, the award-winning online video game from Meteor Entertainment! This premiere issue features the heart-racing pace of cat-and-mouse combat in a tale by Dan Abnett and Federico Dallocchio entitled “20 Seconds,” with cover art by Tim Bradstreet!


HAWKEN: MELEE #2 (of 5)

Author: Jim Mahfood
Artist: Jim Mahfood
Cover Artist: Jock
$3.99

High-action mech combat from the world of HAWKEN, the award-winning online video game! This issue is written and illustrated by street-funk, fan-favorite artist Jim Mahfood, spreading a madcap, cautionary tale of celebrity arrogance in the midst of heavy metal corporate warfare entitled “Friendly Fire”! Featuring cover art by Jock!


SIEGFRIED VOL. 2: THE VALKYRIE HC

Author: Alex Alice
Artist: Alex Alice
Cover Artist: Alex Alice
$24.95

A three-part story inspired by Wagner’s classic opera The Ring of the Nibelung: Siegfried, born of the love between a mortal man and a Valkyrie, is a young orphan being raised by Mimé, one of the last of the dwarf-goblin Nibelungs, in a dark forest with only wolves for friends and family. While his foster parent only wants to live in peace and solitude, Siegfried yearns to discover who his real parents were and live amongst his own kind, not knowing that Odin, father of the Norse gods, has a destiny planned for him: to fight the dragon Fafnir, guardian of the Rheingold. In this second volume, Siegfried sets off from his safe, forest home to find the world of men. With Mimé as his reluctant guide, Siegfried plunges headlong into the dangers of the swamp of the sorcerer Volva, where he learns of his destiny to confront the dragon Fafnir!

Preview: Polarity #4

POLARITY #4

Written by Max Bemis
Art Jorge Coelho
SC, 32pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99
COVER A: Frazer Irving
COVER B: W. Scott Forbes
Diamond Code: MAY13 0945

Did Tim really think he was the only one? What destruction could other mental-illness powers hold? With Tim being only as powerful as he is insane, he’s going to have to get a little crazy to save the happiness he’s finally found, as he goes up against the mental cases Mays has up his sleeve…

Each issue comes with a free download for a new original song written and performed by Max Bemis!

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