Dark Horse Comics

Dark Horse Comics is an American comic book and manga publisher. It was founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson in Milwaukie, Oregon.

Dark Horse Comics
Dark Horse Comics logo.svg
Founded1986; 34 years ago (1986)
FounderMike Richardson
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationMilwaukie, Oregon
DistributionDiamond Comic Distributors[1]
Penguin Random House Publisher Services[2]
Key peopleMike Richardson
Mike Mignola (Hellboy)
Frank Miller (Sin City)
Eric Powell (The Goon)
Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)
Geof Darrow (Hard Boiled)
Mike Allred (Madman)
Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo)
John Arcudi (The Mask)
Publication typesComics
Fiction genres
Official websitedarkhorse.com

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 Hellboy, The American, The Mask, 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 signature comic to the publishing house. They also established a reputation for publishing licensed works such as Aliens, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Conan, and Star Wars.

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. In late summer of 2018 a set of comic books for Mysticons were released.

In early 2017. Dark Horse Comic entered partnership with Crypton Future Media to publish official English-language Hatsune Miku-related manga.


Dark Horse Comics headquarters

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, Overwatch, and Michael Chabon's The Escapist. Today, the comic arm of the company flourishes despite no longer having its own universe of superpowered characters.[3] 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.

Imprints and studiosEdit

Comics' Greatest World/Dark Horse Heroes (1993–1996)Edit

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 (1994–1998)Edit

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.[4] Its logo was a moai drawn by Mike Mignola. Later on, other creators were asked to join them. The imprint ended in 1998.


Dark Horse MangaEdit

Dark Horse Manga is an imprint for Japanese manga translated into English. The company's first ongoing title was Oh My Goddess! by Kōsuke Fujishima, starting in August 1994.[5] (Oh My Goddess! since became America's longest running manga series.)[citation needed] Other publications include Akira, Astro Boy, Berserk, Blade of the Immortal, Ghost in the Shell (manga), 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, Mob Psycho 100, and Oreimo.

Dark Horse also publishes a number of titles by the all-female Japanese manga artist group CLAMP, 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.[6]

Dark Horse also publishes a number of Korean manhwa titles, including Banya: The Explosive Delivery Man.[7]

Maverick (1999–2002)Edit

Maverick was an imprint for creator owned material.

DH PressEdit

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.

M PressEdit

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.

Dark Horse DigitalEdit

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.

DH DeluxeEdit

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 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. David Scroggy was Vice President of Product Development at Dark Horse for many years, starting in that department in 1993 and retiring in 2017.[8][9]

Kitchen Sink BooksEdit

In 2013, Denis Kitchen and John Lind co-founded Kitchen Sink Books with Dark Horse as a joint venture and independent imprint.[10] The imprint name is in reference to Kitchen’s former publishing company Kitchen Sink Press which ran from 1970 until 1999. Kitchen said of the venture, “John and I have packaged books for a number of first-rank publishers, but we have long discussed the ideal house to enjoy maximum freedom and creativity,” says Kitchen. “In longtime friend and publisher Mike Richardson and Dark Horse Comics, we found just that.”[11] The imprint’s output is infrequent, publishing 2-3 high profile projects annually with editorial focus on art books and deluxe format collections. Creators published under the Kitchen Sink line include Will Eisner, Frank Miller,[12] Harvey Kurtzman, Tony DiTerlizzi[13] and collections/anthology titles include work from Jack Davis, Will Elder, Art Spiegelman, S. Clay Wilson, Monte Beauchamp, Bob Powell, Justin Green, Trina Robbins, Harvey Pekar, Arnold Roth, and Al Jaffee.

Berger BooksEdit

Former executive editor of Vertigo Karen Berger established the Berger Books imprint at Dark Horse in 2017.[14] Titles published under the imprint include Hungry Ghosts written by Joel Rose and Anthony Bourdain, Incognegro (10th anniversary edition) and a prequel Incognegro: Renaissance both written by Mat JohnsonThe Seeds written by Ann Nocenti, She Could Fly written by Christopher Cantwell (2018 July), and LaGuardia written by Nnedi Okorafor.


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.[15]

In 2014, Lucasfilm announced that, as of 2015, future Star Wars comics would be published by Lucasfilm's corporate sibling, Marvel Comics.[16] In 2018, in the wake of the Disney-Fox merger, a ComicBookRumours.com article raised the question about whether the same outcome will happen with the Aliens and/versus Predator comics.[17]

Dark Horse EntertainmentEdit

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.[18]

In 2019, Dark Horse Entertainment set up a first-look deal with the streaming company Netflix.[19]


The following are TV projects based on Dark Horse comic books:[20]

Upcoming projects

  • Sin City
  • Briggs Land[21][22]
  • Harrow County

Television shows with graphic novelsEdit


The following are feature films based on series from Dark Horse Comics:[23]

Released projects

Upcoming projects

Canceled projects


  1. ^ Premier and Exclusive Suppliers
  2. ^ Current Clients
  3. ^ Manning, Shaun (January 6, 2009). "From the Editor's Desk: Scott Allie". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
  4. ^ Khoury, George; Eric Nolen-Weathington (2006). Modern Masters Volume Six: Arthur Adams. TwoMorrows Publishing. ISBN 978-1-893905-54-2.
  5. ^ Horn, Carl Gustav. "Horsepower," (Dark Horse Comics, March 2007).
  6. ^ "Super Manga Blast Discontinued". Anime News Network. November 24, 2005. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  7. ^ "Dark Horse manhwa explodes on the scene with Banya". DARK HORSE COMICS CELEBRATING 20 YEARS: 1986 – 2006 Comic Book Bin (June 7, 2006). Retrieved June 6 2013.
  8. ^ "DAVID SCROGGY, VP OF PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, LEAVES DARK HORSE," Dark Horse official website (06/30/2017).
  9. ^ "Special Guests: David Scroggy," Comic-Con International: San Diego website. Accessed Dec. 6, 2019.
  10. ^ "Dark Horse Announces All-New KITCHEN SINK Imprint!". www.darkhorse.com. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  11. ^ Paulus, Trena M.; Wise, Alyssa Friend, eds. (2019-05-10), "Have We Found What We Were Looking For?", Looking for Insight, Transformation, and Learning in Online Talk, Routledge, pp. 197–208, ISBN 978-1-315-28325-8, retrieved 2020-02-06
  12. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: "Frank Miller's Sin City" Gets 'Curator's Collection' from Dark Horse". CBR. 2015-10-05. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  13. ^ "Dark Horse and Kitchen Sink prep RPG Art Book". Brutal Gamer. 2014-08-22. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  14. ^ "Karen Berger to Launch Berger Books Imprint at Dark Horse". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  15. ^ Wilde, Tyler (April 27, 2013). "EVE Online TV series and Dark Horse comic to be based on players' true stores". PC Gamer. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  16. ^ Siegel, Lucas (January 3, 2014). "STAR WARS Comics Go to Marvel in 2015, Dark Horse Responds". Newsarama. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  17. ^ "The Future of Alien and/versus Predator". Comic Book Rumors. July 30, 2018. Retrieved July 30, 2018.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Dark Horse/Universal Sign First Look Deal". Newsarama. March 18, 2008. Archived from the original on 2009-07-26.
  19. ^ https://www.thewrap.com/netflix-signs-umbrella-academy-publisher-dark-horse-comics-to-first-look-deal/
  20. ^ "Best 'Dark Horse Comics' Television". IMDb.
  21. ^ McMillan, Graeme (3 May 2016). "Dark Horse Plans 'Briggs Land' Comic Book Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  22. ^ Briggs Land on IMDb
  23. ^ "Best 'Dark Horse Comics' Movies". IMDb. May 1, 2009. Retrieved 2010-07-28.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit