Mike Richardson, the owner of several comic book shops in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area, began to publish in 1986 with an anthology series called Dark Horse Presents, investing profits from his stores into Dark Horse Comics. The publisher is based in Milwaukie, Oregon. Richardson opened his first comic book store, Pegasus Books, in Bend, Oregon in 1980.
Dark Horse publishes many licensed comics, including comics based on Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Predator 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, Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira and Michael Chabon's The Escapist. Today, the comic arm of the company flourishes despite no longer having their own universe of superpowered characters.
Imprints and studios
Comics' Greatest World/Dark Horse Heroes (1993–1996)
From 1993–1996, Dark Horse published a line of superhero comics under the Comics Greatest World imprint, which was later re-named 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 the 1990s 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
- Frank Miller
- John Byrne
- Mike Mignola
- Mike Allred
- Paul Chadwick, Dave Gibbons and Geof Darrow were also on the initial Dark Horse Legend launch tour.
Dark Horse Manga
Maverick was an imprint for creator owned material.
Quirky 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. Managing editor is Robert Simpson.
In other media
Dark Horse's film arm, Dark Horse Entertainment, produces films and TV shows based on Dark Horse Comics. In March 2008, Dark Horse announced that they had signed a three-year first look deal with Universal Studios.
Following are TV projects based on Dark Horse comic books:
- The Mask (1995 TV series)
- Timecop (1997 TV series)
- Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot (1999–2001 Animated series)
- The B.P.R.D. Declassified (2004 TV movie)
Dark Horse Comics has acquired the rights to make comic book adaptations of many popular film series. Some of these include Aliens, Army of Darkness (before Dynamite Entertainment acquired the license), Indiana Jones, Predator, RoboCop, Star Wars, The Terminator, Timecop, and Planet of the Apes. Following are the feature films based on series from Dark Horse:
- The Mask (1994)
- Barb Wire (1996)
- Mystery Men (1999)
- Virus (1999)
- Alien vs. Predator (2004)
- Hellboy (2004)
- Sin City (2005)
- Son of the Mask (2005)
- Hellboy: Sword of Storms (2006, animated, direct-to-video)
- 300 (2007)
- Hellboy: Blood and Iron (2007, animated, direct-to-video)
- Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
- Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
- My Name is Bruce (2008)
- El Zombo Fantasma (2010)
- Conan (2011)
- The Umbrella Academy (2012)
- Sin City 2 (2012)
- Hellboy 3 (2012)
- Sin City 3 (2012)
- Dark Horse Comics: The First Twenty Years (by Mike Richardson, Frank Miller and others, 384 pages, Dark Horse, March 2008, ISBN 1-59307-608-8)
- Script error
- Things From Another World, online retailer of comics and collectibles, sister company of Dark Horse Comics
- Dark Horse Comics at the Grand Comics Database
- Dark Horse Comics at the Big Comic Book DataBase
- Dark Horse Comics at the Comic Book DB
- Dark Horse Comics in the Oregon Encyclopedia.
- FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK: Scott Allie, Comic Book Resources, January 6, 2009
- FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK: Tim Ervin, Comic Book Resources, January 8, 2009
- FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK: Chris Warner, Comic Book Resources, January 14, 2009
- FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK: Diana Schutz, Part I, Comic Book Resources, January 20, 2009
- FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK: Diana Schutz, Part II, Comic Book Resources, January 22, 2009
- FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK: Randy Stradley, Comic Book Resources, February 25, 2009
- FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK: Shawna Gore, Comic Book Resources, March 16, 2009br:Dark Horse Comicsit:Dark Horse Comics
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