Dreamwave Productions was a Canadian art design studio and comic book publisher founded in 1996 and is best known for their multiple Transformers comic book series. The company shut down on January 4, 2005.
In 1996, brothers Pat Lee and Roger Lee founded Dreamwave Productions in Toronto, Canada, as an imprint under Image Comics and published their first mini-series, Darkminds. Pat maintained artistic control while his older brother managed the business operations. They quickly made their manga-influenced style a trademark, merging the look of an animated film with sequential art.
In 2002, Dreamwave spun off from Image and became an independent publishing company after acquiring the license for the popular Hasbro toyline Transformers. The first mini-series, based on the Transformers "Generation 1" characters and featuring art by Pat Lee and writing by Chris Sarracini was the top-selling book on the sales charts for its entire run, a feat which surprised even the writer, Chris Sarracini: "I suspected the (comic) would break into the top 10, but I had no idea that it would skyrocket to No. 1." Various ongoing and limited series followed, covering various continuities, such as the G1 universe and the then current Transformers: Armada toyline. Transformers scribe Simon Furman came on board to produce Transformers: The War Within, a series of limited series detailing previously-undocumented aspects of the Transformers' past. Many artistic members of the fan community, such as Don Figueroa and Guido Guidi, were hired by the company, entering the professional world of comics via their hobby.
Three years later, signs of trouble began to appear when writers James McDonough and Adam Patyk left the company over pay disputes. Despite plans for their replacement, it was subsequently announced that Dreamwave had gone out of business. They cited "the shrinking comic book market combined with a weak U.S. dollar" as the cause of the closure on January 4, 2005. The final Dreamwave comic was published in December 2004, leaving incomplete both limited series and multiple ongoing storylines. In late April of 2005, freelancers who were still owed money by Dreamwave and amongst the company's creditors, discovered they were also liable for debts incurred by Dreamwave. According to the terms of the contract the company had with Federal Express, the freelancers were left liable for the cost of shipping their unpublished, unpaid for work to Canada. Guido Guidi and Don Figueroa were two such freelancers affected.
After the company's bankruptcy in 2005, Dreamwave's assets were purchased by Canadian entrepreneur Christian Dery, who planned to relaunch its core properties (excluding former licenses such as Transformers). However, the new Dreamwave went out of business in early 2006 after failing to pay creators who were owned money, and the Dreamwave properties and trademarks were sold to an unknown group of investors.
List of Dreamwave comics
- Darkminds Volume 1: Paradox
- Darkminds Volume 2
- Darkminds Volume 3: Macropolis
- Darkminds Volume 4: Macropolis Vol. 2
- Fate of the Blade
- Neon Cyber (Set in the same world as Darkminds)
- Shidima (Set in the same world as Warlands)
- Warlands Volume 1: Darklyte
- Warlands Volume 2: Atrelegis
- Warlands Volume 3: Age of Ice
- Warlands Special Three Stories
- Warlands: Warlords Chronicles, Volume 1
- Warlands Volume 4: Dark Tide Rising
- Warlands: Banished Knights
- Duel Masters (cancelled after issue #8)
- Devil May Cry (bankrupt before final issue and TPB)
- Killzone (bankrupt before issue #1)
- Mega Man
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (canceled after issue #7)
- Transformers: Generation 1: Prime Directive
- Transformers: Generation 1: War and Peace (vol.2)
- Transformers: The War Within
- Transformers: The War Within: The Dark Ages (vol.2)
- Transformers: The War Within: The Age of Wrath (vol.3; cancelled after issue #3)
- Transformers: Micromasters
- Transformers/G.I. Joe II: Divided Front (cancelled after issue #1)
- Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye (character profile series)
- Transformers: Summer Special (was to be an irregular mini-series, only one issue was published)
- Transformers: Generation 1 (vol.3, full series; cancelled after issue #10)
- Transformers: Armada, later Transformers: Energon (cancelled after issue #30)
- Metroid Prime Comic series, debuted in Nintendo Power