Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, top indie comics publisher Dark Horse Comics has evolved over the years into a comics industry giant. Along with seeing numerous movies and TV shows adapted from them over the years, they’re also one of the biggest publishers of licensed comics, including brands like Stranger Things, Aliens, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Predator, Star Wars, and many more.
Now, the publishing house behind properties like Hellboy and Sin City, is reportedly looking to find a buyer. According to a recent report by Comicbook.com, the publisher has hired an adviser and are looking to“weigh options that could include a sale,” based on initial reporting by Bloomberg.
There are no real details about how seriously they’re taking the process, but given the success of Umbrella Academy and the recent move by Disney to return some aspects of the Star Wars license to Dark Horse, it seems plausible that they could find potential buyers in either Netflix or the Walt Disney Company. Add to that the recent announcement that creator Sergio Aragones recently sold the animation rights to the long-running Dark Horse title Groo the Wanderer to Did I Err Productions, and…well, it’s clear that Dark Horse is already a pretty big deal.
(An earlier version of this story erroneously referred to Groo as heading to Warner Bros. Animation. We apologize for any confusion.)
Bloomberg had few details on the move, and could not get any kind of comment from Dark Horse. At the time of this writing, ComicBook’s attempts to get a comment have also failed.
The revelation came as part of a larger story about how content creators are exploiting the “IP is everything” mode Hollywood is currently operating in to monetize things that they own. This is something you can see in the never-ending string of comics — both corporate comics from Marvel and DC, and also indie comics from Image, Dark Horse, BOOM! Studios, and other publishers — being optioned for film and TV. Many of those don’t get made, but some of them are going to turn into huge hits, and some of them will cost a ton of money to option. Acquiring a content library is a handy shortcut, as Disney has proven with Fox, which already has new Home Alone and Predator installments in the works.
Dark Horse Comics not only has a long tradition of establishing exciting new creative talent throughout all of its divisions, but they’ve also published the work of creative legends such as Yoshitaka Amano, Margaret Atwood, Will Eisner, Neil Gaiman, Dave Gibbons, Frank Miller, Moebius, Chuck Palahniuk, Mike Baron, Paul Chadwick, Geof Darrow, Kazuo Koike, Matt Kindt, Jeff Lemire, Mike Mignola, Wendy Pini, Gerard Way, and so many more.