Dark Horse Takes Chinese Investor Money for Movie/TV Projects

Dark Horse Entertainment

Dark Horse has recently announced the following:

Dark Horse Entertainment, L.L.C. and Vanguard Visionary Associates are proud to announce their new partnership to grow the Dark Horse brand internationally in both its media and pop culture businesses.

The new venture will allow Dark Horse to fully finance development of properties from Dark Horse’s extensive content library as well as cultivate original ideas and acquire material for film and television, then co-finance the production of those projects. The deal will also focus on bringing the company’s award-winning publications and product lines to new international markets, particularly China.

Said Mike Richardson, Dark Horse CEO and founder, “We’ve had great success over the years, funding our company internally and watching it grow from modest beginnings through the hard work of our amazing staff. This new arrangement will allow us to accelerate our growth and extend our reach worldwide. The deal will offer resources that will take our company to the next level. It will also present new opportunities for our employees as well as the talented content creators we work with.”

It’s a global world, and one where simply putting out comics isn’t enough. “Vanguard Visionary Associates is a Hong Kong-based company specializing in entertainment and pop culture products.” Its chairman is Stanley Cheung, former chairman of the Walt Disney Company in China, and he will now be on the board of Dark Horse Entertainment, the parent company of Dark Horse Comics, Dark Horse Studios, and retail chain Things From Another World. Dark Horse Comics, which began in 1986, was previously the last major comic publisher run by its solo founder.

Said Cheung, “Our goals are similar, and we feel that by combining our efforts we will be able to enhance Dark Horse’s visibility internationally on the way to making it a leader in the film business, while also making its publishing and product offerings available to new fans around the world.”

I always find the order in which things are mentioned interesting. As is putting out this press release on Friday afternoon.

Update: Heidi points out that this makes the new funder the majority owner of the venerable comic publisher. Mike Richardson says he still owns “a significant chunk” of the company. Richardson is 68, so he may be thinking about retirement and what happens to his company in the future. Succession planning is something many small comic-related companies struggle with.

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