Dark Horse comics, films, toys, whatever . . .

http://imgur.com/dvqldE9 https://twitter.com/DarkHorseComics/status/468421701420990464

EDIT: Time to go back to my real job. Thanks for taking part. May the HORSE be with you.

Comments: 167 • Responses: 66  • Date: 

bulbasaura5 karma

What is the best way to break into the industry as an editor? I'm moving to Portland for PSU's graduate program in book publishing this fall, and I'd love to be an editorial assistant at Dark Horse.

MikeRichardson7 karma

Well, if you'd like to break into the industry by becoming a Dark Horse editor a good start would be to come and interview with us. We have openings from time to time and always looking for good people.

Tburkeulosis925 karma

I am an aspiring writer and I have an artist and we are working on a book together, what would be the best way to try and get our work noticed?

MikeRichardson8 karma

We have submission requirements on our website. Or you can come to a comics convention and stick it into my hands.

If you have talent, the odds are high you will get noticed. Have you thought of setting up your own website? We've found a number of projects and creators by searching the net.

Tburkeulosis922 karma

We are working on how to present our own website, we both come from a rural part of Ireland so it will be hard to get to conventions but thank you I did not know about the submission on your website.

MikeRichardson3 karma

Let me know if you have any problem.

RedditRalf5 karma

Who is your favourite villain and superhero?

MikeRichardson10 karma

Okay, my favorite superhero of all time, ignoring the many Dark Horse characters, is Superman. Boring answer, huh? My favorite villain can be found in the Marvelman series by Alan Moore. You'll have to look if you want to find his name.

stenchburg5 karma

What kind of stories are you looking for in the new Dark Horse Presents?

MikeRichardson4 karma

DHP is an anthology. I'm looking for a variety of material featuring strong story and art. Part of the book is dedicated to established pros, but I'm always searching for new talent.

stenchburg5 karma

If i published my 10 page short on the internet for free first, would that affect Dark Horse's interest in it for DHP?

MikeRichardson2 karma

It might. It's all about seeing it.

Elixir114 karma

What do you look for when getting pitched new creator-owned properties?

MikeRichardson7 karma

Talent. Great stories with an unusual direction. Something I haven't seen before. Terrific art. Fun twists. Familiar stories or characters with unexpected surprises. As you might imagine, I see thousands of proposals. Pitches that appeal with very few lines. I'll always remember Steve Niles pitching me the entertainment rights to 30 Days of Night. "Sun goes down in Barrow, Alaska for 30 days. Vampires show up." I saw the entire film with those two sentences. Strong concepts can be pitched for comics or film with few words.

swaggaonmydick3 karma

Your a good man.

MikeRichardson3 karma

Thanks for that

Gabdewulf3 karma

With Firefly selling strong, are there any plans for more books?

MikeRichardson7 karma

I'd love to publish Firefly books as Joss is interested in keeping the series going. His schedule is full as you might imagine.

mors_d3 karma

What is the likelihood of older (pre-2000) Dark Horse published titles making it to the digital store?

MikeRichardson6 karma

That is the ultimate goal: the entire Dark Horse library available on every device available 24 hours a day in every country in the world and available in every language.

Seems simple, right?

watwait1 karma

A LOT of people use Comixology. We're missing out not seeing a headline that says "Free Hellboy #1" and "Avatar series sale $1 an issue"

MikeRichardson2 karma

Well, for right now there's a Dark Horse App and digital store that will help you that will help sooth your pain. As for the future . . .

watwait2 karma

If the future is a Netflix like service where I can read the entirety of Abe Sapien sounds great, I just want you guys making money in more than one avenue so you can keep producing good things. I discovered Rat Queens by looking on their front page while just trying to pick up Detective. The dark horse idiom only works when you can see the other horses in the race.

MikeRichardson2 karma

I'm guessing we are nowhere near where we'll be in a few years. Tech is changing and distributing channels sorting themselves out. I get what you're saying.

WuTiger1 karma

I'm hoping in a few years that certain licensing rights for Japanese manga can open up for digital copies. I'm a big fan of Berserk, and even though its awesome that DH just reprinted their volumes, I think digital might get some new readers. Does Usagi Yojimbo sell well as digital?

MikeRichardson2 karma

Probably similar numbers but a different audience.

agenthl3 karma

What is your favorite part of your day?

MikeRichardson3 karma

I don't really divide my day that way. I'm lucky, I love what I do. I have a great family. Those two sides of my life blend together. I encourage others to find something they love that they can spend their life on. Life is short and the days are precious.

OC_Monster_J3 karma

Just wanted to thank you for doing this AMA. Long time fan of Dark Horse, from all of the Aliens universe comics ever published to the good ole days of Concrete and everything in between. I wish you and Dark Horse the very best and I'm looking forward to the new Dark Hose Aliens universe comics! 4 new titles to choose from. When will they release or have they already?

MikeRichardson2 karma

Thanks much for the kind words. Look for them later this summer. The event begins with Prometheus, moves to Aliens, and AVP.

GraygoryGruesome3 karma

How do you feel about your characters and properties in non-for-profit shirt films being made by the fans?

Also, keep on keeping on with your awesome books!! Thanks for so many great reads over the years!!

MikeRichardson5 karma

I assume you mean the "un-authorized" shirts I see at conventions? I don't care much if a fan has a home-made shirt featuring one of our characters or even if an artist sells a piece featuring our characters. We do have a problem if someone starts producing items on a large scale. I hope I'm answering your question.

ComebackShane1 karma

non-for-profit shirt films

I think that was actually a typo, and they meant 'short films'. How do you feel about those kinds of fan film works, if they're not trying to make money on them?

MikeRichardson5 karma

Thanks, I wasn't quite sure what he meant but it makes sense.

The answer is: I love 'em if they're good, and the tech available has allowed some would be film-makers to create some pretty amazing shorts.

Habbufet2 karma

When you still had the Star Wars license, and of course still possessed the rights to the Alien-Predator franchises how come no Star Wars vs Alien-Predator crossovers ever came about?

MikeRichardson2 karma

Neither company was interested in seeing their properties combined with the other. It would have been an interesting project since those films have such different tones.

annie_902 karma

Do you think there will be more the last of us comics?

MikeRichardson5 karma

Yes. We love the property.

bmburton122 karma

What's your favorite current Dark Horse series?

MikeRichardson6 karma

Hellboy would probably be my favorite current series, but there are a number of others. Resident Alien, Veil, Brain Boy are all very strong. So many others. I like our books.

GuardiansComic2 karma

Hello sir. My name is Todd, I actually write my own comic called Guardians. I would love to write for Dark Horse, whether it be through Guardians somehow coming under your banner (understand if that's not possible) or writing one of your numerous properties.

By any chance, could I show you my work and possibly strike up a conversation with you about possibly working at Dark Horse?

MikeRichardson6 karma

Please send it to Dark Horse, Attention Mike Richardson and I'll take a look.

GuardiansComic1 karma

Thank you sir! It is an honor. I have a paperback version of the first four issues of my comic I'll send to you. I'll also send a business card with it as well so you can contact me if you wish afterwards. I thank you for this opportunity. It'll be in the mail tomorrow!

MikeRichardson3 karma

I'll look forward to it and give you my honest opinion.

potentialcomics1 karma

Does this offer extend to anyone? Because I have submitted to Dark Horse before and was coincidentally just preparing another pitch package today- would love to get that extra leg up by sending it straight to you. Thanks a lot!

MikeRichardson8 karma


I once promised in a promotion calling for submissions that I would personally look at and respond to every submission. It took me over a year to go through all of the projects I receive. If you want to send directly to me, I guarantee I will end up looking at it and responding. I won't guarantee how timely that response will be.

Habbufet2 karma

Considering the upcoming releases of the new Alien-Predator comics, some of the writers have opted not to treat the AvP films as canon for their story, but what is Fox's stance on the AvP movies? Are they a canonical side-story or alternate universe in regards to the newer films (PREDATORS and Prometheus) and new comics as far as Fox is concerned?

MikeRichardson2 karma

We pretty much built the continuity for the AVP (which we created) and Predator franchises (the second film was based on our first series . . . a fact complicated when we had to license the film, making it the first comic based on the film that was based on the comic). We are looking mostly toward Prometheus and Alien continuity for our series. Where the other films fit, if at all, will depend on whether they fit in easily and if there is an advantage to including them. We've worked with Fox for many years and they are very supportive of our efforts. Current story lines are consistent with both the studio and the filmmakers.

Ootman2 karma

How does it feel to be the founder of the best comic company in the industry?

What does a typical day of work look like for you?

Can you explain what is done to translate foreign comics and take them under your wing such as Lone Wolf and Cub?

Can we ever expect a fully illustrated comic from Travis Charest?

I prefer Dark horse comics over all others, you have the best talent, titles, creativity, and a bunch of other dictionary words...so thank you very very much for inspiring imagination!

MikeRichardson9 karma

Well, it feels great.

I call it thriving on chaos.

I spent years searching for the comics I liked coming from Japan. I was a big fan of Japanese pop culture. I was lucky enough to become friends with Kuzuo Koike and as a result was able to bring Lone Wolf and Cub to America properly.

A good translator is a key to the process. I'll tell you a secret. When Dark Horse was barely a year old, I secured the rights to the latest Japanese Godzilla book. The company at the time was basically Randy Stradley and myself. We did not know where to go to find a translator, so we divided the book into six issues and I took issues 1,3, and 5 home while Randy took issues 2,4,and 6. We "made-up" our translations by looking at the panels. That is how we "adapted" the book. Surprisingly enough, we were pretty close to the actual translation.

And thanks for the nice words.

Ootman1 karma

Wow!!! No idea I would get told a secret about a Godzilla interpretive translation! I shall seal up my lips and give no words but mum! Thank you for the reply and have a great summer!

MikeRichardson1 karma

Great. Glad to share.

Mikepinkerton2 karma

How do you feel that the superhero movie boom is affecting the sales and notability of comics?

I know that Dark Horse has more creator-owned characters, how does that affect film rights?

Also, has Dark Horse ever considered creating more adaptations of its properties? And would you ever consider creating a studio similar to Marvel Studios, where every work is part of a collective universe?

I'm a comic book fan who does film and would love to know these questions and one day adapt a comic for the big or small screen.

MikeRichardson4 karma

Well, it might surprise you but Dark Horse has its own film division. We've produced over two dozen films and television series over the last two decades, projects such as The Mask, TimeCop, Mystery Men, Hellboy, etc. We currently have several projects nearing green-light status.

As far as a collective universe, see our Project Black Sky line. Some of those characters are currently being discussed as films and television series.

Mikepinkerton1 karma

Thanks for the answer! Are you guys ever looking for people to make sure the core of a character is properly shown in scripts? If so I'd love to work or intern for you guys.

MikeRichardson2 karma

Yes but on staff already.

FortBalsac2 karma

When will the oversized hardcover omnibus versions of berserk be released?

MikeRichardson2 karma

Keep watching.

Habbufet2 karma

Does Amanda Ripley from Alien: Isolation have anything to do with the new Alien comics that are to be releasing soon?

MikeRichardson2 karma

We've referred to the film cannon for our upcoming Aliens continuity. As a result, all of the information related to the characters exists in our upcoming event. As a result, every film character is somehow connected to our stories. You'll have to read the series to see who and how. That's the fun of reading the comics, right?

DaddyDaz1 karma

Since Lone Wolf and Cub, and Samurai Executioner are both being reprinted as an Omnibus, should we expect Path of the Assassin to get the same treatment sometime soon?

Really looking forward to New Lone Wolf and Cub in June. I can't express how happy I am that DH publishes these titles!

MikeRichardson3 karma

I'm really happy we publish them myself. I chased the license for almost ten years before finally meeting Kuzuo Koike. I think I can safely predict that you will see Path of the Assassin in the Omnibus format.

WuTiger1 karma

Comics industry heroes: any favorite first time meet and greets? I sorta remember reading a forward where Schultz was talking about meeting Frank Miller, then talking the day away about ideas (can't find that damn book right now though).

And, is there a moment that stands out that you were just incredibly proud of the company? An event, achievement, or maybe a behind the scenes thing of making a particular printing deadline where everyone gave 110%?

MikeRichardson4 karma

I met Frank through Geof Darrow. Geof told us about a book he was doing with Frank when we were maybe two or three years old. I asked Geof to let us have a chance at the book and he agreed to discuss with Frank. Many months later, Geof called and said Frank would meet with us at a specific restaurant at a specific time. We (Randy Stradley and I) hopped a plane and met with Frank at the proper place and time. He pulled out a pad and paper to take notes. I laid out a four or five page document itemizing every cost related to a comic and told him to tell me how much we could make.He looked surprised (had never received a P&L from previous publishers), picked up the document and put the pen and paper back into his pocket. The while meeting lasted not more than 15 minutes. He told me to meet him at the same time and place the following day. We did, and he gave us Hard Boiled with Geof alone with Give Me Liberty with Dave Gibbons. I learned later that he called Dave Gibbons that night and told him he's met a publisher who gave him ". . . the keys to the kingdom." He also insisted that I NOT give him so much of the profit, that our deal had to be fair to both of us. We've been working together now for more than 20 years.

AvariceOrange1 karma

I want to break into comics. I've been writing comics for a bit, but recently decided to take it very seriously. I started a blog call Five By Five Comics where I force myself to write 5 pages of a self contained comic a day. Eventually I want to get these made by artists, but what should I do then? Should I collect them into a short novel and pass that out? How do I break in with no comic work under my belt?

MikeRichardson3 karma

There are aspiring artists out there looking to team up with writers. You can try posting notices at colleges, joining blogs on-line, networking at conventions such as the San Diego Con, etc.. The artists are out there, get out there and do the work.

RothCourtmaster1 karma

What percentage of the submissions that come in would you say wind up getting published?

MikeRichardson1 karma

Very small percentage because of the overwhelming volume.

b34t1 karma

Is there any option for Dark Horse to crowd-source publication of final volumes of manga series that were stalled/cancelled because of low sales at the time? I am thinking Cannon God Exxaxion, Satsuma Gishiden, Eden.

MikeRichardson2 karma

We've thought about it. Hesitate because it seems odd for Dark Horse to ask fans for their hard earned bucks.

Kayaksamir1 karma

Love your comics! Have you ever kayaked or canoed?

MikeRichardson1 karma

Yes, but not for about six or seven years. I grew up rafting down the Clackamas river day after summer day. Much sun burn. Great memories.

Kayaksamir1 karma

Awsome ! Thanks for the reply, have you ever thought of creating "kayak man"?

MikeRichardson1 karma

No, but I'd be open if someone had a great take.

d4ngerous1 karma

Hi Mr. Richardson! Been a long time reader of Dark Horse (especially Hellboy and The Goon) and I am absolutely loving the Project Black Sky line. After the phenomenal FCBD issue can we start expecting more team ups between the characters in this line?

MikeRichardson2 karma

Yes. And we have many surprises in store. We've been building this slowly and carefully. You can expect new books and a growing connection between those books with the Black Sky Project logo.

h3yf3ll51 karma

have you ever photocopied your genitals and then faxed them to comic book shops around the country?

MikeRichardson8 karma

Have you? Do you have needs that way?

h3yf3ll5-2 karma

i'll take that as a yes.

MikeRichardson7 karma

Take it however you want. Also, take yourself to a doctor. He can help.

h3yf3ll5-4 karma

it's true, no one would ever trust a female doctor.

MikeRichardson5 karma

Speaking generally. Please enjoy your life and find the doctor of your choice. Either sex will offer help.

h3yf3ll5-2 karma

so what you're saying is you would be fine with a female pilot?

MikeRichardson5 karma

If she knew how to fly.

tamammothchuk1 karma

What pops into your head as the most standout panel or page in all of DH's comics to date?

MikeRichardson3 karma

Yikes . . .too many to even pick. Single panels? It would have to be a panel/page by Geof Darrow.


I'd love to see more Nintendo books --- the Zelda stuff was amazing! Any plans for other characters like Mega Man or Mario?

MikeRichardson3 karma

Hmmm . . .

judomonkeykyle1 karma

What has been your favorite Comic Book to Film adaptation?

MikeRichardson6 karma

Well, I'm going to have to be self-serving and say The Mask. After that is DC's A History of Violence. The first Christopher Reeve Superman film. Brian Singer's first X-Men.

All very good.


Yeas ago, you published a a Legend line with Art Adams, Frank Miller, John Byrne, Mike Mignola and more. Who are some of today's modern legends and is it possible you could bring them together to visit the line for its 20th anniversary this year?

MikeRichardson3 karma

Anything is possible, but all of the people you mention are in very different places in their lives than they were 20 years ago (which BTW, feels like about two months ago to me). A reunion is highly unlikely. If I were you, I'd just take a look at their current work and grab some of the work from those good-old Legend days. What great comics they've created.

Siahsargus1 karma

What's your favorite Dark Horse ongoing at the moment?

MikeRichardson1 karma

Answered here elsewhere a few minutes ago.

down42roads1 karma

On a similar note to a question you answered earlier, what was the one thing (film, comic, novel, character, whatever) that you look back and go "Damn. I helped make that"

MikeRichardson2 karma

I've been involved in so many things that is a hard question to answer. The first issue of Dark Horse Presents was exciting . . .our very own comic book. My idea was to create a title that I could actually create stories of my own. Look what happened. Currently I just finished a project with artist Bruce Zick that we've been working on for about 5 years. I was so happy to finally hold copies in my hand.

Ginosion1 karma

I recently had my first comic released through comixology. What would think would be the best way to get potential buyers and maybe catch the attention of a big time comic book company? I'm really concerned if it doesn't do well I may not be able to produce the rest of the series.

MikeRichardson2 karma

We'd be happy to look at your strip. We are publishing others in your situation. I'd assume that you'd be paid an advance, so that would help you complete your series.

Desaad19861 karma

Thanks for doing this!

In regards to submissions, assuming we're coming as a complete creative team (or at the very least writer/penciler/inker), do the guidelines change? Do you still want a full script, or will 5-10 (sequential) pages do?

Ditto for Dark Horse Presents -- Assuming we've got all the pages penciled, inked and lettered, would you still want the script? For that matter, is a proposal necessary/helpful?

Thanks for your time!

MikeRichardson2 karma

If you have a completed story, by all means submit as is. If you have a section of a book or story completed with the correct creative team, send it with a brief outline.

Habbufet1 karma

A lot of fans of the Alien-Predator franchises feel that the overall Expanded Universe (Video Games included) continuity is discombobulated. Some even say there are alternate timelines or universes, others say just different continuities and liken it a Choose Your Adventure Book.

How would you describe continuity as far as Alien-Predator goes, especially how some stories go off in different directions than others?

MikeRichardson1 karma

I can only answer this way:

We've gone to great lengths to preserve our own continuity. We've even gone back and re-edited books when the film continuity did not match ours. It's our belief that fans of the books want them to be extensions of the existing films, so . . .

We're basically starting over with these new books. being careful to keep continuity in line with the Alien, Aliens, and Prometheus films. We can't control what others do.

StormyJMaster1 karma

Dark Horse is probably your favorite company, but if you had to choose one company, would it be Marvel or DC?

Also, you are awesome, and thank you for all the great comics.

MikeRichardson2 karma

So many great moments from both companies, too hard to pick. I grew up as the silver age of DC was blooming and at the same time Marvel comics began. What a great time that was for a kid who loved comics. We.re trying to capture some of that with our PBS books.

Boo_X1 karma

What was the comic book/artist that got you into comic books? Do you owe that to someone? How did it become such a passion that it became your career? Thanks so much for the AMA! And all the work you do, obviously.

MikeRichardson4 karma

My mom use to bring comics him and I was crazy to know what those words said inside those books. As a result, I could read when I began the first grade. I was once asked how I felt about school and I answered that I was generally bored. I was then asked when the boredom began. I said probably the second day of the first grade . . . I read Fun With Dick and Jane while it was being passed out and then had to wait for everyone else to catch up.

I enjoyed certain artists before I knew who they were . . . the "Good Duck Artist" - Carl Barks, Steve Ditko, and of course, Jack Kirby. Hal Foster was my all time favorite from the comic strips and I discovered Alex Raymond later on in the Nostalgia Press editions. I actually quit comics late in high school and it was Barry Smith's work that brought me back in.

I've always loved comics. Majored in art as a result. worked as a commercial artist. Always planned to start my own business, so a comic shop was a natural. It led to publishing and everything that came later. I've always tried too take a very personal approach to the creators we work with and felt invested in their wok. Works for most. I love to publish the stories of others as well as tell my own.

Thanks for the nice words.

Boo_X2 karma

Wow, thanks so much for the reply! I've noticed that you seem to be taking the time to give a thorough reply to everyone posting here, it shows major fan appreciation. Thanks again!

MikeRichardson3 karma

Happy to do it.

WuTiger1 karma

BWS was a beast with all of his work! Some of my favorite books were drawn by him.

MikeRichardson2 karma

He was a huge influence on my art career and my revived interest in comics at a crucial time.

NorbitGorbit1 karma

how do you get in touch with the artists/writers as far as signings?

MikeRichardson3 karma

If you'd like a signing, just contact us and we will help set it up.

JasperAvenue1 karma

Any chance we could see some digital files optimized for HD/Retina screens on the digital store? Some stuff just looks a little blurry on higher end screens.

MikeRichardson2 karma

We're trying to upgrade all the time. A new version on the way.

Habbufet1 karma

Dark Horse has done crossovers with DC, but how come no crossovers with Marvel were ever done?

MikeRichardson4 karma

Quite honestly they had no interest in working with us. Paul Levitz, who is a friend, felt differently and we actually had an ongoing program with DC.

NYstate1 karma

First of all, thank you for Dark Horse comics. Publishers like you made me stick with comics in the mid to late 90's.

I'm sure that you get asked this a lot but advice to breaking in comics.

And what do you think about web comics?

Thanks for your time.

MikeRichardson2 karma

The best advice I can give you is to be persistent. Competition is fierce, so you have to be resolved and not discouraged easily. If you are good, someone is going to notice. For those who have problems with traditional comics publishers, I suggest setting up your own website. We've published many series we've discovered on-line. And I guess that answers your question about web comics . . . I love 'em (if they're good).

potentialcomics1 karma

Does Darkhorse do any portfolio reviews at conventions? Particularly on the east coast? I would love to get to talk to someone from the company at Philadelphia, Boston, or Baltimore Comic con. And in a portfolio review do you prefer to see Dark Horse material (Like the Ghost in Deadly Game sample script from the site- which I have done) or is creator owned stuff okay? Thanks! -Andrew

MikeRichardson2 karma

We do set up portfolio reviews at some conventions. You can also set up interviews with particular editors at the same cons. In the end, you can drop off a pitch or submission off at the booth. They generally find their way to me if they show any potential. I can't promise everyone a reply, but if you are good, odds are we'll get back to you.

watwait1 karma

Just wanted to say that some of my first books were Darkhorse. A lot of those Star Wars novel adaptations are better than the new movies. I'm a bit sad you guys have lost the rights.

MikeRichardson1 karma

I have to say, we are too. We've put many hours into making those books great and fitting for George's great Star Wars Universe.

Keep watching though, we may have some surprises.

ZlavojSizek1 karma

Have you ventured to a Greggs store in England before?

MikeRichardson1 karma

I've been to England many times and not sure. For six years there was even a Dark Horse UK that I'm sure long time fans will remember.

lockking881 karma

What do you think the hardest job is for a comic writer in the industry?

MikeRichardson1 karma


lockking881 karma

Indeed, sir. Indeed.

MikeRichardson1 karma

I speak from experience.

ben56470 karma

Who was your favorite character on Firefly? By the way, I was irritated when the show was cancelled! :(

MikeRichardson1 karma

I think we were all upset when it was cancelled. It really didn't get the chance it deserved.

Rainnwillson0 karma

Have you ever gone horseback riding on a dark haired horse?

MikeRichardson2 karma

Yes, many times. My wife was almost killed by one in Mexico. I don't ride them anymore.