Dark Horse, Kitchen Sink And The Comics Industry

I remember being fascinated with the Comics Journal's reports on the comics publisher Kitchen Sink buying fellow publisher Tundra. Or was it Tundra buying Kitchen Sink? The Journal was keen to point out how unclear it was, and how the official PR on the matter was blatantly not to be trusted.

And there, right in that moment, Bleeding Cool was born in my head.

250px-ComixBook01Now Kitchen Sink is to be revived as a new imprint from Dark Horse Comics. ICV2 reports;

Kitchen Sink Books, the newly formed company of famed cartoonist, editor, and publisher Denis Kitchen and book designer/editor John Lind, will become a new imprint at Dark Horse Comics as a joint venture of the companies.  The new imprint will release four to six large-format art books, archival reprints, and original graphic novels a year.

The first Kitchen Sink Books release will be The Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Went Underground!, collecting the long-out-of-print material from the Marvel magazine edited by Kitchen and Stan Lee from 1974 to 1976.  Creators in the collection, which will be released in November, include Joel Beck, Kim Deitch, Justin Green, Harvey Pekar, Trina Robbins, Art Spiegelman, Skip Williamson, and S. Clay Wilson.

Stan Lee will provide an introduction, Kitchen a foreword, and James Vance (Kings in Disguise) an essay.  The Best of Comix Book will also include previously unpublished artwork, photographs, and correspondence from Kitchen's archives.

There's a lot of to-ing and fro-ing right now in the comics industry. Boom has bought Archaia. And I've heard from a venture capitalist that they were handed paperwork a short while ago looking for people to buy Dark Horse Comics.

Dark Horse is the biggest comics publisher owned by one person, Mike Richardson. I asked him about the possibilities of a sale and he told me "Regarding Dark Horse, nothing that hasn't gone on for years. People regularly ask me if I want to sell. I say how much. No one has ever come close to what it would take, I like what I do and I make good money. We are having an astonishing year and I want to build us up into a real competitor to Marvel and DC."

Which is probably as clear as I'm going to get for now. But with DC and Marvel snapped up, Dark Horse does seem to be in prime position as far as movie-game-comic IP vultures should be concerned. But the price has to be right…

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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