It appears the Non Disclosure Agreements are strong with Valiant Entertainment. Yesterday, Bleeding Cool reported on major issues concerning Valiant Comics, with multiple reports of layoffs and resignations at the publisher, and was unable to find anyone still working at there aside from freelance creators. Some employees posted that their employment status at Valiant as "Former", such as Lysa Hawkins and Cody White, but no one is willing to go further than that. We may have been too hasty with sending Valiant publisher Fred Pierce, the longest-standing Valiant employee of all, to the cornfield, purely based on his profile that states "worked at Valiant". While he too has not replied to Bleeding Cool enquiries, I am led to understand that he remains with the comic book publisher. So, that's one, then. Valiant is not over but it's going through a major transition. There are key people still in place and a plan to move forward. We just don't know who they are or what they are doing.
Former CEO Dinesh Shamdasani, who was forced out by the current owners was asked on Twitter, in response to this news, if he wanted to buy a comic book company on the cheap. Shamdasani replied "Been on it all week."
I don't know a Valiant reader who wouldn't welcome that. But Shamdasani has his own comic book company now, Bad Idea Comics. Might he be tempted to take Valiant under that wing, given the opportunity? Maybe he can just sell a few copies of his slabbed invisible comic book, Conceptual Funnies #1??
Concern from Valiant NFT buyers has also been prominent with the maintenance and promised delivery to the non-fungible token seemingly ignored. Currently Valiant's social media feeds are almost all crypto-customers asking about them, without reply.
Valiant Comics was founded in 1989 by former Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Jim Shooter and lawyer and businessman Steven Massarsky publishing titles such as X-O Manowar, Harbinger, Solar Man Of The Atom, Bloodshot, Magnus Robot Fighter, Ninjak, Shadowman and Archer & Armstrong. In 1994, the company was sold to Acclaim Entertainment, publishing more titles such as Quantum & Woody and Bad Eggs. After Acclaim declared bankruptcy in 2004, the company was restarted by entrepreneurs Dinesh Shamdasani and Jason Kothari in 2005, reviving the Non-Gold Key titles and introducing new ones, like Faith, Divinity, Rapture, and Punk Mambo.
In 2015, Valiant announced that they had partnered with Sony Pictures to produce five films based on both the Bloodshot and Harbinger comic books, the first of which was released. In 2016, Chinese investment firm DMG announced a nine-figure investment in the company and its properties. DMG then exercised an option to buy Valiant out entirely, led by LA-based executive Dan Mintz. Most former Valiant executives were shown the door and set up their own new comic book publisher together, Bad Idea Comics, using a number of creators familiar to Valiant readers. The pandemic was hard on Valiant, and they were the first comic book publisher to tell creators to put down their pencils.
But last year they had emerged from shutdown, with a regular set of titles, albeit it fewer than before. The current Book of Shadows written by Cullen Bunn and the upcoming X-O Manowar drawn by Liam Sharp, were seen as positive moves, but it may have been too little too late. Valiant Entertainment also went more heavily into the NFT market than any other established comic book publisher, but there have been major concerns expressed on how they have followed through with that. Oh, and there were sneakers too…
Anyone who wished to contact Bleeding Cool regarding this ongoing issue, is welcome to.