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Layoffs & Resignations Reported At Valiant, Future Uncertain

There is significant concern within the comic book industry tonight over the status of New York-based comic book publisher Valiant Entertainment. In recent weeks there has been concern expressed regarding the timeliness of payments to freelance comic book creators, but that is sadly not a unique issue among some comic book publishers. Tonight, however, Bleeding Cool has been hearing of major editorial layoffs and resignations in the face of those layoffs across the country.

The logo of Valiant Entertainment
The logo of Valiant Entertainment

Valiant Entertainment Publisher Fred Pierce's Facebook status reads "worked at Valiant". He worked at Valiant as Director/V.P. Manufacturing and Operations from 1990 to 1994, was COO and President at Wizard Entertainment from 1994 to 2008, and Valiant Publisher from 2011 to the present.

Valiant Entertainment Senior Editor Lysa Hawkins, who joined Valiant in 2018 after working at both Marvel and DC, and was promoted in 2020, has updated her Facebook status to read "Former Senior Editor at Valiant".

Valiant Sales Communication Coordinator Cody White who only joined in April this year has updated his status to read "Former Sales Communication Coordinator"

These are the only current employees we can find who have updated their public employment status. As it stands, no one is responding to enquiries publicly. and while we haven't been able to speak to everyone, Bleeding Cool has, as of yet, been unable to identify anyone at Valiant who has not been laid off or not resigned. Valiant Entertainment as a publisher has also not returned e-mails sent earlier today, but we are not sure who would be left behind to do so.

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

If anyone is able to speak further about the current situation at Valiant with authority, please get in contact. Nothing you tell me will be used without your explicit permission, and I never reveal a source.

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Rich JohnstonAbout 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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