Back in October 2017, it was announced that Lion Forge had acquired (whatever that means) comic industry veteran Heidi MacDonald's comics news and reviews blog, Comics Beat or The Beat. It was announced that Heidi would remain Editor-in-Chief, while Lion Forge owner David Steward II would become publisher, and the site would fall under the newly formed sister company to Lion Forge, Syndicated Comics.
Since then, publisher rearrangement saw the Comics Beat fall under the newly arranged company, Polarity, alongside Lion Forge, another publisher they acquired/merged with, Oni Press and, more recently Magnetic Press, which had split from Lion Forge and is now its own independent imprint.
However, Bleeding Cool has been told in recent days from multiple sources that Polarity would not be working with Comics Beat any more. After contacting Polarity last night, they issued the following press release to Bleeding Cool, which we reproduce in full below. We agreed to wait until this morning before running anything so that all employees could be told.
THE BEAT RETURNS TO INDEPENDENCE IN 2020
Comics Media Stalwart Emboldened Following Strategic Two Year Partnership Between Polarity CEO David Steward II
and Founder Heidi MacDonald
ST. LOUIS, MO—In 2017, Polarity founder David Steward II acquired the original comic book blog turned influential voice in pop culture. The Beat. Following a limited partnership to provide additional resources and infrastructure, The Beat returns to its original independence under founder Heidi MacDonald in the new year.
"I'm incredibly grateful to Dave Steward and the Polarity team for their partnership these last two years" says The Beat founder Heidi MacDonald. "With this participation, The Beat was able to reach new heights and expand to cover the incredible diversity of the comics medium and the culture it inspires. Now I'm incredibly excited to take The Beat back and build on what we accomplished to become even more essential to readers and the industry."
"Our partnership with Heidi and The Beat was intended to empower the site to reach new heights and grow the audience for inclusive comics coverage" says Polarity's David Steward II. "Over these past few years, we have worked together to ensure she succeeded in that goal, and furthering cementing the site's reputation as THE authoritative voice of our industry, presenting insider knowledge in a format that is welcoming to a broad audience. We wish Heidi continued success and prominence in the years to come."
The Beat continues operations as normal under the vision of Heidi MacDonald, with daily coverage of the comic book and entertainment industry as a whole.
Heidi MacDonald is an award-winning editor and journalist who has been covering the comics industry for more than 20 years. As an editor at Disney and DC Comics, she edited such titles as The Lion King, Scooby Doo, Swamp Thing,and Y: The Last Man. She has spoken about comics and their culture around the world and cohosts Publishers Weekly's graphic novel podcast More to Come.
Established in 2004, The Beat has been covering the world of comics, graphic novels, comic cons, and pop culture daily to an audience of both fans and industry influencers. It is a two-time nominee for the Will Eisner Award in the Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism category and the winner of the Shelf Dorf Award for Best Comics Blog. In 2017, The Beat was added to the Library of Congress's historical archives.