What's Going On At Oni Press & Lion Forge Right Now?

Oni Press/Lion Forge has been hitting the headlines recently, with former owners James Lucas Jones and Charlie Chu pushed out by parent company Polarity, others departing voluntarily, and their newly reprinted Gender Queer: A Memoir graphic novel landing them, and its writer/artist Maia Kobabe, with obscenity criminal lawsuits in the state of Virginia. as well as Oni Press getting allegations of non-payment to comic book creators.

Bleeding Cool understands that Oni Press and Lion Forge employees were informed about the firing of James Lucas Jones and Charlie Chu last Tuesday – though the news took until Thursday night to reach me. Workers publisher and a new Editor-In-Chief – they haven't had one of those for a while, when Sarah Gaydos left, James Lucas Jones for a while, and Oni Press got rid of Senior Editor Robert Meyers earlier this year after joining in 2020– and that absence has shown as well.

Because it seems that, talking to staff, James Lucas Jones has been notably missing from the publisher for some time, and while Charlie Chu was a lot more present, Associate Publisher Michelle Nguyen has been credited with doing the lion's share of the publisher work over the last year, as well as managing the company, but that is a lot of work that would normally be shared by others. Gaps in publishing schedules, and projects remaining in limbo for years have squeezed Oni's production more, than paper issues and printing presses might have.

Lion Forge and Oni Press to Merge, Set Up in Portland

There's also a feeling that a number of Oni Press publications in recent years may just not have had the attention or publicity that they deserved. That Oni Press can't entirely rely on Virginian Republican politicians to launch criminal lawsuits of obscenity against their comic books to make the headlines. Though I guess one can say that the current crisis at Oni Press has certainly managed to get them those headlines.

The only comment that Oni Press has made to Bleeding Cool was "Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group, LLC, recently made personnel changes and will continue in its mission of publishing groundbreaking stories by the best creators in the industry, with a focus on diverse, inclusive, and unique stories.".

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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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