Diamond Book Distributors and Dark Horse Comics have reached an agreement naming Diamond as the exclusive distributor of the publisher's graphic novels to the bookstore, book wholesaler, library, warehouse club, and mass merchandise markets.
Founded in 1986 by President Mike Richardson, Dark Horse has been a proponent of innovation and excellence in the comics medium from its inception. With a stable of some of comic's most acclaimed talents, and a pioneering devotion to the highest production values possible, Dark Horse quickly became one of the industry's leading publishers, an elite grouping in which it remains. Creators who have brought their unique voices to the company include Frank Miller (Sin City), Mike Mignola (Hellboy), Sergio Aragonés (Groo), Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo), Paul Chadwick (Concrete), Neil Gaiman(Murder Mysteries), and many others, who together have netted 68 Eisner Awards and 28 Harvey Awards for their work at Dark Horse.
Building on its initial successes, Dark Horse moved into the world of licensed comics, thrilling readers with all-new adventures from the worlds of Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Predator, Terminator, Planet of the Apes, and others. (Newly signed licenses include Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis.) Moreover, the publisher's sister company, Dark Horse Entertainment, has been instrumental in brokering or producing film and television adaptations of a number of comics properties, including The Mask, Mystery Men, The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, TimeCop, Barb Wire, and Virus, with Hellboy coming to theaters in 2004 courtesy of director Guillermo del Toro (Blade II: Bloodlust).
More recently, Dark Horse has played a key role in expanding the ever-growing popularity of Eastern manga with Western audiences. In addition to its critically acclaimed releases of such classics as Lone Wolf and Cub, Astro Boy, and Akira, other top-rated Dark Horse manga offerings include Oh My Goddess, Blade of the Immortal, Masumane Shirow's Intron Depot, and many more. In addition, Dark Horse will be building on the success of its Ghost in the Shell manga series with Ghost in the Shell II: Machine-Man Interface beginning in October 2002.
After nearly two decades, Dark Horse is poised to continue bringing the best in comics entertainment to readers in the 21st century. One of the first publishers to offer graphic novels to the bookstore and other mainstream markets, Dark Horse has expanded its line to include apparel, novelties, statues, toys, and more. Boasting a backlist of nearly 1,500 products, Dark Horse has over 400 graphic novels and trade paperbacks available for order.
"For nearly two decades, Mike Richardson and Dark Horse Comics have been important factors in the ongoing success and growth of the comics art form," said Diamond President and CEO Steve Geppi. "With award-winning creators from the East and the West, renowned licensed properties, and more, it's no surprise that Dark Horse continues to be an industry leader."
"After carefully analyzing some great offers, including those from other book market distributors, it became quite clear that Diamond has made the commitment necessary to expand the sales and distribution of our graphic novels to the book and mass markets. We eagerly anticipate working with them to grow this segment of our business, " commented Dark Horse Executive Vice President, Neil Hankerson.
Diamond's Sales Team will begin working with bookstores, book wholesalers, warehouse clubs, mass merchandisers, and libraries to increase the placements of Dark Horse's graphic novels across the country. "Countless readers have already discovered the joys of sequential art through Dark Horse's many quality offerings," Geppi added, "and we look forward to helping the publisher in making its titles as popular in mainstream bookstore outlets as they've always been with specialty market retailers and consumers."