CBR is reporting a round of layoffs at Dark Horse including editors Shawna Gore and Dave Land and sales assistant Max Sato. The Beat has learned that Tim Ervin, and another editor at Dark Horse, were also let go.
Gore, Ervin and Land were experienced editors with such projects as DH’s Creepy, Harvey and Little Lulu reprints, in Gore’s case; much of the manga line, including LONE WOLF AND CUB in Ervin’s case; and RIPD and even more manga for Land. Land was also the writer of such books as WEREWOLVES ON THE MOON. Sato was a regular contributor on Dark Horse’s blog. It is believed there were other cuts in the sales department.
The cuts come as no surprise to industry watchers — in a time when lean and mean is the way to survive a harsh retail landscape, Dark Horse has a large workforce of over 100 employees — far less than Marvel or DC, but far more than other comics publishers.
The popular Gore remained upbeat on her Facebook page, writing:
I’m indeed still going to Stumptown. I’m even still moderating the Axe Cop panel AND doing the horror comics panel! The events of the day may suck, but my attitude remains set on “awesome.”
With that kind of attitude she’s certain to pop up somewhere else soon. The Beat wishes all those laid off the best.
UPDATE: Comics Alliance confirms that seven people were laid off and gets some insights from Aaron Colter who was himself recently
laid off fired from Dark Horse. The Borders situation definitely had an impact, he theorizes.
“Properties like the Jim Shooter Gold Key relaunch and Janet Evanovich’s Troublemaker are expensive to buy and even more expensive to produce, and both of those projects were known to be toxic [by employees] before publication,” said Colter. “The print-run of Troublemaker was insanely high, unwelcoming to established fans, and overpriced for most comics readers. Similarly, the Gold Key character relaunch was overreaching, over printed, and quite frankly worn-out.”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.