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.”


  1. Dave, Shawna, Tim, and Max were each great people to work with during my time at the Horse. This news is upsetting … at the same time, I have no doubts that they’ll be on to new and rewarding things in short order.

  2. Dark Horse may be the most responsible for turning me into a comic book maniac. Dark Horse Presents was such a great showcase of the potential for comics. Concrete, Sin City, Hellboy, Groo, and on and on… Hope this is just an adjustment and not a sign of things to come. Best of luck to those effected.

  3. Sad news and unfortunate for those affected. These are talented editors deserving of better opportunities. The Shady Pony’s problems stem from poor management decisions, from HR to financial to licensing to sales.

  4. Yes. Thank god Max Sato is so handsome!

    (PS – Anyone want to hire a Senior Editor with 15 years experience, hundreds of titles under his belt, and the creative genius to put not only werewolves but also VAMPIRES on the MOON? If so hit me up on Facebook! facebook.com/daveland)

  5. Our economy may be ruined, and we still have high unemployment, but look at the bright side. The investment bankers still have all our money! Yea!

  6. Heide, I’m glad you used the term “laid off” and not the euphamism “redundancy notice”.

    Since I’ve experienced my own “redundancy notice” I’m a little touchy about the term.

    And I feel it trivializes what they are going through.


  7. Dark Horse hasn’t had an original idea in 20 years. The company has been circling the drain and relying on rehashed properties. Sad to see the editors go when it’s the higher-ups who should be axed.

  8. Sean M- funny to read your comment after I just read Dark Horse’s spectacular new book, Outlaw Prince, last night. I was blown away and it lead me to thinking about how Dark Horse always seems to impress.

  9. @Ed Catto – Isn’t Outlaw Prince based on an Edgar Rice Burroughs story? Even if well executed, the book only serves to support Sean M.’s point.

  10. Dark Horse has been one of the best publishers for the last 20 years! This is terrible news. I’m also dissappointed that the Gold Key revivals are considered a pain point. I’ve really enjoyed the Doctor Solar revisions, especially….

  11. I was fortunate to work with Shawna, Tim, and Dave at Dark Horse when I was in Editorial a decade ago. All three are excellent, professional, and passionate editors who would be an asset to any publisher. Here’s hoping they land on their feet.

  12. So sorry to hear this. Shawna is one of the nicest most pleasant people I’ve had the opportunity to work with, first when she came onboard to help edit KISS and then when I worked briefly on Emily The Strange.

    She balanced the best qualities of an editor…there to provide an ear and a helping hand when needed, while also giving space and trust to allow talent to get their work in on time.

    I wish her nothing but the best and know she’ll make a great addition to whomever hires her next!