200904211335Hm, whatever happened to Platinum and their 5000 comic book properties? It’s been a while since we checked in, but luckily, Van Jensen has just taken a look at Platinum Studios’ year end report — available free right here — and the picture is…not good. Right off the bat, the company is $20 million in debt, but the problems go on and on. For instance, the company has had a hard time paying their rent:

Our offices … consist of approximately 12,400 square feet. We entered into a five year lease for our offices which requires payments of $31,857 per month or minimum annual payments of $127,429 in 2006, $387,383 in 2007, $402,878 in 2008, $418,993 in 2009, $435,753 in 2010 and $298,147 in 2011. Our lease expires on August 31, 2011. We are currently in arrears in our rent but the landlord has been willing in the past to work with the Company to enter into a payment plan that allows the Company to bring payments up to date while remaining in our space; however there can be no guarantee that the landlord will continue to allow the Company to work out a payment plan.

But there is good news!

On Feb. 26, 2009 the Company and Hyde Park Entertainment commenced production on “DEAD OF NIGHT”. This film is based on the best-selling Italian comic book series, ‘Dylan Dog’, created by Tiziano Sclavi and published by Italy’s Sergio Bonelli Editore. The comic book series has sold more than 56 million units worldwide and has been translated into 17 languages since its debut in 1986. Principal photography is taking place in New Orleans, Louisiana.

DYLAN DOG — a long-running European comics hit and just published in a sweet omnibus edition here by Dark Horse — that sounds good. But in a long list of lawsuits, one also finds this:

Harrison Kordestani v. Platinum. Harrison Kordestani was a principal of Arclight Films, with whom the Company had entered into a film slate agreement. One of the properties that had been subject to the slate agreement was “Dead of Night.” Arclight fired Mr. Kordestani and subsequently released Dead of Night from the slate agreement. In late January 2009, Mr. Krodestani had an attorney contact the Company as well as its new partners who were on the verge of closing the financing for the “Dead of Night.” Mr. Kordestani, through his counsel, claimed he was entitled to reimbursement for certain monies invested in the film while it had been subject to the Arclight slate agreement. Mr. Krodestani’s cliam was wholly without merit and an attempt to force an unwarranted settlement because he knew we were about to close a deal. We responded immediately through outside counsel and asserted that he was engaging in extortion and the company would pursue him vigorously if he continued to try and interfere with our deal. The company has not heard anything further from Mr. Kordestani but will vigorously defend any suit that Mr. Kordestani attempts to bring.

There are also lawsuits with their printer, Transcontinental, online ad service DoubleClick, and and several former employees.

Seriously, if you have some free time this afternoon, and a hot or cold beverage, depending on where you live, you will enjoy this trip down Platinum Lane.

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  1. This sounds from the start as a bad business plan with the leasing of space. With the way high occupancy is going across North America. I am surprised they cannot get a rent break. Transcontinental is just a hop and skip from my place as is Quebecor. Printers are getting hit pretty big up here in Canada. The printing industry is in big trouble. AbitibiBowater is a big newsprint maker, they are under protection in both Canada and the US. It’s going to get uglier. They are getting delisted from both stock exchanges. Everybody is passing the losses to the other guy, now a company like AbitibiBowater is 6 billion dollars in the hole.

  2. Crazy…
    Come to think of it, that kind of debt eclipses even Kevin Eastman’s losses with Tundra, and that’s saying a lot.

  3. I hope when all of this is settled, and Platinum either lives or dies, something we’ll see is a number of projects revert back to the people who originally created them. I’ve got at least three completed properties with Platinum that have never come out, that you can’t even find if you do a search on their website. I’m under no illusion that acquiring a property automatically guarantees publishing said property, but the work that went into those projects was real and the ideas were good and sound. I’d like them back, please, so that they might actually see the light of day.

  4. Isn’t high over head rent something a company works up to rather than starts with? This put it at a huge disadvantage from the start. $20 million in debt is not something you recover from unless you’re a large company. Steve Geppi recently lost a court judgement for $16 million on a debt he’d defaulted on, and Steve Geppi has much greater resources at his disposal than Platinum Comics does. $30 thousand a month in rent is starting with an anvil around your neck. Maybe they thought they needed that kind of office space to be taken seriously but there are nice neighborhoods which are zones business/residential where you could rent a couple houses for about a third of that a month total. They’re selling comics, not what their corporate headquarters looks like.