We’ve been following the curious saga of Platinum Studios for some time now, and now, just as MEN IN BLACK 3 is about to open, it seems the company has suffered a blow by being delisted from the SEC:

Platinum Studios, Inc’s common stock will be deleted from OTC Bulletin Board effective May 21, 2012 on account of failure to comply with rule NASD 6530. The company will be added to NBB.

NBB means that the stock may still be noted on pink sheets but not listed on stock markets.

As for Rule 6530, this has to do with filing:

Pursuant to NASD Rule 6530(e), any OTCBB issuer that is delinquent in its reporting obligations three times in a 24-month period and/or is actually removed from the OTCBB for failure to file two times in a 24-month period is ineligible for quotation on the OTCBB for a period of one year.

Platinum’s stock had been struggling early in the year, although a single press release was enough to boost it:

Thus after the long depreciation in which PDOS lost the largest part of its value within a year, now it looks like the trend may reverse. RSI is now pointing up and the MACD lines have crossed. Platinum Studious is most probably by far not in a good financial condition as the company has not provided any current data on its financial results and operations. The last report is more than two years old and according to its PDOS had in June 2009 current liabilities for more than $9.8 million, and another $11.4 million in long-term debt against total tangible assets of around $1 million.

Founded in the 90s, Platinum Studios has had one of the most curious tales of any comics publisher…including the fact that it never really published any comics, but instead spent years and years developing IP and buying all the rights to hundred of creations. Platinum was created when founder Scott MItchell Rosenberg was flying high after an obscure comic he published by Lowell Cunningham became the basis of the original smash hit film. In many ways the MiB model has become the holy grail of the comic-to-movies IP success story, proving that no matter how obscure the source material there is money to be made. The eventual publication of COWBOYS & ALIENS and the movie seemed to be a big boost to the company, but as we all know C&A was an underperformer. The Dylan Dog movie DEAD OF NIGHT was also a big bomb.

Meanwhile, those who want to dig into the Platinum message boards (only for the truly dogged) will find all kinds of red flags as to why they might not want to issue a filing for two years, and the possibility that founder Scott MItchell Rosenberg is creating a new shell company:

“I believe I said in my last message that my last post would be my last, but I decided to mail in some questions to give Mr. Ruteledge and Mr. Roseberg a last chance. I told them both that I was not posting these questions publicly and giving them a chance to answer them first. These were the questions I emailed in:

1 – RIP Media has received over $558,113 of payments from the company listed as “participation fees”. A quick google of RIP Media shows Scott Mitchell Rosenberg as the President and sole officer. Can you explain to us, the stockholders, these payments? Or the additional $347,500 currently carried on the books owed to RIP Media?

2 – Assignment & Collateral Holdings, LLC or ACH Holdings seems to be the majority stockholder these days, considering 1,005,426,136 warrants, previously given to Mr. Rosenberg as part of an extension of certain notes, seems to have been transferred to ACH. According to the last quarterly report, Mr. Rosenberg no longer has any financial interest in ACH. Strange, that, given that their Nevada Corp address is 2533 N. Carson Street in Carson City, NV. Mr. Ruteledge, PDOS’ new president, has his offices at 318 N. Carson Street in Carson City, NV. Strange coincidence that the offices of an unrelated party would be blocks down the street from our new President. Can you please explain the relationship between Mr. Rosenberg, Mr. Ruteledge, and ACH?

3 – The transfer of those warrants from Mr. Rosenberg to ACH has made it so that Mr. Rosenberg no longer controls 30% or more of PDOS. According to our last quarterly, this means that PDOS no longer has an exclusive option over the Awesome Comics library, a large portion of the Platinum Library. Does this mean the upcoming Youngblood, part of the Awesome library, movie will no longer be a Platinum production? DID Platinum just lose a large chunk of it’s library thanks to a little creative shuffling by the President and CEO?

All of these can be verified with a little googling and looking at the latest filings. None of these were addressed on the call, nor did I receive a private response, both of which I would have accepted as addressing shareholder questions.

Instead, and please anyone clarify this if I am misunderstanding it (I really hope I am), the call reported that they are creating ANOTHER corporate entity, transferring the IP to that company and then selling stock in THAT company in order to raise more funds? Please, someone, anyone, correct my understanding of that. My money would now seem to be sitting in a shell with millions of dollars in debt and nothing else.”

OKay we couldn’t resists. Digging around the Platinum message boards reveals many disgruntled shareholders, including one with the screenname PDOS4Life (PDOS is Platinum’s trading name symbol) who revealed he’d bought millions of shares at 6 cents. His (or her) final post is a bit sad:

Not going to be surprised anymore — when you invest in Penny Stocks, 9 times out of ten, you are gambling away money you don’t really need. So if you did something as stupid as I did, and rolled over your company 401(k) and then invested all of your hard-earned $100+K trying to get rich overnight — well then you deserve the fate I received. That $100+K is now less than $5K.

Lesson learned here is NOT TO INVEST money you cannot lose in penny stocks. Don’t care what people say. A nice target fund will do you better.

Good Luck

— don’t have a choice at this point!

P.S. Suffered thru some serious depression where I had bouts of not being able to breathe, irregular heart beats – all that stuff. Can say that I am back to normal now, just with a constant reminder that my 5 million shares of PDOS are just sitting there collecting dust. Luckily for me, my other company 401(k) is around $50K and I have it invested in a target fund. May have to work a few more years until I retire, but then again, I have my health back and a great family that supports me and has forgiven my stupid investing practices.

Many lessons to be learned there, including the the feasibility of the entire ethics of our stock market-fueled economy, and the fact that buying 5 million shares of a penny stock may not be the best thing to do with your retirement money.

As we said, ironically this news comes as MEN IN BLACK 3, the source of all Platinum’s major capital, intangible and otherwise, is opening. However, according to the header on their message board, they have a lot more movies in development…it only takes one. Maybe a resurrection is possible.


  1. Wow. This is just disturbing. So not only are they not filing but now they don’t have to file which means NONE of the investors will ever really know where their money is going (Scott’s pockets, his way to big office, to fix his car, his daughter’s sweet 16….)

    I have worked for this guy, several times, he’s a lunatic. The world’s biggest man-child. He appears nice enough but his childlike innocence is all an act. He ruins lives, he lies to anyone he needs to in order to continue to make HIS money and nothing else matters to him.

    Now as his wife divorces him, his company spirals into an abyss and his very moral are questioned….where is he?

    The Men in Black 3 premiere in NYC. Why? He has NOTHING to do with the franchise at this point. He’s a fame whore. He likes to talk about how well he knows everyone. Except he doesn’t actually KNOW these people because if he did he would know that NO ONE IN HOLLYWOOD LIKES or TRUSTS him. He is a monster in man clothes.

    And sure, some will say I’m a disgruntled former employee so my opinion doesn’t matter but I can tell you I’ve left many jobs in my life and never had a bad word to say about them. This guy is different. He’s fucking with people’s money. With their lives. He doesn’t give a shit and he makes moves, PURPOSEFULLY knowing that people will be hurt in the wake.

    Like I said though, none of it matters to him. HE’S secure. HE has MIB money. HE has his ass protected. So screw the artists, animators, employees and investors….right? RIGHT!?

  2. oog…
    $0.0005 a share. That’s 5/100th of a PENNY.

    Meanwhile, since we’re talking pinks here…
    Wizard World (WIZD.PK)
    $0.55 a share. Down 20 cents when 125 [sic] shares were traded today at Ten AM (after a long dormancy). They just filed a 10-Q for the first three months of 2012…

    “As reflected in the accompanying unaudited interim financial statements, the Company had a net loss and net cash used in operations for the three months ended March 31, 2012, and a working capital deficit and stockholders’ deficit, respectively, at March 31, 2012. These factors raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

    The annual report was filed on April 23.
    Net Loss:
    2011 $ (2,009,238 )
    2010 $ (1,628,190 )
    2009 $ (829,625 )

    Wizard makes money on the conventions, but operating expenses are massive.

  3. I’m going to try not to feel too happy about a story that is essentially bad news. But, damn, this terrible news couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch.

  4. The pink sheets are full of scam companies that promise big deals and, because they don’t have to file, fail to deliver. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a reverse split followed by some pump and dump action.

  5. I’m confused, wasn’t Men In Black published by Malibu, which was then brought by Marvel. The credits in the first movie even said “based on the Marvel Comic”, even though it was only based on a Marvel Comic because Marvel brought Malibu. (Peter David even joked that the only way Marvel could get a hit movie was to buy one, man how things have changed). Marvel even published some MIB books in the 90’s when the first movie came out. How did Platinum come to own the MIB property? And if they don’t own it what do they have to do with it? And does Marvel/Disney have any involvement in the property anymore?

  6. Nope. I was wrong. Just looked it up: BSBA

    Scott MItchell Rosenberg / Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

  7. You want to hear a real crying shame? Sandy Carruthers, the artist of the Men in Black comics got nothing outside his up front payment and a bit of royalties.

    I did an interview with him here: http://www.collectortimes.com/2006_02/Clubhouse.html

    While I don’t have exact dollar figures he likely made less money on Men in Black than Siegel and Shuster did on Superman, or even Bill Finger did on Batman.

    Remember folks, it doesn’t matter what year it is, 1938 or 1990.

  8. Wasn’t there a blog written by a former Rosenberg employee who told stories about an unnamed person who was clearly Scott Rosenberg? The one I liked was how on the set of Cowboys & Aliens the director asked Scott a question about the original graphic novel and Rosenberg had to admit he’d never read it, he just owned it.

  9. You want to hear a real crying shame? Sandy Carruthers, the artist of the Men in Black comics got nothing outside his up front payment and a bit of royalties.

    Having read the interview: I admire this guy’s attitude.

  10. Ah, this. It gets complicated. Men In Black was a creator-owned property, created by Lowell Cunningham and came to Malibu as an unsolicited pitch. I’m pretty sure Lowell signed Malibu’s standard creator-owned contract that was just for publishing rights, letting the creator retain movie/TV/licensing rights.

    It was initially published under the company’s Aircel imprint and I don’t think any issue sold more than a few thousand copies. Six issues were published – two sets of 3 (and a compilation of the first three). After the publication of the last one, any and all rights Malibu had reverted back to Lowell.

    When Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald wanted to option the property (following a visit to the Malibu offices), Lowell made a new deal to relicense his rights back to Malibu.

    While the movie was in development, Marvel bought Malibu and any rights that Malibu then had – as a result of Lowell’s new deal – to Men In Black went with it. The decision to have the credits read “Based On The Marvel Comic” was because Malibu wasn’t going to exist, Marvel was then the actual company of record (one of the rights of being the purchasing entity), and Marvel was publishing 2 new Men In Black comics as movie tie-ins (and would’ve published a new series if those comics had done better).

    Marvel and Scott Rosenberg may get some kind of payday from the movies as part of a negotiation from way back, but Men In Black is really owned by some combination of Amblin Entertainment and Sony/Columbia.

    I don’t believe that you’ll see a Marvel or Scott Rosenberg producer credit on the finished film – neither shows up on IMDB’s extensive credit list for MIB III. I think Scott’s only “credit” on any MIB film was as part of a “special thanks” crawl at the end of the end credits to MIB I.

  11. Tom’s comment immediately above should be made into a blog post somewhere, at the very least, so that it can be linked to when people need to link to it.

  12. @Tom Mason


    Sounds like you know the deal. Very informative. Thanks. Seems like Lowell Cunningham was at the wrong place – but at the right time – and otherwise made the most of it.

  13. @John & Birmy: I have no information why the credit line was changed. My guess would be that without anyone publishing the comic now, they went back – or someone convinced them to go back – to the original publisher’s name.

    @Horatio: I was a co-founder of Malibu Comics and the guy who acquired Men In Black and edited the original issues.

  14. Scott gets cut of merchandise for sure. Also I think overall he gets a small percentage. Either way he’ll be Scrooge Mc’Ducking it into his pile of MIB money while his investors are left blowing in the wind.

    Scum. Bag.

  15. Also, EVERYTHING on that Plati….er…. Goldmine Studios blog was dead-on accurate as far as I’ve seen/heard/been told.

  16. I was a co-founder of Malibu Comics and the guy who acquired Men In Black and edited the original issues.

    @Tom Mason:

    I remember now / :)

  17. Nobody here has touched on the (late 80s) story about how Scott Rosenberg (secretly) started a numbers a number of comic companies …while (publicly) running a comics distributor — eventually bankrupting the distributer while using the funds from retail accounts receivable (coming into the distributer) to fund his secret publishing- so in essence he was taking in books from publishers and then using the money he owed (but would never pay them) to print books which would compete against those same publishers (at least that’s how I remember The Comics Journal telling the story).

    This contributed to the late 80s Black & White comics melt down that was one of the great train wrecks in comic book history.

  18. @Richard: Gerard Jones wrote the book Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book which covers the origins of comics in all their crimeland glory. It’s a great read, but get the paperback which was updated from the hardcover.

    Gerard and his writing partner Will Jacobs created The Trouble With Girls which was one of the first books published by Malibu Comics. Gerard did a couple of other creator-owned books and was later one of the founders of the Ultraverse where he created Freex and Solitaire and co-created Prime.

  19. Big thanks to Tom Mason for explaining the whole MIB/Marvel ownership mess. I have been wondering about that since the first MIB movie was released.

  20. @Klen: No. Tom Brevoort says that’s not the reason and I would believe him. (And it’s not a “profit clause” that’s being discussed lately, it’s a royalty %.)

  21. Wasn’t it Gerard Jones who said the industry was founded by gangsters?

    @Richard Caldwell:

    Yeah– but I don’t see this guy having founded very much (or anything) of lasting value. The problem with this generation is that all they know how to do is wreck what’s there.

    I hate to see guys like Bugsy denigrated by being compared to the measly, nothing and nobody likes of a Rosenberg …Las Vegas is still standing (and making money) y’know?

  22. I made the mistake of submitting my Sci-Fi Western comic book series EAST meets WEST to Malibu, Scott Rosenberg, Tom Mason and the other mugs at that shit house company of low bastards and was most happy to see Cowboys & Aliens tank at the box office.

    I tried to sue DreamWorks/Rosenberg but had a lousy lawyer. A judge who was smitten by Scott’s lawyer and I lacked the “deep pockets” of Spielberg and company.An ant trying to move an elephant LOL!

    Still, I’m NOT taking it up the arse from any of these mugs. I’m a fighter first and cartoonist second. I still invite any of the Malibu boys to meet me on the mat or in the ring. At least there I know I have a 98% chance of winning.
    Shame on Rosenberg, I hope he gets rosted in divorce court. I’ll be selling my comic books at the San Diego Comicon.

  23. Hi Paul — I’ve never read East Meets West and I was never involved in any capacity in the creation of Cowboys & Aliens (the graphic novel or the movie) and I haven’t worked with Scott since September 8, 1995 (I had to look that up). I don’t think it’s possible for me to steal an idea from you to use in a project I was never involved in.

    I am, however, a mug from the shithouse.

  24. I had brief contact with Rosenberg, and got a very bad vibe from him. He was terribly ignorant of the technology of production, but seemed obsessed with how much money they had poured into their equipment, over the skill of their production team. I was hardly surprised to learn of Malibu’s demise, and these current escapades seem in line with what I had observed 20 years ago.

  25. Tom Mason, according a former MALIBU employee Andre Andersen, Who happened to be in Judo Gene LeBell’s grappling class at GOKOR’s Dojo in Hollywood. You had in fact seen my submission of EAST meets WEST at the Malibu office. This was in 1991.

  26. Hi Paul – Who’s Andre Andersen? I worked at Malibu from day 1, and in 1991 the company was still very small – small enough for me to know everyone by name – and that name doesn’t ring a bell. So now I’m curious who he was and what he did at the company and in whose department.

  27. Paul Power said that when he told comic shop owners that he submitted his East meets West to Rosenburg, they said ‘you didn’t submit it to him, he’s the worst!’

    Not many in the the comic world know that Aussie comic creators were well familiar with Paul’s version. He produced his Cowboys and Aliens version early in the 1970s, I followed it first in the Sydney Sunday Mirror, Rupert Murdoch bumped into Paul in a passage way of the paper and asked to see his strip, Rupe was blown away he okayed it on the spot. I still have tear sheets of Om from that time. Paul was drawing Om while he stayed at Tad Pietrzykowski’s house. Tad’s creation is Dark Nebula. I know how some US creators have horror stories of rip offs. We have our stories as well, You can check out my creation Vixen at http://www.vixenmagazine.com
    I have written and penciled an OM story for Power Comics it’s called Save the Code, keep an eye out for it!

  28. Scott Rosenberg’s theft of Paul Power’s Est Meets West to concoct Cowboys & Aliens is the biggest theft of intellectual property since Thomas Edison’s people stole Le voyage dans la Lune right out from under Georges Méliès, only then there was no such protection on copyright as there is now. Now it’s worse – if you don’t have enough money you can’t fight a corrupt system. I physically saw Paul working on East Meets West back in the 70’s & aspects of it (Professor Om) ran as a Sunday comic strip in the Sunday Mirror in Sydney, Australia. This matter should go back to court so Paul can get back everything that was taken from him. Put me on the stand – I’ll testify!

  29. In 1980 or so, Scott Mitchell Rosenberg literally STOLE my copies of Amazing Fantasy 15 and Journey into Mystery 83. Literally shoved them under his jacket and bolted from my house like a cowardly little pussy. I filed a police report, they didn’t do shit. My copy of AF 15 can be ID’s by a coffee ring stain on the upper right. He is a thieving lying bastard and you should believe everything derogatory posted about him in all the years since. Utter scum.

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