OK, as if Oni Press, Tapas Media, and Warner Bros Discovery weren’t enough, Valiant Comics is the latest company to be rumored to be downsizing.
The situation isn’t clear, but reportedly most employees have been laid off and work has stopped on most series. Publisher Fred Pierce and senior Editor Lysa Hawkins changed their social media postings to indicate they no longer worked at the company, but other confirmations have been hard to come by.
However, the Beat has reach out to a number of sources, and one close to the publisher indicated that Pierce is still publisher and Valiant continues to release books, including Bloodshot Unleashed #1 next month.
The history of Valiant is one of the most colorful in comics publishing – and one most indicative of how the emphasis on publishing comics as cheap IP for movies and film can backfire.
The company was founded back in the early 90s by former Marvel EIC Jim Shooter, initially publishing revamped versions of classic Gold Key characters like Magnus, Robot Fighter, Turok, and Solar. But Shooter quickly assembled a team of veterans and up and comers ranging from Barry Windsor Smith to Christopher Priest to David Lapham, to create characters such as Bloodshot, Harbinger and Quantum and Woody – superheroes who would earn a devoted fanbase and become the most successful superhero universe outside of Marvel and DC in the modern era.
Shooter was eventually forced out of the company by then partner Steve Massarsky in 1992, who then sold it to game publisher Acclaim, and Valiant ceased publishing as part of the late 90s comics publishing implosion.
In 2012, the company resurfaced, the assets acquired by fan and investor Dinesh Shamdasani. Under editor in chief Warren Simons, Valiant quickly set about establishing their universe with creators including Matt Kindt, Brian Stelfreeze, Robert Venditti, Cullen Bunn, Jeff Lemire, Lewis Larosa and many more. Even for those who weren’t into superheroes or “harbingers” the comics were always done with care.
Valiant pressed on through the current ups and downs of the comics industry, but as time passed, more and more potential media deals for the characters were floated. In 2018, 57% of the company was sold to DMG Entertainment, a media company led by Dan Mintz. At that point Shamdasani left the company, while publisher Fred Pierce stayed on to run publishing ops. Although often called a Chinese company, DMG is owned by Mintz, but has a more complicated structure, as reported in THR. It began in the 90s as a joint venture between Mintz and several Chinese partners, but split into a Chinese arm, Yinji, which went public in China, and DMG, still owned by Mintz, as China does not allow foreign top executives. Media development continued with the announcement of a Bloodshot movie starring Vin Diesel, set to be released in March 2020 – literally the day after the Covid pandemic shut down the world.
A sample of Twitter ire:
The Beat will continue reaching out to get information on the situation at Valiant. But in the meantime, Shamdasani couldn’t help but deliver his own little snark on Twitter:
Been on it all week
— Dinesh Shamdasani (@dinesh_s) August 5, 2022
DMG Entertainment is a global media and entertainment company based in Beverly Hills, CA. Founded by Dan Mintz, the company portfolio has grown to include diverse holdings across film, television, comic book publishing, gaming, and location-based entertainment. Operating as both a production and distribution entity, DMG Entertainment is best known for films such as Looper and Iron Man 3 and the #1 box-office release of Bloodshot feature starring Vin Diesel.
About Valiant Entertainment
Valiant Entertainment, a subsidiary of DMG Entertainment, founded by Dan Mintz, is a leading character-based entertainment company that owns and controls the third most extensive library of superheroes behind Marvel and DC. With more than 90 million issues sold and a library of over 2,000 characters, including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman, Archer & Armstrong, and many more, Valiant is one of the most successful publishers in the history of the comic book medium. For more information, visit Valiant on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and ValiantEntertainment.com. For Valiant merchandise and more, visit ValiantStore.com.
A few things that seem to be mis-remembered. Shooter left Valiant/Voyager at the end of 1992. If you believe his account, he was forced out by Massarsky when he and the bulk of investors wanted to start shopping Voyager around for acquisition. Acclaim didn’t actually purchase Valiant until 1994. Valiant/Acclaim comics also sputtered out a few books in the early 2000s (mostly tied to the Turok video games).
And yes, DMG is technically an American company, Dan Mintz started DMG in China and had to leave the corporation when it went it went IPO there, as publicly-traded Chinese companies can’t have foreign owners. DMG has been heavily tied to Yinji Entertainment from China, and this Hollywood Reporter article details all the shell game nonsense back in 2018: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/business/business-news/dmg-entertainments-chinese-affiliate-crashes-shenzhen-stock-exchange-1135580/
that’s my favorite character
Denis – thanks for the fact check ( and its measured tone.) I will update the article.
You know if DMG just stuck with the original plan of getting all those movies done with Sony Pictures, they could have been a formidable competitor with the MCU and DC Films – but no, someone had to screw the deal even before the first movie was released and sell Harbinger off to Paramount. So much for a shared universe of related films.
I thought Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot was off to a good start.
Comments are closed.