The Beat has learned that editor Rob Simpson was recently laid off at Dark Horse. Simpson, an industry vet who formerly worked at DC, was the Senior Editor in charge of Dark Horse’s prose books line, which includes original novels, nonfiction, a series of Playboy Interview collections and various fantasy novels — including the recently launched Neil Gaiman Presents series. Although Dark Horse would not comment directly, they did release this statement from owner Mike Richardson:

In recent years, Dark Horse has dedicated a great deal of time and resources to move outside of the traditional comics medium with ventures into publishing prose novels. Due to the well known facts of the current state of the book market, and cutbacks at the chains for these types of books, we are placing these efforts on hold for the time being. This is in no way indicative of the health and vitality of any other division of our business, or the company overall.

Although any layoffs are looked at as part of the Great Recession during this time, comics are still getting off fairly lightly, at least on the creative side, with only a smattering of layoffs. It’s painful for anyone, but far less than the massive cuts other aspects of the entertainment industry have been experiencing. We hope this trend continues.

As for Simpson, he’s a real professional; we’re sure he’ll land on his feet even in this harsh time.


  1. Oh, ouch. I’m sorry to hear that, but Dark Horse’s loss could be someone else’s gain if they snap Rob up. He’s a veteran who was doing high end graphic novels at book publishers, long before it was popular!

  2. i didn’t even know they had a prose line

    seems like the marketing director is the one who they might want to let go

  3. Jacob: I hardly think it’s the time to call for ANYONE’s firing. The books were out there but perhaps nto as well seen as they should be in the scrum.