Dark Horse Partners with Random House

October 1, 2013 at 8:27 am | Posted in Books, Comic Books, Dark Horse, News, Random House | 2 Comments

Dark Horse Comics just sent out a press release revealing that they have entered into a multi-year distribution deal with Random House Publisher Services. This is certainly good news for Dark Horse and comic fans as it will mean wider availability of their lines, both current and backlist titles. For Star Wars fans, though, this could have some interesting implications. Dark Horse Comics currently holds the licensing rights to do Star Wars comics. Random House currently handles the Star Wars novels. A partnership between the two could help strengthen that bound between Star Wars comics and novels. Furthermore, it could help strengthen Dark Horse’s role as the company to go to for Star Wars comics…and not that other company that starts with an “M”. As a Star Wars comic fan myself, I certainly hope to read Dark Horse Star Wars comics for many years to come.

Here’s the full press release.

DARK HORSE BOOKS ENTERS SALES AND DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT
FOR TRADE BOOKSTORES WITH RANDOM HOUSE PUBLISHER SERVICES

(Milwaukie, OR) – Dark Horse Books has announced a multi-year sales and distribution partnership with Random House Publisher Services (RHPS), a division of Random House LLC for the bookstore market. Dark Horse, a leading independent publisher of best-selling graphic novels, manga, and art books, will begin its partnership with RHPS effective June 1, 2014. All newly published and backlist Dark Horse titles will be sold to bookstores worldwide by Random House Publishers Services, who also will be responsible for distribution and fulfillment for the titles.

Coming off an incredibly strong 2013 which saw the Dark Horse title, The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, rocket to New York Times Bestseller status and the top spot on Amazon’s bestsellers list for all books, Dark Horse is poised to expand its award-winning line to include more of the authors and properties that consumers are looking for.

“When I started Dark Horse Comics in 1986, the plan was to create the highest-quality books, comics, and graphic novels and get them into the hands of as many readers as possible,” said Dark Horse founder and Publisher Mike Richardson. “The decision to move the book market portion of our business was very difficult. Diamond Book Distributors, our current book market distributor, has been a great partner for us for nearly a decade, but it’s now time for a new approach, one we think helps us as we expand our prose and general book categories in traditional bookstores. While we are moving a portion of our business, we know that Diamond will continue to be a strong and valuable partner in the comics specialty market.”

Diamond president and CEO Steve Geppi commented, “Everyone at Diamond has the highest respect for Mike Richardson and Dark Horse, and we’re proud of the success we have helped them achieve. We will continue to grow our business with Dark Horse and all of the publishers we represent, in every possible way.” Diamond will continue to distribute Dark Horse comics, graphic novels, books, and other merchandise to the comics specialty market.

Jeff Abraham, President of Random House Publisher Services added, “Dark Horse has shown great resilience and impressive growth in the graphic novel and manga market over the last several years. We are thrilled with the opportunity to use the same capabilities and expertise that we apply to our current roster of clients and to contribute meaningfully to Dark Horse’s expanded reach into bookstores”.

About Dark Horse

Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent such as Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Brian Wood, Gerard Way, Geof Darrow, and Guillermo del Toro, and comics legends such as Will Eisner, Neal Adams, and Jim Steranko, Dark Horse has developed its own successful properties such as The MaskGhostTimecop, and SpyBoy. Its successful line of comics, books, and products based on popular properties includes Star WarsMass Effect, Buffy the Vampire SlayerAliensConanAvatar: The Last AirbenderHaloSerenityThe Legend of ZeldaGame of Thrones and Domo. Today Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic book publisher in the US and is recognized as one of the world’s leading publishers of both creator-owned content and licensed comics material.

About Random House Publisher Services

Random House Publisher Services, a division of Random House LLC, is the book industry’s leading provider of sales and distribution services to premium third-party publishers. Its wide range of service offerings includes sales, warehousing, physical and digital distribution, credit and collection, marketing, and information technology. In addition to Dark Horse, its portfolio of clients includes National Geographic Society, Beacon Press, DC Comics, Rizzoli, Melville House, New York Review Books, Candlewick Press, and many others. http://www.rhpublisherservices.com

Publishers Weekly has a bit more on the topic.

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

2 Comments »

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  1. I believe that you may be reading more into this announcement than is necessary. This is an agreement for Random House PS to distribute Dark Horse BOOKS to bookstores, ie graphic novels, manga and art books, instead of Diamond Book Distribution. This is a long-term commercial business decision by Dark Horse and does not involve/effect the Star Wars licences held by either Dark Horse or Del Rey. Diamond will still distribute comics to comic stores.

  2. Yes, the announcement does just concern distribution and is just with a division of Random House, however it does mean more Dark Horse products on the shelves at more stores. More availability, more market share, more interactivity between the two businesses, those are all positive factors. It’s certainly in no means a direct indicator that the license will stay with Dark Horse or that we’ll see more cooperation between Del Rey and Dark Horse for the Star Wars line. Still, looking at the big picture, little things like this can make a difference, and we’re just taking a look at the possibilities, no matter how small they may be.


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