BY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER
For Oregon’s comic biz, 2014 is already proving to be a real page-turner.
First off, Milwaukie-based Dark Horse announced the end of its licensing deal with Star Wars that it has held since 1991. The rights revert to Marvel in 2015.
Dark Horse ranks among the top five comic publishers in the U.S. (after Marvel, DC, Image Comics and IDW Publishing) in part because it published hundreds of successful Star Warscomics through the years. Losing the SW has got to hurt. (POW! OOF!) But Dark Horse is still in the race. The company, founded by Mike Richardson in 1987, publishes English language versions of popular Japanese comics, and has a stable of other licensing deals including Conan the Barbarian and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If you haven’t noticed that popular movies and television series inspire comic book spin-offs, just as comic books inspire popular movies and television series spin-offs, you probably stopped reading them back when Batman met Robin.