Dark Horse comics original editor-in-chief Randy Stradley retires after 35 years

After an impressive 35 year career, Dark Horse’s original editor-in-chief and vice president of publishing, Randy Stradley, has retired. 

In 1985, comic store owner Mike Richardson approached friend Randy Stradley with his plan to start a comic book publishing company. The idea was to not only allow writers and artists to tell the stories they wanted to tell, but to actually own the work they created. They released the first issue of Dark Horse Presents on the counter of a comic shop, hoping they could sell 10,000 copies in order to break even. Instead, the book sold 50,000 and the rest, as they say, is history.

While bidding adieu to the company, Stradley said, “After three and a half decades, I believe I’ve done just about all that I can. It has been a great ride, and I want to thank Mike Richardson for the tremendous opportunities he’s afforded me. It’s with mixed emotions that I step down, but I know that Dark Horse will continue on to new heights, and that the company is in good hands.”

Over the next 35 years, Stradley played a key part in shaping Dark Horse’s publishing line, editing seminal series including Concrete (Paul Chadwick), Boris the Bear (co-written with Richardson), The American (Mark Verheiden), Hard Boiled (Frank Miller/Geof Darrow), Give Me Liberty (Frank Miller/Dave Gibbons), Dark Horse’s own creation Ghost, Sin City (Frank Miller), and the publication that started it all, Dark Horse Presents.

While he is no longer a part of the company as of 26 February 2021, Stradley was also central in elevating licensed comics to previously unseen heights with properties such as Dark Horse’s original Aliens versus Predator comics, which inspired two crossover feature films of the same premise. He also contributed to the old Star Wars Expanded Universe, with his other writing credits including Star Wars: Empire and Star Wars: Dark Times.

Founder and president of Dark Horse Comics Mike Richardson said, “I cannot overstate how integral Randy has been to the development and growth of Dark Horse. He was not only a writer, editor and creator, but also a friend and collaborator for three-and-a-half decades. Together we created something very special that succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. Sad though his departure may be, I wish him all the best in this new chapter of his life.”

Dark Horse concluded its statement by congratulating Stradley on his past achievements and “wishing him luck in his future endeavors.”

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