By the mid-1980s, Mike Richardson had already established himself as a business leader in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area with the successful chain of retail comic-book shops he founded after graduating from college. But something was bothering him - even the best comics his stores carried were below the standards Richardson believed the comics medium was capable of maintaining. For an industry that was already half a century old, there was very little innovation surfacing in the books he sold, and because of that, this medium that Richardson had loved since his youth was in danger of crumbling. Richardson knew that if he expected anything to change, he'd have to jump in and do it himself. In 1986, he invested profits from his chain of bookstores and with that money founded Dark Horse Comics.
Richardson determined early on that great stories were great stories no matter the medium in which they're told. This belief led the publisher to explore the world of filmmaking and he established his own filmmaking company, Dark Horse Entertainment, in 1992. The company's first major film - The Mask, starring Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz was a huge smash and among others, includes the recent critically and commercially successful feature film, Hellboy.
Today Dark Horse Comics is the third largest comic-book publisher in the U.S. and is recognized as the world's leading publisher of licensed comics material.
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