Lion Forge and Oni Press have announced a merger, where Lion Forge’s parent company, Polarity, will become the majority owner.
The new entity will be helmed by James Lucas Jones serving as president and publisher. The Oni team will lead creative and business operations.
Jones discussed what his plans for the new entity are:
“We want to build on our strength as a go-to destination for creators, grow our culture as an employee-first organization, and reinforce our commitment to our industry partners and friends.”
“In an increasingly competitive marketplace, where the business of comics and graphic novels is rapidly evolving, this merger is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our two companies to pool our resources for one goal: to create the finest comics and graphic novels for everyone.”
CEO of Polarity David Steward II also discussed the merger:
“What the team at Oni has built over the past 20 years is not only remarkable, but aspirational. When we first approached Joe (Nozemack), James, and Charlie (Chu) about the idea of working together, we hoped it would be a natural fit, as our shared mission is to bring diverse content to a global audience. The more we spoke, the more the relationship evolved to the point that we knew our combined experience and resources would align to achieve that goal and advance our unique position in the marketplace.”
Charlie Shu, the Executive Vice President of Creative and Business Development added:
“This exciting partnership promises to supercharge Oni’s efforts in navigating all facets of media and gaming, with publishing and advocating for creators still at the core of our values. As always, we are committed to working with a vibrant and diverse roster of creators and being the best partner in comics, graphic novels, and beyond.”
The merger between Oni Press and Lion Forge was orchestrated by Polarity president Edward Hamati who added his own thoughts on the deal:
“Over the last year, we at Polarity have been significantly focused on review and enhancement of the portfolio. We put a premium on alignment of talent and objectives. We were very impressed with the culture established at Oni, which continues with James, Charlie, Sarah (Gaydos) and Margot (Wood) leading the team.”
Oni Press founder and president Joe Nozemack will step down as president and will transition to a board and advisory role with the company. Hamati stated, “We wanted to respect the legacy of Joe’s efforts as founder, and we value his partnership.”
“Oni Press was started with the mission to publish comics and graphic novels that would appeal to a diverse group of readers and broaden the audience for the medium. 20 years later, I couldn’t be prouder of the books we’ve published and the wide array of new readers and creators who have joined our community.”
“It was obvious from our first meeting that the Polarity/Lion Forge team had these same passions and goals as the Oni Press team. And I have complete faith that the pairing of the two is going to continue that mission to make sure that there is an authentic and inspiring comic book for any and everyone who wants to join the comic-book faithful.”
Sarah Gaydos, who will be the editor-in-chief of the new company stated:
“With our ability to target and develop talent, first-rate editorial guardianship and production of books, and sales and marketing expertise under HarperCollins alum Margot Wood, we’ll be getting incredible, inclusive comics into even more hands. We will be the destination for creators who are looking for our high level of editorial curation.”
Lion Forge co-founder Carl Reed discussed how the move is positive for Lion Forge:
“Since we founded Lion Forge, we have always had ambitions around character development and the search for new audiences – this deal will enhance our brands and efforts in that direction.”
Polarity notes they will announce additional information about the new company and the merger in the coming weeks.
Steward announced Polarity earlier this week noting the company has quietly and strategically building a portfolio of companies and new offerings beyond publishing to ensure we have content across every entertainment avenue available today, and actively preparing for what audiences will be seeking in the future.”
Polarity will have a focus on television, movies, streaming, and gaming. Steward revealed that “creating high quality graphic novels and comics was always the first step, a ticket to the game.”
What do you make of this new merger?