Dark Horse Comics, Inc. | Company Profile, Marketing Contacts, Media Spend, Brands
Dark Horse Comics, Inc. is one of the largest comic book retail stores in the world. The company offers custom publishing services, graphic novels, and comic book related merchandise. Dark Horse Comics, Inc. is headquartered in Milwaukie, OR.
|Main Telephone||(503) 652-8815|
|Main Fax||(503) 654-9440|
Dark Horse Comics, Inc. ContactsContacts (4)
|Michael R.||President & Founder||OR|
Sample of Associated Brands
|Michael M.||Vice President, Trade Book Sales||OR|
|Cynthia S.||Manager, Human Resource||OR|
|Sarah R.||Director of Sales||OR|
|Dark Horse Comics, Inc.||*|
|Dark Horse Entertainment||****|
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INTERVIEW: Dark Horse Comics' new Marketing VP will keep the brand in readers' minds
By Erik McNeal
has promoted seven-year veteran Matt Parkinson from senior director to vice president of marketing.
His top goal is to establish and expand visibility and relevance. This can be a feat of true super heroics in the comic book industry when facing two of the largest juggernauts – DC Comics and Marvel Comics – especially considering they are the largest independent distributor of comics and graphic novels without any in-house developed properties.
Dark Horse is different from Marvel or DC Comics because they create comics based on video games such as “Mass Effect,” and films. The company actively works with creative minds on properties such as “Star Wars,” “Hellboy,” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” with Joss Whedon as an executive producer, among other licensed titles produced to lend credibility on each project.
Parkinson Dark Horse’s growth online, through the development and execution of advertising, cross promotions, and social-media strategies.
WinmoEdge spoke with Parkinson about how Dark Horse is going further into the digital realm with the goal to keep the company on comic fans’ minds.
“My primary goal is the keep us in front of consumers and in as many spaces as possible,” Parkinson said. “I think it is just maintaining visibility within the market. That’s the trick is keeping our regular series readers interested in our comics and then looking for new fans, new readers that are potential Dark Horse fans.”
The Milwaukie, Ore.-based comic company will attend the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con to create a brand presence with accompanying announcements and exclusive imagery for the public relations aspect, Parkinson said; there will also be a retail section.
“It’s a great opportunity to maintain, interact, and engage with our existing fan base and to always show those new people that may not know we were doing ‘Avatar’ products or that there was even a ‘Star Wars’ comic,” he added.
Visiting conventions contributes to Parkinson’s goal of influencing the direct sales market to keep the brand on people’s minds.
“The goals are to grow sales in the direct market and keep the retailers happy, that’s something we really pride ourselves on,” Parkinson said. “They really help make Dark Horse successful and they continue to support us, and having that business remain healthy and keep people coming into their shops is a huge priority for us. Maintaining that commitment to the direct market is something we don’t take lightly and we are actually doubling up our efforts and showing we have a strong commitment to those guys.”
Dark Horse looks to penetrate digital distribution, specifically to create international reach. This includes producing motion comics, live animation of the traditional comic panel action, for a YouTube-sponsored channel operated by filmmaker Felicia Day.
Day approached Dark Horse to be a content provider to her channel and the company will supply weekly installments of five-minute motion comics, Parkinson said. The comics were produced in late April this year, he added.
“We felt the timing was perfect and we wanted to try something a little different to expose a broader audience to our content,” Parkinson said.
Parkinson’s strategy for evolving Dark Horse more into the digital world is strategically minded.
He explained the company needed to wait until the technology was available to best support digital comics without sacrificing quality or reading experience – then the Apple iPad was released and the company soon created its own Dark Horse iOS app. They now have a Android app in Beta version with a full version to debut later this year, as well as recently made their digital graphic novels available through Barnes and Noble Nook and Kobo Vox. This digital evolution ties into Parkinson’s overall marketing goal to stand out from the mainstream.
“For me, it is rising above everything else,” he said. “Print advertising, banner ads, PR exclusives – it’s just maintaining that ‘Yes, we’re here, and yes we produce this great line of comics. Come and read us.’ That is always the challenge for anybody is how do you rise above it, is getting people to remember you especially at the time they are ready to make their purchase.”
Parkinson said Dark Horse is open to agency inquiries in order to learn and improve upon the in-house team’s present operations.
“We do everything internally in terms of marketing and PR, and we need to be very strategic and targeted - best practices because we don’t have unlimited resources available to us, so we have to make the most well informed decisions we can to ensure that people are going to see us,” he said. “I’m always willing to hear what people are doing and what services are offered. I always want to keep best practices and be educated on that.”
Dark Horse Comics Inc.
10956 S.E. Main St
Milwaukie, OR 97222
Vice President, Marketing
Vice President, Business
(503) 652-8815 / x. 379