Here’s an excerpt:
Portland's thriving community of comics creators and publishers -- including Dark Horse Comics, Oni Press and Top Shelf Productions -- is playing a major role in feeding the silver screen's voracious appetite.
"Portland," says Eric Gitter, Oni Press' L.A.-based producing partner, "is the Hollywood of comic books."
The week before Batman and the Joker commandeered the nation's cineplexes, the No. 1 movie in the country was "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," adapted from the comics series published by Milwaukie-based Dark Horse Comics. Although it fell from its perch in the "Dark Knight" onslaught, even a brief stay on top can do wonders for your visibility, Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson says.
"My phone's been ringing," Richardson says. "Lots of people have been calling and saying, 'Congratulations! Oh, and by the way, I have a project . . .' "
Although publishers won't reveal exactly how much money such Hollywood deals add to their revenue stream, Richardson says the movie connection may account for Dark Horse's sales records for three consecutive years. "We're heading for another record this year, despite the economy," Richardson says. Dark Horse Entertainment has offices at Universal Studios and Sunset Gower Studios in Los Angeles and is developing a slate of productions.
Portland's Oni Press, with several projects in development, has added staff. "We're at seven people now in Portland and two in L.A.," Oni Press co-founder Joe Nozemack says.
Local comics publishers aren't necessarily driving Jaguars and rolling in dough, Nozemack says. "You're not looking at serious amounts of money until the films are actually made. But the money that creators get for option rights gives them the freedom to do their own thing rather than working on somebody else's characters."
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