On Wednesday, Polarity, the parent company of Lion Forge, announced that Lion Forge and Oni Press would merge into one company. Polarity will become the majority owner of the new combined entity with James Lucas Jones serving as president and publisher. Oni’s current team will handle creative and business operations.
David Steward II, CEO of Polarity, and co-founder of Lion Forge said:
“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.”
The deal will streamline editorial, marketing, production and operations in Portland, which means laying off people, including the only POC at Oni and a POC editor at Lion Forge, despite pushing Lion Forge pushing for diversity and inclusion in comics.
A write-up in The New York Times exposes the true purpose behind the merger: trying to capitalize on Hollywood’s cannibalism of comics.
Oni Entertainment was also established “to champion creator-owned properties in other media and the Hollywood market. These efforts will bring significant value to the combined entity’s portfolio and commitment to supporting creator-owned content.”
More information on the merger is expected to be announced in upcoming weeks.