Thriving Studio Transforms Into Empty Space That May Owe People Money
Amid rumors of trouble with payments documented by longtime comics columnist Rich Johnston it had either slowed down payments or stopped paying people altogether, Dreamwave Studios officially sent out word that it was ending operations.
Dreamwave was a Toronto company best known as a lead actor in 1980s "nostalgia comics," when comic shops and many customers were convinced they wanted to buy comic books featuring licensed characters from poorly animated afternoon TV shows made 15 years earlier. The company's most successful run was with a Transformers license that moved the company to the top of the direct market in 2002.
Although this is one of those stories where the digging into the announcement rather than the announcement itself will yield the more important news, for now that press release is fun to read if only for its rock and roll documentary third act spin of "the times changed; we didn't." It's also probably worth noting licensed work is a geerally tough gig to sustain over a long period because there's another place the money has to go even if sales have cycled down, and in the direct market, poorer-selling comics tend to storehouse sales inertia.