Mike Richardson, the founder and president of Dark Horse Comics, will speak on Thursday, April 4, at Milwaukie’s Ledding Library Cultural Forum.

Richardson will talk about how he started Dark Horse Comics and also will give advice to would-be comics artists and writers.

“Many people think comics are aimed at kids, but comics have grown up; the average reader is more likely to be 25 to 35 years old, rather than 12,” Richardson said.

“There has been a maturing of the industry, and comics are now taking their place alongside other forms of literature,” he added.

A new “Star Wars” project is in the works for Dark Horse, in addition to the re-launching of 1940s and 1950s superhero Captain Midnight, Richardson said.

He added, “Comics have had a profound effect on culture.”

History of Dark Horse Comics

Richardson founded the award-winning international publishing house in 1986, starting with a building on Northeast Sandy Boulevard in Portland. But Milwaukie is where he grew up, and where his heart is, Richardson says, so in 1988 he moved into the building on Main Street that formerly housed the Milwaukie Pharmacy.

“That is where I bought my first comics when I was a kid. They had the best comics rack,” Richardson said.

He noted that Louis Cereghino, his athletic coach, loaned him the money for his business ventures.

The business has since expanded into several other spaces in downtown Milwaukie, including the pop-culture retail chain Things From Another World that Richardson also owns.

Richardson is the president of Dark Horse Entertainment, for which he has produced numerous projects for film and television, including “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” “My Name Is Bruce,” and “Mystery Men.”

He has produced films based on several of his own creations, including “The Mask.”

Recent ventures include Dark Horse Digital; book publishing imprint, M Press; a toy division, Dark Horse Deluxe; and an award-winning website,

Fast Facts

The Ledding Library of Milwaukie presents the Ledding Cultural Forum, featuring Mike Richardson, founder of Dark Horse Comics, tonight from 7 to 8 p.m. at the library’s Pond House, at 2215 S.E. Harrison St.

The forum is free, and is set up to celebrate the literary arts with public talks by local or regional writers.

Next up: Laura Foster, author of “Portland Hill Walks” and other works, will speak on May 2.

For more information about the forum, contact Robert Lanxon, reference librarian, at 503-786-7546, or visit

To find out more about Dark Horse Comics, including a history of the company, visit

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