AfterShock Comics has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and has released a statement to CBR News about the filing
AfterShock Comics, the independent comic book company that launched in 2015, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the district of Central California. This news follows recent reports that the company has been behind on paying a number of its creators.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is what is known as a "reorganization" bankruptcy, which means that the company can continue to operate while it deals with the fact that it cannot currently pay all of its creditors. A number of famous companies have gone through Chapter 11 and emerged from it, with Marvel Comics being the most famous example in the world of comics. However, plenty of companies have been unable to make it through bankruptcy, as well (Comico, Crossgen and Chaos, as three comic book company examples just beginning with the letter C).
AfterShock's filings reveal that the company has $10-50 million in assets, but it also has $10-50 million in debts. The two biggest creditors liste in the filing were their UK distributor, AS Comics, to which AfterShock owed $514,326, and its Canadian printer, Imprimerie L’Empreinte, to which it owed $398,887. However, there are a number of other companies and people listed in the filing.
Rive Gauche Television, a sister company of AfterShock that had merged with the company in 2020 to form AfterShock Media, a way to better translate AfterShock comic book properties to television and film, also declared bankruptcy and filed Chapter 11.
CBR News reached out to AfterShock for a comment, and this is what the company supplied CBR News:
After much deliberation, AfterShock Comics LLC has voluntarily filed a petition for protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code to enable the Company to restructure its senior secured facility as well as being in a position to secure additional financing to continue to operate its business.The intent of this decisive action, among other considerations, is to allow the Company to maintain operations in the ordinary course including, but not limited to, paying employees and continuing existing benefits programs,, upholding and following through on commitments to contracted creators, as well as vendors who supply goods and services related to marketing, merchandising and advertising. AfterShock will continue to operate, publish and market comic books and graphic novels to supply to direct market retailers and mass accounts through its distributors in accordance with all federal, state and local guidelines.We regret the inconvenience this has caused to those we work with and may cause in the near future. However, we believe that going forward this will allow us to best position the Company for long-term success.
AfterShock Comics was founded by former Negative Burn editor Joe Pruett and former Marvel and DC editor Mike Marts, along with Lee Kramer, Jon Kramer, and Michael Richter. It was Jon Kramer who signed the Chapter 11 filing. Marts had previously left AfterShock earlier this year to become the Editor-in-Chief at Mad Cave Comics. Marts was replaced by former DC editor, Brian Cunningham.
The company won the 2017 Diamond Comic Distributors Gem Award New Publisher of the Year. It has published comics by some of the biggest names in comics, like Brian Azzarello, Marguerite Bennett, Garth Ennis, Cullen Bunn, Mark Waid and more. Recently, one of the company's writers, Christopher Cantwell wrote a Twitter thread about the artist he was working with on a series he co-created not being paid by AfterShock.
Source: RK Consultants on Twitter
CBR Senior Writer Brian Cronin has been writing professionally about comic books for over fifteen years now at CBR (primarily with his “Comics Should Be Good” series of columns, including Comic Book Legends Revealed). He has written two books about comics for Penguin-Random House – Was Superman a Spy? And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed and Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? And Other Amazing Comic Book Trivia! and one book, 100 Things X-Men Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, from Triumph Books. His writing has been featured at ESPN.com, the Los Angeles Times, About.com, the Huffington Post and Gizmodo. He features legends about entertainment and sports at his website, Legends Revealed and other pop culture features at Pop Culture References. Follow him on Twitter at @Brian_Cronin and feel free to e-mail him suggestions for stories about comic books that you’d like to see featured at firstname.lastname@example.org!