In response to inquiries from fans, Oregon-based comics publisher Dark Horse Comics has released a brief statement saying that while they are safe and operating as normal right now, staff is being encouraged to take care of their homes and families first, so there might be some delays, either in terms of product or contact from Dark Horse employees. Oregon is one of the states on the west coast of the United States that has been dealing with increasingly severe in recent years. The seasonal wildfires that are a staple of the west coast seem to have become significantly more severe, with many blaming climate change for the increasingly dangerous weather.
So far, ten people have been confirmed dead as a result of the wildfires and at least 20 more are missing. Some evacuees report being stopped at gunpoint by people who say they are protecting their property from looters.
"Due to the destructive fires sweeping across our state, the Dark Horse Comics offices in Milwaukie, Oregon are in a Level 1 evacuation zone (non-urgent, but prepared for potential evacuation)," the publisher explained in a post on their Instagram story. "However, many of our employees i the surrounding areas have been forced to evacuate their homes. Please be patient with delays from Dark Horse Comics staff at this time. While we continue to be fully operational, we are encouraging staff to take care of themselves and their families first."
The publisher, founded in 1986, has been in Milwaukie ever since and, long before Hollywood brought DC west, was the hub for comics in the Pacific northwest. As Oregon became a hub for indie and creator-owned stars like Brian Michael Bendis and Kelly Sue DeConnick, Dark Horse became a staple of the region and worked with virtually every up-and-coming name from the west coast, their clout and lineup bolstered by Hellboy, Sin City, and The Mask, among others. They also made a reputation for themselves as the place where licenses like Alien, Predator, and Star Wars could go and be treated more seriously than the low-effort status quo licensed books enjoyed at most publishers in the '80s and early '90s.
Eventually Dark Horse would be the third-largest publisher in the industry -- although it would fall to fourth following the launch of Image Comics in the early '90s -- a change that shifted everything in the industry at the time.
Keep your eyes on ComicBook.com for more updates if Dark Horse has any follow-ups to their comments here. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by the wildfires.