Lion Forge Comics

Lion Forge Comics
Lion Forge company logo.png
Company logo
Parent companyThe Lion Forge, LLC
FoundedNovember 2011
FounderDavid Steward II
Carl Reed
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationSt. Louis
DistributionDiamond Book Distributors (books)[1]
Key peopleGeoff Gerber
Rich Johnson
(VP Sales)[3]
Publication typesComics
Catalyst Prime
Magnetic Press
Roar Comics

Lion Forge Comics is an American comic book publisher founded in 2011 by David Steward II and Carl Reed, with headquarters located in St. Louis, Missouri. The company has a strong focus on culturally diverse creators and stories.

Company history[]

Lion Forge Comics was founded in 2011 by David Steward II and Carl Reed to give ethnically diverse creators an outlet to create ethnically diverse characters.[4][5] The company began as a digital publisher but experimented with print comics in 2015 when digital sales began to plateau industry wide.[6] It expanded its print line in the summer of 2016 with different imprints based on the target audience.[3] By late 2017, it had grown to 30 employees located in St Louis, Chicago, and New York City, with Geoff Gerber as the company president.[2]

The company began to grow through acquisitions in 2016. In October 2016, it purchased Magnetic Press, a small comics publisher founded which was founded in 2014.[7][8] In October 2017, it purchased the New York City-based comic journalism site Comics Beat. Steward created a subsidiary called Syndicated Comics to control assets and content generated by Comics Beat.[2]

Following Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Lion Forge partnered with Book Industry Charitable Foundation to help comic book retailers who needed aid.[9] A benefit book to aid Puerto Rico's recovery from Hurricane Maria has been announced for 2018.[10]

In early 2018, the company was showcased in a discussion on racial representation in comics at Trinity University in anticipation of the release of the film Black Panther.[11]

After a year of swift expansion in staff and focus, in November 2018 the company laid off twelve out of approximately sixty employees primarily in orial in a restructuring move.



Roar Comics is Lion Forge Comics’ imprint for young adults and teens. Some of its tiles include Lighter Than My Shadow and The Castoffs.[6]


CubHouse is Lion Forge Comics’ imprint for children 12 and under. It publishes graphic novels and picture books with unusual art such as The Little Red Wolf (a reboot version of Little Red Riding Hood) and Wrapped Up.[6]

Magnetic Press[]

Acquired in 2016, Magnetic Press presents an array of socially engaged and reflective titles from the indie genre. Some of these titles are The Sound of the World by Heart, LOVE, Rendezvous in Phoenix, Light and Little Tails.[12]

Catalyst Prime[]

Joe Illidge, who began his career at the minority-focused comic publisher Milestone Media in 1993, was hired as Senior Editor to oversee the superhero imprint Catalyst Prime in June 2016. In 2017, he told the Washington Post he wanted to focus on diverse characters and creators, but that he did not want the line to be defined by that focus.[13] In a listicle of the best Black comics for the Stillwater News-Press, Lawrence Ware praised this line for "its dedication to authentic, three-dimensional portrayals of the lead characters".[14]

Comics in this line are set in a shared universe where superpowers are triggered by events following an asteroid approaching Earth. The initial seven ongoing series in the imprint are Noble, Accell, Superb, Incidentals, Asthonisher, Kino and Summit.[15]


Caracal focuses on material for audiences aged 8-12. The first title will be Quantum Mechanics, set to be released in October 2018.[16]


Quillon focuses on comics inspired in board game format. The first title will be Rolled & Told, set for release in September 2018.[17]


  1. ^ Our Publishers
  2. ^ a b c Reid, Calvin (October 24, 2017). "Lion Forge Acquires Comics Site The BEAT". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Reid, Calvin (January 20, 2017). "Lion Forge Heads to ALA with a New Line of Kids' Graphic Novels". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  4. ^ Riesman, Abraham (January 11, 2018). "Pushing Diversity Is a Tough Business for Four Indie-Comics Publisher". Vulture. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  5. ^ Davis, Chad (February 15, 2018). "'Black Panther' becomes cultural moment for many in St. Louis". NPR. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Salkowitz, Rob (February 13, 2018). "Groundbreaking Publisher Forges Diverse Future For Comics". Forbes. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  7. ^ "LION FORGE COMICS Acquires MAGNETIC PRESS". Newsarama. October 5, 2016. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  8. ^ Bradley, Drew (April 6, 2015). "Small Press Publisher Spotlight: Magnetic Press". Multiversity Comics. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  9. ^ "LION FORGE Donates $25k to HURRICANE HARVEY Relief For Comic Book Retailers". Newsarama. September 7, 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  10. ^ "'Puerto Rico Strong' Comic Anthology Coming in 2018". The Hollywood Reporter. December 6, 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  11. ^ Terrace, Cathy (February 14, 2018). "TDC discusses racial representation in comic books". Trintonian. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  12. ^ Johnston, Rich (October 5, 2016). "Lion Forge Comics Buys Magnetic Press – Now The Magnetic Collection". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  13. ^ Betancourt, David (August 25, 2017). "Superheroes of color are few and far between. A new comic-book universe tries to fix that". Washington Post. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  14. ^ Lawrence, Ware (February 11, 2018). "An introduction to afrofuturism". NewsPress. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  15. ^ Johnston, Rich (October 4, 2016). "Lion Forge To Announce New Comics By Joe Casey, Brandon Thomas, David Walker, Kelly Fitzpatrick And More At NYCC Panel". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  16. ^ McMillan, Graeme (May 30, 2018). "Indie Publisher Lion Forge Adds Middle Reader Imprint". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  17. ^ McMillan, Graeme (June 18, 2018). "Indie Comics Imprint Quillion Will Mix Comics and Gaming". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 18, 2018.

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