Platinum Studios, Inc.
Company typePublic
Expert MarketPDOS
IndustryComics, Movies, Television
FoundedJanuary 1997
FounderScott Mitchell Rosenberg
Ervin Rustemagić
Key people
Scott Rosenberg
ServicesLicensing, Publishing

Platinum Studios, Inc. is a media company based in the United States. It controls a library of thousands of comic-book characters, which it seeks to adapt, produce, and license for all forms of media. The company has released films and/or television programming with Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks, MGM, Showtime and Lionsgate. Platinum has developed film or television with others, including The Walt Disney Company's 20th Century Studios, Warner Bros. Discovery's New Line Cinema and Sony Pictures.


Platinum Studios was co-founded in January 1997 by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg and European rights agent Ervin Rustemagić.[1] As the former head of Malibu Comics, Rosenberg led comic spin-offs into toys, television, and feature films, including the 1.65 billion-dollar film and television franchise Men in Black,[2] based on the Marvel/Malibu comic The Men in Black by Lowell Cunningham. In 1992, Rosenberg brokered a deal in which seven top-selling artists defected from Marvel Comics to form Image Comics.[3] Rosenberg signed the artists to a label deal which made Malibu the publisher of record for the first comics from Image, which gave the upstart creator-run publisher access to the distribution channels. This subsequently led to Malibu breaking all sales records for independent comics. In 1992, Malibu grabbed almost 10% of the American comics market share, temporarily moving ahead of industry giant DC Comics.

Platinum Studios acquired the film and television rights for Jeremiah, which became the first European graphic novel series to be turned into a live action television series on U.S. television (Showtime).[4]

Platinum produces based on two categories: Those from the "Macroverse Bible," a multi-thousand page bible of interrelated comic characters created by Rosenberg, including titles such as Cowboys & Aliens, and properties acquired from other companies or creators such as Dylan Dog and Jeremiah (the latter two having been represented by Rustemagić for publishing rights only, with Platinum acquiring all other rights including film and television). Rustemagić left Platinum Studios in 2000. The company's comic publishing philosophy is for the original publishers or rights holders to continue publishing their comics with Platinum Studios handling all other rights and development. Comics have been published based on Platinum's properties, continuously since inception, whether by Platinum itself or the original rights holders.

In May 1997, soon after forming Platinum Studios, Rosenberg licensed Cowboys & Aliens to DreamWorks/Universal Studios[5] based on film and comic treatments, storylines, artwork and an iconic one sheet of a cowboy on horseback shooting at an oncoming spaceship.[6] The one sheet went on to become the graphic novel cover, and the graphic novel has appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List fourteen times for both hardcover[7] and softcover.[8] Platinum Studios Comics published the Cowboys & Aliens graphic novel in various formats between mid-2006 through 2012:

The Cowboys & Aliens film was released theatrically in 2011.[9]

Over the next ten years, Platinum Studios continued to increase the size of its portfolio through licensing, publishing, film, and television contracts with comic book creators.

In 2005, Platinum hired former Time Warner executive Brian Altounian as its chief operating officer.[10]

Originally running for three years from 2006 to 2008, Platinum produced the Comic Book Challenge, an annual, televised competition among aspiring comic book creators. The first Challenge was broadcast on KNSD (the San Diego NBC affiliate) in conjunction with the San Diego Comic-Con, but outgrew NBC affiliate's venue. The following year it was hosted by AT&T.[11]

Platinum Studios posted net losses of $4.3 million in 2006 and $5.1 million in 2007.,[12] growing to a revenue of $10.5 million.[13] In September 2006, Platinum Studios purchased the webcomics community site,[14] and in 2008 it acquired the digital media content site WOWIO.

In 2009, Platinum sold WOWIO[15] to Brian Altounian, a Platinum Studios board member and former Platinum COO. In 2010, WOWIO acquired the DrunkDuck community from Platinum Studios as well.[16]

In early 2012, Platinum Studios moved to new offices in West Los Angeles. In 2014, 27 million shares of Platinum were acquired by KCG Holdings.[17]

Film and television production

Platinum has licensed film and television rights to several Hollywood studios. In addition to the finished films Cowboys & Aliens and Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, Platinum is developing a slate of feature films based on Platinum Studio's portfolio, including:

In addition to Jeremiah, Platinum licensed the television rights to a number of projects, including:

Cowboys & Aliens

Main article: Cowboys & Aliens

Platinum Studios Chairman & CEO Scott Mitchell Rosenberg spearheaded the creation of Cowboys & Aliens in 1997. It was licensed by DreamWorks and Universal Studios in May 1997, based on a one sheet of a cowboy being chased by a spaceship.[6] By the mid-2000s, the film project rights were returned to Platinum.[23] Rosenberg commissioned an Cowboys & Aliens original graphic novel. Jon Favreau directed the screen adaptation of the comic,[24] Cowboys & Aliens premiered at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International and was released theatrically in the United States and Canada on July 29, 2011.

Digital publishing

Platinum Studios’ digital publishing works in three areas: web comics publishing, mobile content, and comic news and resources.

Drunk Duck and WOWIO

In September 2006, Platinum Studios purchased the webcomics community site (created by Dylan Squires)[14] for an undisclosed sum.[14] Drunk Duck was at the time a community of mostly amateur webcomics artists.[14] Platinum Studios signed several option agreements with Drunk Duck community members after the purchase, which caused some discord in the community. Some felt it would help the site's popularity and the community would only get bigger and better; others were concerned Platinum was going to "take over" and claim the rights to people's comics.[citation needed] After the purchase, the site featured a mixture of Platinum Studios-owned professional comics and independently owned amateur comics. Platinum never claimed ownership of any comic that it had not entered into legal documentation with.[citation needed] The Drunk Duck community grew to 95,000 subscribed users in mid-2010.[16]

Main article: WOWIO

In June 2008, Platinum Studios announced that it had begun talks to acquire WOWIO, a Los Angeles–based online destination that provides users the ability to share and consume digital media content, such as e-comics and E-books, while providing revenue-generating opportunities for creators and publishers through advertising and merchandising programs. Platinum hoped to make WOWIO a "major cornerstone" of "a global digital publishing distribution initiative."[citation needed]

The companies projected that the acquisition would be concluded early in the third quarter of 2008,[citation needed] but issues related to Wowio's non-payment of quarterly earnings delayed the sale.[25] In June 2009, WOWIO was purchased outright by Brian Altounian (formerly Platinum Studios' COO, and still a Platinum Studios board member); leaving Platinum Studios with no ownership stake or percentage.[26] (Third quarter earnings for the year, calculated on a new formula more favorable to WOWIO, were eventually paid.)[15]

In June 2010, WOWIO acquired from Platinum Studios.[16]

Platinum Studios Comics

Platinum Studios Comics are distributed both online and in print. Online releases start before in-store print release. In addition, some Platinum Studios Comics titles are developed for film, television, and other media such as app games for mobile devices.

Platinum Studios Comics' first print project was the Cowboys & Aliens original graphic novel, created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, written by Fred Van Lente and Andrew Foley, and illustrated by Dennis Calero and Luciano Lima.

Titles published

Original graphic novels

Limited series/ongoing series

Comic Book Challenge

From 2006 to 2008, Platinum produced the Comic Book Challenge, an annual, televised competition among aspiring comic book creators.[30] The Comic Book Challenge was originally presented by AT&T. Over one million applicants[31] were judged on the quality of the art and writing of their submissions. After hearing all the pitches, judges narrowed the talent pool and turned over the final decision to the voting public. The Challenge was broadcast on KNSD (the San Diego NBC affiliate) in conjunction with the San Diego Comic-Con. Winners received prizes from software to graphics tablets and new PCs, while competing for the first-prize award of publishing their comic with Platinum Studios (as well as other possible media ventures).

The winner of the 2006 Comic Book Challenge was D. J. Coffman's Hero by Night,[32] which was subsequently published as a limited series and an ongoing series by Platinum Studios Comics. I Was Kidnapped By Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space by Megan Rose Gedris made the final round of the 2006 Comic Book Challenge, and was also subsequently published by Platinum Studios Comics and taken offline by Gedris in 2012.

The 2007 judge's panel consisted of Scrubs regular Donald Faison, Shrek producer John H. Williams, and Platinum Studios Chairman Scott Mitchell Rosenberg.[33] The 2007 winner was Jorge Vega's Gunplay, which was published as an original graphic novel by Platinum Studios Comics in 2008. Actor Brandon Routh was a judge for the 2008 Comic Book Challenge which was won by Carlos Weiser's The Armageddon Chronicles. Due to the economic U.S.crisis at the time, Platinum Studios was unable to publish Weiser's book and the event was discontinued after that.

In 2007–2008, Platinum Studios Comics released a large slate of comic book titles and original graphic novels, including KISS 4K, produced in conjunction with the rock band Kiss; and comics by the winners of its Comic Book Challenge talent contest, including Hero by Night by D.J. Coffman.


  1. ^ Press release. Scott Rosenberg Leaves Marvel; Acquires 50 Percent of Platinum Studios, The Free Library (January 16, 1997).
  2. ^ "Men in Black Movies at the Box Office – Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  3. ^ MULLIGAN, THOMAS S. (1992-02-19). "Holy Plot Twist : Marvel Comics' Parent Sees Artists Defect to Rival Malibu, Stock Dive". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  4. ^ "Diamond Book Distributors Signs SAF Comics". Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  5. ^ Fleming, Michael. "D'Works, U lasso 'Cowboys'," Variety (May 20, 1997).
  6. ^ a b "'Cowboys & Aliens': Patience & Progress,"Variety Archived 2012-06-09 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Best Sellers – The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  8. ^ "Best Sellers – The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  9. ^ "Cowboys & Aliens". IMDb. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Brian Altounian Joins Platinum Studios as Chief Operating Officer: Former Time Warner Interactive Executive Brings Both a Proven Operations Track Record and Multi-Media Partnership Experience," PR Newswire (August 9, 2005).
  11. ^ "AT&T Comic Challenge" (PDF). ATT. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Business Update, and Outlook: Platinum Studios Reports Fiscal 2007 Financial Results," Reuters (Apr. 1, 2008)
  13. ^ "Platinum Studios Inc". Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  14. ^ a b c d Marriott, Michel (September 25, 2006). "Using Web as first draft for comic books". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 May 2012. bought, a popular Webcomics site ... community of Webcomics artists, writers and fans
  15. ^ a b "Turning the Page", Los Angeles Business Journal (08 March 2010). Retrieved on 2010-08-08.
  16. ^ a b c Tartakoff, Joseph. "Wowio Buys Webcomics Community DrunkDuck ", Gigaom (08 June 2010). Retrieved on Feb. 19, 2014.
  17. ^ MacDonald, Heidi. "Is a holding company acquiring what is left of Platinum Studios?," The Beat (Mar. 4, 2014).
  18. ^ a b Trumbore, Dave (19 January 2012). "Platinum Studios to Resurrect ATLANTIS RISING with IMMORTALS Producer Mark Canton". Collider. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  19. ^ a b c d Michael, Fleming. "Platinum, Krantz to take a 'Chance': Graphic novel set for live-action adaptation," Variety (September 23, 2009).
  20. ^ a b Fernandez, Jay A. "Waverly" star Henrie joins "Weapon" adaptation," Reuters (Sep. 16, 2009).
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Fox21, Platinum load 'Gunplay' for TV: Graphic novel adaptation centers on buffalo soldier," Hollywood Reporter (Nov. 1, 2009).
  22. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Fox21 developing 'Indestructible Man' series: TV project is based on Platinum's upcoming comic book," Hollywood Reporter (Oct. 19, 2009).
  23. ^ Johnston. Rich. "The Secret Story Behind Cowboys And Aliens," Bleeding Cool (July 29, 2011).
  24. ^ "Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr. making 'Cowboys & Aliens'," Heat Vision Blog (Sept, 2009).
  25. ^ Johnston, Rich. "WOWIO to Pay All 2008 Second Quarter Payments by November 15," Bleeding Cool (October 1, 2009).
  26. ^ Reid, Calvin. "New Owners, New Business Model at," Publishers Weekly (Oct. 25, 2010).
  27. ^ "Jorge Vega: Learning To Play With Guns," Archived 2008-05-15 at the Wayback Machine Comics Bulletin (March 10, 2008).
  28. ^ Worley, Rob. "Prime, Jeremeiah, Mal Chance," Comic Book Resources: "Comics2Film" (Oct. 17, 2001).
  29. ^ "Chuck Dixon: Profiles in Prolifics," Comic Bulletin (April 10, 2008).
  30. ^ "Platinum's Comic Book Challenge Returns". Animation Magazine. 19 March 2007. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  31. ^ "The Comic Book Challenge Returns – SuperHeroHype". SuperHeroHype. 17 March 2007. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  32. ^ Gustines, George Gene. "Arts, Briefly; Comic Book Contest," New York Times (May 1, 2007).
  33. ^ Ball, Ryan. "Platinum’s Comic Book Challenge Returns," Animation Magazine (March 19, 2007).