Ending months of uncertainty over its future, indie graphic novel publisher Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group has named veteran comics executive Hunter Gorinson as its president and publisher, effective immediately. Gorinson, formerly v-p of business development at Boom! Studios, will oversee all OLFPG operations, including editorial, marketing, and sales, encompassing the direct market, book trade, digital, and e-commerce retail channels.

"Oni is, without a doubt, one of the most groundbreaking and influential comic book publishers of our generation,” said Gorinson. “I look forward to working alongside our incredibly talented team and distinguished roster of creators to write a new chapter that will honor Oni’s legacy of advancing daring creative voices, stories, and ideas, while opening new opportunities to maximize the scope and impact of the Oni-Lion Forge library for readers of all ages in comic shops, bookstores, and beyond.”

Gorinson takes over Oni-Lion Forge, which is based in Portland, Ore., after months of uncertainty and instability following a series of layoffs beginning in June that included much of its leadership team. The dismissals included longtime publisher James Lucas Jones, Charlie Chu, v-p of creative and business development, followed quickly by the firings of senior v-p of sales and marketing Alex Segura, sales manager Henry Barajas, senior editor Amanda Meadows, and editor Jasmine Amiri. The dismissals and overall uncertainty led to the cancellation of Oni Press’s 25th anniversary celebrations and OLFPG’s attendance at this year San Diego Comic-Con.

Oni-Lion Forge publishes about 60 graphic novels a year (in addition to a list of periodical comics) that includes both original and licensed properties. Its books are distributed to the book trade by Simon & Shuster. Prior to the layoffs, the company employed a staff of about 30. The Oni-Lion Forge publishing entity was created in 2019 by the merger of Oni Press, a notable indie comics house founded in 1997, and Lion Forge, founded in 2012 by Dave Stewart II. The Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group is the publishing subsidiary of Polarity, an entertainment media company also founded by Stewart in 2018.

Gorinson brings a varied and experienced background to his new position. Beginning in 2011, he was founding v-p of marketing and communications at indie comics house Valiant Entertainment; in 2018 he joined TV and film production company Hivemind serving as senior v-p of brand and content strategy overseeing comics-based TV and film projects produced for Netflix and Amazon; and simultaneously he was a cofounding publisher of the startup comics imprint Bad Idea, an innovative publishing and distribution venture launched in 2020 focused on creating a list of comics periodicals for direct market comics shops.

David Stewart II, chairman of OLFPG, praised Gorinson for his “deep understanding of the both the art and the business of comics.” Stewart added: "Hunter knows how to build collaborative environments that foster creativity between creators and colleagues alike, and shape content that will resonate with fans around the world.”