EXCLUSIVE: Ash Avildsen’s Sumerian Records & Films, which is looking to increase its film and TV footprint, has acquired independent comic book publisher and gaming company Behemoth Entertainment.
In their first year, Behemoth sold more than 500,000 books and is currently eighth in total market share among English-language comic book publishers in revenue generated. Their title You Promised Me Darkness #1 is the best-selling black and white debut issue since 2013’s Batman: Black and White #1.
On the movie side, the company published the comic for acclaimed Iranian vampire romance film A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. It also published the comic series for Netflix’s French-Japanese animated sci-fi title MFKZ, and in partnership with Ubisoft, Behemoth published the series Watch Dogs: Legion based on the video game.
Behemoth has comic distribution through both Lunar and Diamond, as well as Simon & Schuster for books. The company also has partnerships with Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony in place for upcoming video games.
Sumerian Records is known as an indie label for rock, alternative, and metal with several recent Grammy nominations. They are distributed by Virgin Music and Universal Music Group as well as a frontline partnership at Capitol Records. The label’s artists include Asking Alexandria, Black Veil Brides, Smashing Pumpkins, Meg Myers, and Lilith Czar.
Entertainment arm Sumerian Films’ feature American Satan was distributed by Miramax and Showtime. Their first scripted episodic series is the young adult music drama Paradise City (starring Andy Biersack, Bella Thorne, Drea de Matteo, Olivia Culpo, Fairuza Balk, and the late Cameron Boyce), which is currently streaming on Amazon Prime, Tubi and IMDB TV in the US and Pluto in the UK. The company now plans to produce three-five original features every year as well driving more in to TV production.
Avildsen directed American Satan and is the son of Oscar-winning filmmaker John G. Avildsen of Rocky fame.
Said Ash Avildsen, Sumerian founder/CEO: “Nathan and Ryan have built Behemoth so quickly and independently with such a great original IP selection of characters, worlds and story. It was an easy decision to team up with these very talented young mavericks when the opportunity arose. They have good taste! Having a diligent, proven team in comics, graphic novels and gaming is paramount to Sumerian as we continue our passion for story-telling across all audio and visual spectrums. We will always be discovering, creating or developing IP into books, episodic series, feature films, animation and beyond.”
Added Nathan Yocum, co-founder of Behemoth: “After 15+ years of pushing the boundaries of what an independent record label can achieve, it’s a an incredible reward for us to be joining the Sumerian family today. While we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished over the last few years, Ryan and myself couldn’t pass on the opportunity to align visions with Ash and enter this incredible next chapter of endless possibilities and growth as Sumerian Comics & Games. The power and weight that the Sumerian name carries is real and the future of Sumerian has never looked so positive.”
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