AfterShock Comics wasn’t the only company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this week — its corporate sibling, Rive Gauche, did the same. That might prove to be an important factor in determining AfterShock’s future.
While the name Rive Gauche might not be too familiar to comic book fans, it’s possible that AfterShock Media — the collective name given to the umbrella of AfterShock Comics and Rive Gauche since late 2020 — might ring more of a bell, especially considering announced movie and TV deals for AfterShock projects including The Normals, A Cancelled Man, The Kaiju Score, and more. Officially, AfterShock Comics and Rive Gauche merged to become AfterShock Media on October 5, 2020 — that’s the term used by the companies themselves in announcing the deal, although both companies continued to operate as individual entities following the merger.
To complicate matters, the website for AfterShock Media even defines AfterShock Media as being “comprised of Rive Gauche and AfterShock Comics,” while the Rive Gauche website describes Rive Gauche as being “an AfterShock Media Company.” AfterShock Media, in that case, is perhaps most usefully and practically considered a corporate parent to the pre-existing companies than a fully-merged entity per se. Even before the official merger, the two companies had been closely connected, sharing both projects and executives; the “merger” into AfterShock Media might simply have been a way to formally recognize this connection.
Rive Gauche actually predates AfterShock Comics by 21 years. The company was founded in 1994, with a focus on production, acquisition, and distribution of television shows. Prior to the formation of AfterShock Media, its focus appeared to be in the reality and documentary space, with the company boasting of its portfolio of over 1,700 hours of material in that arena.
According to its own Chapter 11 filing — the company filed at the same time as AfterShock Comics — Rive Gauche owes somewhere between $10 million and $50 million to less than 50 creditors, with AMC Networks, TBS, and Discovery Networks named amongst some of those owed money by the company. Other creditors include production companies Farpoint Films, Jupiter Entertainment, M2 Pictures, and more; also making appearances are AfterShock Comics founders Joe Pruett and Mike Marts, as well as AfterShock Comics itself.
From what Popverse has been led to believe by a source close to the matter, Rive Gauche and the larger AfterShock Media project is seen as being an essential part of the recovery of AfterShock Comics, with the funds brought in by future adaptations of AfterShock material — even simply the matter of optioning said material for adaptation — seen as crucial to helping the company get back on its feet. As with AfterShock, Rive Gauche filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows for the company to continue to operate and restructure its debt, meaning that AfterShock Media may yet have a chance to survive.
Look for more information about AfterShock Comics on Popverse as it becomes known.
AfterShock Comics’ bankruptcy filing was just the latest in a series of changes for the company, following co-founder Mike Marts leaving the company in September and Brian Cunningham replacing him the following month.