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Digital comics company Madefire suspends operations and lays off all employees

Madefire
(Image credit: Madefire)

The comics-centric technology company Madefire has suspended operations and is in the process of liquidating its assets. A former employee tells Newsarama that all Madefire employees and contracts have been laid off.

In a notice posted on its website (opens in new tab), Madefire states it has "entered into an assignment for the benefit of creditors (the "Assignment"), which is a state-level insolvency proceeding similar to bankruptcy."

Madefire

(Image credit: Madefire)

An assignment for the benefit of creditors (ABC) is an alternative to formal bankruptcy proceedings that is available in some states (such as Madefire's home state of California). Madefire is working with the consulting firm Sherwood Partners, which describe themselves as "the leading Assignee for Assignments for the Benefit of Creditors (ABCs) in the United States."

As Madefire enters insolvency proceedings, the company has indefinitely suspended the sale of all its books, halted planned publication of upcoming projects, and suspended support of its Madefire app. It also warns consumers who've purchased Madefire books before to download all content, in case it becomes unavailable.

"Access to purchased content stored in the cloud may be limited and therefore customers are encouraged to download all previously purchased content from the cloud onto the Madefire App before the end of April 2021," reads Madefire's statement.

Madefire was founded in 2011 by comic writer/artist Liam Sharp, computer programmer Eugene Walden, and branding agency owner Ben Wolstenholme. In addition to publishing its own comics digitally, Madefire has its own digital comics app which features digital comics and motion comics from Marvel, DC, IDW Publishing, Kodansha, and more. In its ten years in business, Madefire has attracted over $12 million in venture funding from investors that include Kevin Spacey, Drake, and True Ventures.

If the Madefire app is going away, there are still other digital comics readers for Android and iOS devices.

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)