David Steward II, the founder of Lion Forge, the St. Louis publisher of “comics for everyone” says, “creating high-quality graphic novels and comics was always the first step, a ticket to the game – but today’s audience has many ways to interact with dynamic and impactful content delivered on multiple platforms; from television, movies, streaming, and gaming. Over the past year we have been quietly and strategically building a portfolio of companies and new offerings beyond publishing to ensure we have content across every entertainment avenue available today, and actively preparing for what audiences will be seeking in the future.”
Early in 2018, David formed Polarity, structured as a holding company and investment platform, and recruited a new team of professionals. “Polarity is a diversified global media company with a mission to bring authentic content to a diverse global audience.” Lion Forge, and several other entities, are managed under the Polarity umbrella. “I realized it was time to bring in higher caliber people in key areas, and not necessarily from traditional publishing or Hollywood roots. I wanted smart people with great track records in their respective fields–people who bring fresh ideas and innovative thinking to the table.”
To form Polarity, Steward sought out talent from the business world to augment the creative talent led by himself and Carl Reed, Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of several companies in the Lion Forge brand family. Polarity oversees operations for the portfolio and pursues new business opportunities to expand the company’s offerings.
“With Lion Forge, in a relatively short amount of time, we gained the well-earned reputation as an innovator; creating a robust IP catalog, setting market trends instead of following them, and giving voice to under-served and un-represented audiences everywhere, as reflected in an impressive 11 Eisner Award nominations, more than other media companies much larger than us,” says David. “This I needed a team of top professionals to scale our operations in publishing and to build the broader platform. Polarity represents a collection of disruptors, innovators, and thought leaders who have already been hard at work shaping the future of our companies, and entertainment as a whole.”
David recruited Edward Hamati, Polarity’s President, in early 2018. “David and I were former colleagues in private equity before I moved on to early stage investing and company building. We always enjoyed working together and I have always admired David’s industry vision and the value he places on people and relationships,” says Edward. “When he asked me to come aboard to help him lead a team and build a strategy for his endeavors in entertainment, I was both honored and excited.” In addition to managing the firm with David, Edward leads the firm’s corporate development activities including M&A and investments.
“Over the last year, our efforts were focused on ensuring that the strength of our personnel was in line with the needs of our companies. Our core management team includes Shonagh Clements (Chief Legal Officer) and Angie Smith (Chief Financial Officer), well regarded industry professionals and leaders. Each oversee a team of professionals in their domains. On the portfolio operations side, our team includes Chip Schafer (VP, B2B services focus) and Rick Johnson (VP, publishing focus). Both bring many years working in their respective sectors.”
“I couldn’t be happier with the group we have in place. The Polarity team has already accomplished a great deal this past year, and we’re just getting started. Over the next few months, we will have some very exciting announcements coming – stay tuned!”
Polarity is based in St. Louis, MO with an office in Boston, MA.