Brothers Pat Lee and Roger Lee founded Dreamwave Productions in Toronto, Canada in 1996 as an imprint under Image Comics and published their first mini-series, Darkminds. Pat maintained artistic control while Roger managed the business operations.
Dreamwave spun off from Image in 2002 after acquiring the license for the popular Transformers toyline from Hasbro. The first mini-series, written by Chris Sarracini & drawn by Pat Lee and based on the Transformers: Generation 1 characters, was the top-selling book on the sales charts for its entire run, a feat which surprised even the writer, who said: "I suspected the (comic) would break into the top 10, but I had no idea that it would skyrocket to No. 1."
Various ongoing and limited series followed, covering various continuities, such as the G1 universe and the then current Transformers: Armada toyline. Transformers scribe Simon Furman came on board to produce Transformers: The War Within, a series of limited series detailing previously-undocumented aspects of the Transformers' past. Many artistic members of the fan community, such as Don Figueroa and Guido Guidi, were hired by the company, entering the professional world of comics via their hobby.
Writers James McDonough and Adam Patyk left the company in 2004 over pay disputes. Despite plans for hiring replacements for them, it was subsequently announced that Dreamwave had gone out of business. The company cited "the shrinking comic book market combined with a weak U.S. dollar" as the reason for their closure. The final Dreamwave comic was published in December 2004, leaving several ongoing series and limited series incomplete.
In late April 2005, freelancers who were still owed money by Dreamwave discovered they were also liable for debts incurred by Dreamwave. According to the terms of the contract the company had with Federal Express, the freelancers were left liable for the cost of shipping their unpublished, unpaid for work to Canada. Guido Guidi and Don Figueroa were two such freelancers affected.
After the company's bankruptcy in January 2005, Dreamwave's assets were purchased at an auction in August by Canadian entrepreneur Christian Dery, who planned to relaunch its original, non-licensed, properties. However, the new Dreamwave have not published nor announced the publishing of any titles since the 2005 announcement. IDW Publishing acquired the Transformers license in 2005 and began publishing new Transformers comics in 2006.
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