Bill Black talks of his service in the Army and how that led to the creation of Paragon Publications. It was in this part of his life that he began to realize that he had “Strange Luck” that facilitated his becoming a career comic book publisher. After Army discharge, Black worked for Warren on CREEPY and EERIE, various film production companies, a brief stint at Marvel Comics, and launched the Paragon universe into comic book fandom. Eventually, that strange luck resulted in forming AC Comics in 1982.
Continuing Bill Black’s introspective look at starting Paragon/AC Comics and why he became an artist in the first place, Part Two discusses how DC’s SHOWCASE No. 4 in 1956 inspired him to continue making homemade comics. “Eat Pie, Pig!” a Wonder Wart Hog war cry, heralds Black’s joining the staff of THE CHARLATAN, a renegade, anti-establishment college humor magazine. This was a learning experience that directly led to the creation of Paragon Publications. 1956 thru 1966 is covered in this episode.
Readers have shown interest in learning the History of AC Comics and feel that it should include a discussion of Paragon Publications. Bill Black started Paragon in 1969 and, after more than a decade of publishing, that entity morphed into AC Comics. In this entry, Black takes an introspective look at why he became an artist in the first place. He started collecting comics at the early age of six in 1949 but his life was upended when his family relocated to Florida in 1951. Suddenly cut off from access to comic books, television, and movies, he started drawing in an effort to recapture memories of what he had lost. BEGINNING Part 1 examines the very early years including the illustration of home-grown comics that would lead someday to the creation of Paragon Publications.
Here’s a shout out to John Nadeau who started his art career at AC Comics decades ago drawing FEMFORCE and such diverse features as THE DURANGO KID and ROY ROGERS. John is a good friend and a great talent. He also supplied superb covers for FEMFORCE, CRYPT OF HORROR, STORMY TEMPEST and NIGHTVEIL in recent years. Now he has produced an extraordinary series entitled VECTOR.
When I flipped thru the new sci-fi comic VECTOR numbers one and two yesterday I was immediately struck by the visual complexity of the art… the architecture, the depth, free-hand line work and the hundreds and hundreds of little people delineated therein. I realized that absorbing all this would require a concentrated effort on my part. After all, if John Nadeau, creator, writer, artist, colorist, had put this much into VECTOR, reading it, drinking it all in, should have my undivided attention...
NIGHTVEIL MEETS CONRAD BROOKS!
Here’s something that nobody else has seen. AC Comics was set up with David Sanford’s TRI-CITY GAMES at the GIANT COMIC BOOK WAREHOUSE SHOW in Orlando, FL in 1995 to promote the SUPERBABES Role Playing Game. David put up a huge display and made room for a few AC Comics’
Artists, Chris Allen, Mark Heike and Nick Northey. He also brought in, from Texas, Mary Capps to appear in costume as NIGHTVEIL. In addition Charlotte Foster was decked out as COLT, the Weapons Mistress. The famous guest star of the show was Hollywood actor, CONRAD BROOKS, of PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE fame.
I was there shooting video with a VHS camcorder so the picture quality is not so hot. Still this a good glimpse of the times as it happened 25 years ago.
Mary’s excellent NIGHTVEIL costume was commissioned by Steven Johnson for the 1994 San Diego Comic Con Costume Contest where she appeared as the mystic mistress...
Bill Black discusses the labor involved in the early (1983) days of Indy comic book publishing. Pre-digital comics with mechanical color separations required a lot of time-consuming work and were very expensive to produce. This entry, the #) Day Doom, is the first in a series concerning the
When a reader picks up a comic book they first see the art then read the story. Little thought, if any, is given to the process of what it takes to physically produce the book. This segment of the History of AC Comics will focus not on the editorial aspect of publishing but the physical labor and equipment involved in the manufacturing of a comic book.
Most publishers create editorial content and pass everything else on to their printer. That is expensive. The primary reason, other than insanity, for the incredible longevity of AC is that all the grunt work was done in house. Whereas publishers have office staff… secretaries, proofreaders, office assistants, accountants, and so forth…...