Tuesday, August 31, 2010
If I had to pick a favorite among the early Indy publishers it would likely be Pacific Comics, but if I had to pick one I thought would be a success ultimately it would be First Comics. They seemed more than any of the early publishers to have a solid handle on how to make comics for the direct market and how to make it lucratively. They didn't ultimately survive, but for a time First was a mover and a shaker.
Warp was odd but compelling with lush Frank Brunner artwork, E-Man was a classic project and worthy of a larger audience despite Nick Cuti's absence if only for Joe Staton's great artwork, and Mike Grell's Sable was sure-footed and sleek.
But the bonafide hit, at least critically, for First had to be Howard Chaykin's American Flagg. This was a comic that was smart and fun and had a heft of theme that made it worthwhile beyond mere entertainment.
I traded away almost all my First Comics, but in the years since, I've picked up a lot of them out of discount bins as curiosity and nostalgia have indicated. Yesterday I found a near intact collection of American Flagg for small money and despite a big one-time bite and my general desire to not add more comics to the towering bundles in the back bedroom, I scarfed them up.
I wanted to read Chaykin's story again, especially the first dozen issues, the original story that won so many awards and left such a mark in the memory of collective fandom. They are on the nightstand awaiting my further attention. I look forward to it.