Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dreadstar and Warlock



When I think of cosmic comic books, my mind always goes to the artwork of Jim Starlin.  I remember being so impressed by his work on titles like Warlock and Captain Marvel - his sleek illustrations gave the space sagas that he illustrated a modern feel that set them apart from any other comics on the stands.  Just from looking at the covers you knew you were going to be in for a wide screen epic!


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, I remember Dreadstar! I never brought an issue (it was beyond the limits of my allowance at the time) but I remember flipping through it on the newsstands. By the time I got my first job as a paperboy and could actually afford pricier comics, Epic Comics was discontinued. The company was owned by Marvel, and not sure why it folded. These are the memories that make me miss the 1980s, an innocent time for me. Thank you, Ross!

butterfly effect said...

I would have looked forward to a Dreadstar & Warlord team-up. Please save that pairing for the future. Also, you haven't used Arak, Son of Thunder yet. He would be awesome. Make it so!!

pblfsda said...

@Anonymous: Epic changed their look (trade dress) around 1990 or so, but they kept publishing through the late 90's. They generally didn't ship to newsstands; most of their comics in the 80's shipped only to direct market locations such as comics specialty stores, mail-order businesses and alternative book stores. The difference is that newsstands return unsold copies and direct market venues must keep unsold copies to get a better wholesale rate.

You probably flipped through "Dreadstar and Company", a six issue series that reprinted the first story arc from "Dreadstar". Marvel and DC both experimented with reprinting stories from their pricier direct titles (often on Baxter or Mando paper) on cheaper paper with more paid ads for less expensive newsstand versions (DC did it with New Teen Titans and LSH). After four years "Dreadstar" was published by First which was likewise direct only.

Anonymous said...

There he is! Classic Warlock. My favorite 70's superhero. Thanks, pal.

Ken Roskos said...

Super cool! No on beats Jim Starlin.

Diabolu Frank said...

Yyyeeessssss!!! There are few character/creator combinations that would be better suited to me personally.

Anonymous said...

@ pblfsda, in the 1980s, random issues of graphic novels or "specialty shop" edition/independent comics would end up on the occasional newstands, sometimes right next to Heavy Metal Magazine. As a kid coming across one, it was infuriating because it would only be a one-off issue and another wouldn't pop up for months! You'd get "part 2" of a story, but there's no way to track part 1, and you'd mostly likely never see part 3. It wasn't until I moved to the suburbs that I discovered "cards & gifts" stores that had consistent comic book delivery systems. Then Walden Books & Barnes & Nobles in the shopping malls began carrying the same books as specialty shops!! Yay! I was so shocked when I was to buy 4 issues of Batman & the Outsiders uninterrupted, every month! Wow! Unheard back in the old urban neighborhood my family had just left. So coming across a random copy of Epic Comics or Marvel Graphic Novel (I think Penthouse Magazine had an illustrated SyFy magazine too, back then) out of the blue was an exotic treat back then!

Anonymous said...

Nobody did cosmic like Jim Starlin.

Also: props for the shout-out in Dreadstar's speech bubble from the original "Dreadstar" Epic series.

pblfsda said...

@Anonymous: Penthouse published OMNI, a science-fiction magazine that was heavily illustrated and probably also ran a few pages of comics from time to time, as did Penthouse itself. It very likely published graphic novels and one-shot magazines with OMNI's logo rather than its own in order to reach a wider audience. In the 90's it published comics magazines with its own name, although, not surprisingly, those consisted mostly of sexual content whereas stuff using OMNI's name mostly did not.

Ted Miller said...

Um, am I the only one to point out that Dreadstar began under a Marvel imprint. And though he went through several publishers, none of them were DC.

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