Yesterday’s SDCC ’11 panel descriptions had some news buried in it, including this little tidbit:
First Comics: The First of the Great Independents Is Back with a Fury!— Legendary ’80s independent publishing powerhouse First Comics is returning when the world needs it most, not unlike the promised return of King Arthur. And the assembled Round Table of extraordinary comics creators are here to tell you how they will once again be rocking your world with comics entertainment from the cutting edge. Panelists include Ken F. Levin (Wanted, The Boys, First Comics co-founder and director), Joe Staton and Nick Cuti (E-Man), Bill Willingham (Fables), Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition), Brian Mullens (founder of DaQRi; QR director), Alex Wald (art director then and again), Susannah Carson (A Truth Universally Acknowledged; First Comics YA editor), and Daniel Merlin Goodbrey (The Tarquin Engine, The Last Sane Cowboy). Moderated by Larry Young (The Black Diamond; First Comics director of production). Room 23ABC
First Comics was a Chicago-based company that flourished in the 80s. Along with Eclipse and Pacific it pioneered that era of creator-owned comics and created tons of properties — like Nexus, American Flagg!, Grimjack and so on — that have been either fondly wished for or the subject of raging IP battles for 20 years.
This relaunch seems to be headed by Ken F. Levin, a lawyer and agent who currently reps people like Bill Willingham, Max Allan Collins and Garth Ennis, but was the co-founder of First, along with Mike Gold.
Larry Young is involved as production manager and talks a bit about the project at Robot 6 :
Larry: I don’t want to reveal too much this early in the game about what will set First apart from other companies; but look at the old days. I’m not sure I agree the playing field is all that different now than it was when First first took the field. But for now, First will have four (!) “preview” books at San Diego – but they’re using “preview” to mean that the books won’t be released to retail ’til October or November. Other than Special Convention Limited Editions, they are complete advance copies.
On the surface, this doesn’t seem to be related to other ongoing revivals of First titles like Grimjack that MIke Gold is helming at ComicMix — at last his name hasn’t come up yet.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.