Friday, June 16, 2017

Comic Book Publishers Of the Past 3rd edition

Comic Book Publishers of the Past
3rd edition
Alex Ness

Welcome back.

The past editions of this column I've tried to share both important and less important companies.  But in this edition I discuss two very important companies. I say this because in the first case, Kitchen Sink Press, the publisher sold a great variety of artistically important work. In the other, Pacific, it was a company that used the direct market as a way to reach readers, rather than the news stands. The kind of work each published was different than typical fare at the time.

Kitchen Sink Press published both adult works, science fiction, and fantasy works. and combinations of both. Pacific published heroic tales in the fantasy realm, science fiction tales, and some amazing works from creative talents that had decided to escape from Marvel and DC. I liked a great many books from each publisher, but my view of them being important isn't from buying habits. Both became outlets for different works, different than the then current offerings in the marketplace. Kitchen Sink Press was begun in 1970 and named for the publisher, Denis Kitchen. The initial focus was upon underground works, but also, they began reprinting the important the Spirit works from Will Eisner. The last years of the company saw few releases, due to lack of funds. and though it died as a publisher, it could be said that it has not left, since the various formations of the company lived on in different form.

Pacific Comics was born from a comic book store taking advantage of the new direct market and the opportunity to produce non-comic code restricted works. as the market began to grow several of the series begun at pacific moved to other publishers, such as Eclipse, First or Comico. Still, no matter the slowing of output, and ultimate death as a publisher, a distributor and retail outlets, the works published were new for the day.




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