Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Vol 1 (1980’s)

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was first published by Mirage Studios in 1984 in Dover, New Hampshire. The concept arose from a humorous drawing sketched out by Kevin Eastman during a casual evening of brainstorming and bad television with Peter Laird. Using money from a tax refund, together with a loan from Eastman’s uncle, the young artists self-published a single-issue comic intended to parody four of the most popular comics of the early 1980s: Marvel ComicsDaredevil and New Mutants, Dave Sim’s Cerebus, and Frank Miller’s Ronin. The TMNT comic series has been published in various incarnations by various comic book companies since 1984.

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Vengeance of Vampirella (1990’s)

Upon Warren’s bankruptcy shortly afterward, Harris Publications acquired the company assets at auction in August 1983, although legal murkiness and a 1999 lawsuit by Warren publisher James Warren resulted in his re-acquisition of the rights to sister publications Creepy and Eerie. Harris Comics published Vampirella stories in various series and miniseries from 1991 to 2007. Harris also published Vampirella #113, a one-issue continuation of the original series, containing solely reprinted stories, in 1988.

X-O Manowar (1992)

X-O Manowar began as an original character by Valiant Comics with issue #1 with a cover date of February 1992. Less than a year after it began, with the Unity crossover and quality storytelling bringing attention to Valiant books, back issue prices rose dramatically due to limited early print runs. With comic book speculators buying multiple copies of each issue, sales reached as high as 800,000 copies for X-O Manowar #0 (August 1993) before dropping off. This original series ran for 68 issues before being canceled after the Sept. 1996 issue, of which only approximately 14,000 were printed.

THB (1994)

Paul Pope introduced THB in 1994, the same year he began work for Kodansha, Japan’s best-known manga publisher. Pope eventually developed the manga Supertrouble for Kodansha, which mined the “cutie-pie” girl adventure vein that THB exists in. Pope has self-published some of his work through his own Horse Press, with other work such as One-Trick Ripoff coming from Dark Horse Comics and Heavy Liquid and 100% published under DC ComicsVertigo imprint.

Pope’s work combines the precision and romance of the European artists he studies with the energy and page design of the manga tradition. His storytelling narratives continue to mature with well-paced, deftly-shaded combinations of science fiction, hardboiled crime stories and the Romeo and Juliet archetype. Pope’s two protagonist types are the silent, lanky outsider male of One-Trick Ripoff, Escapo and Heavy Liquid, or the resourceful, aggressive, humorous young teenage girls of THB.

Jim & Frank

Jim is a series created by Jim Woodring. It began in 1980  as a self-published zine and was picked up by Fantagraphics Books in 1986 after cartoonist Gil Kane introduced Woodring to Fantagraphics co-owner Gary Groth. The publisher released four magazine-sized black-and-white issues starting in September 1987. A comic book-sized continuation, Jim Volume II, with some color, began in 1993 and ran for six issues until 1996.

Jim, which Woodring described as an “autojournal”, contained comics on a variety of subjects, many based on dreams, as well as surreal drawings and free-form text which resembled Jimantha automatic writing. Besides dreams, the work drew on Woodring’s childhood experiences, hallucinations, past alcoholism, and Hindu beliefs. It also included stories of recurring Woodring characters such as Pulque (the embodiment of drunkenness), boyhood friends Chip and Monk, and, in Volume II, his signature creation Frank.

Grafik Muzik (1990)

Madman first appeared as Frank Einstien in Creatures of the Id and Grafik Muzik published in 1990, but it wasn’t until March 1992 that the first Madman miniseries debuted from Tundra Publishing. The series gained further recognition with its move to Dark Horse Comics in April 1994, where it was relaunched as Madman Comics and went on to be nominated for several Harvey AwardsMadman Comics ran for 20 issues and ended in 2000. From 2007–2009, Image Comics published Madman: Atomic Comics for 17 issues.

Grafik Muzik #1 NM $39

Black Hole (1995)

Black Hole written and drawn by Charles Burns was published as a 12-issue comic book limited series between 1995 and 2005. The first four issues were released by Kitchen Sink Press, before the publisher went out of business. Fantagraphics republished the first four issues and the remaining eight.

Set in the suburbs of Seattle during the 1970s, the story follows a group of teenagers who contract a mysterious sexually transmitted disease referred to as “the Bug, which causes them to develop bizarre unique physical mutations and subsequently become social outcasts, many of them running away from home to live in the nearby woodland.

Black Hole #1 NM $39

 

From Hell (1989)

From Hell is a graphic novel by writer Alan Moore and artist Eddie Campbell, originally published in serial form from 1989 to 1996 and collected in 1999. Set during the Whitechapel murders of the late Victorian era, the novel speculates upon the identity and motives of Jack the Ripper. The novel depicts several true events of the murders, although portions have been fictionalised, particularly the identity of the killer and the precise nature and circumstances of the murders. The title is taken from the first words of the “From Hell” letter, which some authorities believe was an authentic message sent from the killer in 1888.

Cry for Dawn (1989)

Cry for Dawn was a 9-issue horror anthology comic book. The book was primarily written by Joseph Michael Linsner and Joseph Monks with artwork by Joseph Michael Linsner.The series featured guest artist and writers in some issues, but the work was largely performed by Linsner and Monks. It was published by Cry for Dawn Productions from 1989–1992 and is famous for introducing the character of Dawn, the goddess of birth and rebirth. Although Dawn served as an emcee in the Cry for Dawn issues, she would later have many titles dedicated to her journeys through heaven and hell across multiple spin-off titles for Sirius Entertainment, Image Comics, and Linsner.com.

Cry for Dawn was a mature-readers-only title that hit during the peak of the 90’s independent comic rise. Due to the artwork by Linsner and the cutting-edge subject matter that the series dealt with, the titled developed a cult following that has continued in the decades following the publication.