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First Comics
Comics
was an American comic-book publisher that was active from 1983 to 1991, known for titles like American Flagg!, Grimjack, Nexus, Badger, Dreadstar, and Jon Sable. Along with competitors like Pacific Comics
Comics
and Eclipse Comics, First took early advantage of the growing direct market, attracting a number of writers and artists from DC and Marvel to produce creator-owned titles, which, as they were not subject to the Comics
Comics
Code, were free to feature more mature content.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Rebirth

2 Awards 3 Legacy/collected editions 4 Titles 5 See also 6 Footnotes 7 References

History[edit] Based in Evanston, Illinois, First Comics
Comics
was co-founded by Ken F. Levin[5] and Mike Gold. It launched in 1983 with a line-up of creators including Frank Brunner, Mike Grell, Howard Chaykin, Joe Staton, Steven Grant, Timothy Truman, and Jim Starlin. In 1984, First acquired all the titles of the short-lived publisher Capital Comics, including Mike Baron's action/superhero/fantasy/comedy series Badger, and Baron and Steve Rude's space-superhero series Nexus. Among First's best-known titles were Chaykin's satirical futuristic cop series American Flagg; John Ostrander
John Ostrander
and Tim Truman's Grimjack; Baron & Rude's Nexus; Badger; Jim Starlin's space opera series Dreadstar
Dreadstar
and Mike Grell's Jon Sable, which was briefly adapted for TV. In 1984, the publisher sued industry giant Marvel Comics, claiming that Marvel flooded the market with new titles in 1983 specifically to shut out First and other new companies. In the same lawsuit, First also sued printer World Color Press
World Color Press
for anti-competitive activities, claiming the printer undercharged Marvel for its business, and in return overcharged First and its fellow independents.[6][7] The suit took up much of the mid-1980s before finally being resolved in the spring of 1988.[8][9] The company moved to Chicago
Chicago
in 1985. Mike Gold, one of First's founders, served as the company president until late 1985;[10] Gold soon moved to New York to become a senior editor at DC Comics.[11] Gold later used his First Comics
Comics
connections to bring Grell, Chaykin, and Truman over to DC to create memorable series like Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters, Blackhawk, and Hawkworld. From 1985–1988, First published Peter B. Gillis and Mike Saenz's digital comic Shatter, the first commercially published all-digital comic book.[citation needed] In 1986, despite its success with the direct market, First experimented with newsstand distribution.[12] Later that same year, the publisher found itself in the middle of the industry-wide debate about creators' rights.[13] (Clashes with DC Comics, First, and other publishers on this issue led in part to the drafting of the Creator's Bill of Rights signed by Scott McCloud, Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Dave Sim, Rick Veitch, and other comics creators in late 1988.) First also published a series of comic adaptations of the Eternal Champion books by Michael Moorcock
Michael Moorcock
and English translations of the Japanese manga series Lone Wolf and Cub. The company's final major project was a revival of Classics Illustrated.[14][15] The company partnered with Berkley Books (then Berkley Publishing Group) to acquire the rights, and Classics Illustrated returned with new adaptations and a line-up of artists that included Kyle Baker, Dean Motter, Mike Ploog, P. Craig Russell, Bill Sienkiewicz, Joe Staton, Rick Geary, and Gahan Wilson. However, the line lasted only a little over a year. First Comics
Comics
ceased publishing in 1991, and closed their doors for good in early 1992.[16] Rebirth[edit] In July 2011, just before San Diego Comic-Con International, First co-founder Levin announced that the company would resume publishing new material in late 2011.[5] On November 22, 2013, Mike Baron announced a new project on his Facebook page: "HOWL! coming next year from First Comics. Shane Oakley is the artist."[17] Publishing resumed in June, 2014.[18] On June 15, 2015, First Comics
Comics
and Devil's Due Publishing
Devil's Due Publishing
merged to form Devil's Due/1First Comics
Comics
LLC. In addition to reprinting older properties, Devil's Due/1First Comics
Comics
announced that they will be launching five new ongoing series. Despite the merge and emphasis on creator owned properties, both 1First Comics
Comics
and Devil's Due intend to maintain editorial independence.[19] Awards[edit] The company picked up many industry awards, including a 1985 Kirby Award for Best Graphic Album for Beowulf. Legacy/collected editions[edit] Dark Horse Comics
Comics
would later reprint the Lone Wolf and Cub
Lone Wolf and Cub
series in English, and finally complete it in 2002. In 2005, IDW Publishing revived Jon Sable
Jon Sable
and Grimjack with new miniseries and reprint collections of the First Comics
Comics
issues, and would also publish a complete collection of Mars. In 2007 IDW also started reprinting Badger as well as starting a new series.[20] IDW also reprinted the four Oz stories by Eric Shanower
Eric Shanower
originally published as issues of First Graphic Novel as Adventures in Oz. First Graphic Novel also featured colorized reprints of early issues of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. Titles[edit] Main article: List of First Comics
Comics
publications See also[edit]

Cynosure (comics) The F-Men

Footnotes[edit]

^ Alex Wald interview, David Anthony Kraft's Comics
Comics
Interview #52 (1987). ^ Kurt Goldzung interview, David Anthony Kraft's Comics
Comics
Interview #52 (1987). ^ "First," The Comics
Comics
Journal #124 (August 1988), p. 19. ^ "Bob Garcia Joins First Comics," The Comics
Comics
Journal #126 (January 1989), p. 34. ^ a b Phegley, Kiel. "CBR News: EXCLUSIVE: Levin On Relaunching First Comics," Comic Book Resource (July 14, 2011). ^ "First Comics
Comics
Sues Marvel Comics
Comics
for Anti-Competitive Activities," The Comics
Comics
Journal #89 (May 1984), p. 8. ^ Goodrich, Chris. "Captain America, Get a Lawyer!: An upstart comic book publisher sues mighty Marvel Comics," San Francisco Chronicle (01 June 1986), p. 9. ^ "First vs. Marvel and World Color," The Comics
Comics
Journal #102 (September 1985), pp. 11-14. ^ "First Awaits Court Verdict," The Comics
Comics
Journal #121 (April 1988), p. 8: lawsuit involving First Comics, Marvel Comics, and printing of comics, and World Color Press. ^ "Mike Gold Leaves First Presidential Post" The Comics
Comics
Journal #103 (November 1985), pp. 14-15. ^ "Mike Gold Leaves First Comics
Comics
to Become Senior Editor at DC," The Comics
Comics
Journal #105 (February 1986), p. 27. ^ "Editorial: First Comics
Comics
to Experiment with Newsstand Distribution this Spring," The Comics
Comics
Journal #107 (April 1986), pp. 14-15. ^ "First Comics
Comics
Pays Up," The Comics
Comics
Journal #110 (August 1986), pp. 9-10: On creators' rights. ^ "First Comics
Comics
Revives Classics Illustrated," The Comics
Comics
Journal #120 (March 1988), p. 12. ^ "First Comics
Comics
Revives Classics Illustrated
Classics Illustrated
in January," The Comics Journal #132 (November 1989), p. 23. ^ "Newswatch: First Closes Offices," The Comics
Comics
Journal #148 (February 1992), p. 27. ^ https://www.facebook.com/michael.a.baron.7 ^ https://www.facebook.com/FirstComics/posts/681463641901029 ^ http://deadline.com/2015/06/devils-due-1first-comics-merger-film-licensing-1201443257/ ^ Mike Baron’s “Badger” is Back, Comic Book Resources, August 29, 2007

References[edit]

Official Website First Comics
Comics
at International Superheroes First Comics
Comics
history

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