Only the fourth use of the word “cahoots” in the history of this site. Not counting this post’s title.

§ July 15th, 2016 § Filed under indies § 8 Comments

Usually, when I think of “the black and white boom” (as we have been over the last couple of posts), I tend to associate it with the more exploitative end of this publishing fad…the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles knock-offs, the parody books, the comics that might as well have just been blank inside given they were cranked out solely in the hopes some investor would snap up cases of them for Turtles-esque resale value. And there were the rumors of various forms of funny business in which some comics were supposedly “in short supply” but, oh, hey, this one place that totally isn’t in cahoots with that comic’s creators just happens to have a limited stock of copies for only $19.99 each! What a deal!

It’s easy to forget in the midst of all this, actual quality work was being put out and getting lost in the shuffle and swept away when the End Times came for all the black and whites, good or bad. One such book, mentioned by kiwijohn in the comments to the first post linked above, was Alien Fire:


…a comic I never got around to reading, but the covers always did grab my eye when I came across ’em at my previous place of employment. I bring it up specifically because one of the creators, Eric Vincent, popped up in the comments to express his lament at the series taking the hit when the b&w bust finally happened. Thanks for giving your perspective on the situation, Eric! (Co-creator Anthony Smith also stopped in.)

Internet pal C. Elam was good enough to point out that Border Worlds, another title cut short before its time, is due for a complete reprinting from Dover Books, including a brand-new 30-page conclusion! This is what I get for not keeping up to date on all of Don Simpson’s blogs. This is good news, and if it’s anything like the Puma Blues hardcover (another great black and white book from the period), this will be a tome definitely worth having. Can’t wait to see it.

The black and white boom was an interesting time, and I wish I was a little more involved in the retail end of things then to have more insight on the matter. I mean, I certainly read plenty of black and white books throughout the ’80s, and I sort of miss seeing those oddball titles populating the stands. In fact, I have a hard time thinking of too many black and white title periodical comics (as opposed to the mostly b&w manga titles) on the stands now…and when they are, it’s likely more for aesthetic purposes than a cost-saving measure. I’m pretty sure they could afford to put The Walking Dead out in color, for example. (I’m betting we’ll get color editions of The Walking Dead eventually, anyway, like the color reissues of Bone. Probably not from Scholastic, though.)

I keep saying “I’m going to try to dig up more black and white titles from the ’80s to recommend” and I keep not having the time to research (i.e. “dig through my own collection”). I still plan on doing it, so keep your eyes out for at least one more post on the matter. Or three or four. You know how I am.

8 Responses to “Only the fourth use of the word “cahoots” in the history of this site. Not counting this post’s title.”

  • Iestyn Pettigrew says:

    What happened to the Neil the Horse book that Dover were going to put out?

    Has that come out?

  • Eric L says:

    is the new LOVE & ROCKETS series going to be in B&W or color? Gilbert & Jaime’s art is beautiful either way, but a full color series would be new.

  • Mikester says:

    Iestyn – There’s this Indiegogo campaign for Neil the Horse:

    It’s a great comic, and should be back in print.

    Eric L. – I assumed it was black and white, since they’re saying L&R will be back in the classic format, but the item information on Diamond’s retailer site has a “FC” code, meaning “full color.” I don’t think that’s correct, to be honest.

  • John J says:

    Hope it’s not too late to add a couple more titles to the list.
    I did recently see an article about Teri Wood’s “Wandering Stars” getting a trade reprinting. She didn’t get too far on her second series, I believe the title was “Darklight” but I could be wrong.
    Another self-publisher, Martin Wagner, had “Hepcats” out twice, once by himself and a second printing by Antarctic Press. Haven’t heard of any reprintings recently on this.

  • Marc Sobel says:

    I have boxes of this stuff! Not sure if it counts since it was technically a DC title (Piranha Press), but Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children was a great b&w series that actually holds up very well.

    Also, Ditko did a ton of interesting b&w work in the 80s, like Revolver.

  • Iestyn Pettigrew says:

    Beautiful Stories was awesome stuff – loved it

    Also – looks like I had completely the wrong publisher!! Sorry

    And that’s REALLY not going well, which is a real shame to me. I REALLY want that to happen

  • Jonathan Miller says:

    I remember when that Neil the Horse indiegogo was started, a long time ago. I was pretty ticked off because Hermes Press had already solicited the book in Previews, and I’d ordered it. I didn’t contribute because I didn’t want to pay twice. Looks like they’re still going though, long after I suspect orders would have been cancelled.

    Moral of the story: Publishers, don’t solicit a book in Previews if you can’t afford to pay for it!

  • Jason Wheeler says:

    BONE being in color is STILL WRONG, DAMMIT.