When I was doing my own ashcan comic book, ‘Medium Men’, I needed a name for the villain the heroes fight against. I needed a name that would suit an evil mastermind but also fit the theme of the book, which was a spoof on the X-Men or such.
This was a long time ago, but I remember days went by and I could not figure out a good name for the bad guy. This was important stuff, the name of the villain has to be something that informs you about his nature. It has to speak for him like a calling card.
Then an episode of The Dukes of Hazard came on. I was not a huge fan or anything, but by then it had been in syndication way too long and the Dukes were like TV comfort food. I mean, it might as well have been Gilligan’s Island coming on. So I was basically ignoring the Dukes playing out in the background while I worked away at the drafting table.
Then it happened. As soon as they started chasing the boys, Boss Hogg got on the radio and started calling out to his two deputies, Rosco P. Coltrane and Enos.
And there it was, the perfect name for my sarcastic madman: Rosco P. Enos. (Sounds like Rosco Penis. LOL?)
Even if I never get around to re-working ‘Medium Men’, James Best will always have a small tribute to his most famous role.
Rosco P. Enos, it’s a funny name.
‘The Glut’ was not all crap, though you had to look hard to find stuff worth keeping.
I’ve decided to post a few example here on the site to give an idea of what Silverwolf and Greater Mercury Comics were competing against.
Up first: Nomads of Antiquity by M.E. Comix.
There’s practically no information available online about this company, which is a shame. Here’s what we know: ‘M. E.’ apparently stood for McNeil Enterprises, after Pierre R. McNeil. The company was based out of Atlanta, Georgia and this first Issue was published in January, 1987.
Altogether, there would be 5 issues of Nomads of Antiquity published. The series’s covers featured limited color and the art by John Skoglund was actually decent for a ‘Glut’ book. I’d have to put it near par with much of what we saw from Greater Mercury Comics.
gnome (nōm) n.
A pithy saying that expresses a general truth or fundamental principle; an aphorism.
People generally don’t like movies with birds in them.
(Gnome #2.5: Pterodactyls count as birds. Perhaps penguins.)
Perhaps the most infamous of them all…Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. A lot of people will tell you that The Birds was a classic and is their favorite movie of all time. They’re lying.
I keep referring to ‘The Glut’ that occurred in the B&W comic book markets in the late ’80s, and came across this great series of re-posts from the Comics Journal. Of course, I cannot re-post the whole thing, but here is the pertinent page from the article, one that explains it all perfectly.
I highly suggest anyone trying to understand just how the heck the comic book industry destroyed itself once upon a time read the whole thing over at The Comics Journal; http://classic.tcj.com/history/a-comics-journal-history-of-the-direct-market-part-two/
From A Comics Journal History of the Direct Market, Part Two by Gary Groth.
Black and White and Dead All Over
(Originally published in The Comics Journal #116, July 1987; reprinted in The Comics Journal #277, July 2006.
The bloom was off the rose in December  or, if you were slow about it, January of last year . What rose, you ask? The most sacred and cherished rose in America: the belief that the American public will consume limitless quantities of useless garbage.
This idea ran afoul of a very basic economic reality: you cannot shovel shit into a finite market forever. The profiteers who jumped on the black-and-white comics-publishing bandwagon within the last year learned this when the black-and-white comics market collapsed. (The ripple was felt in the market for color comics and other formats, too.) From December through April at least, publishers have reported a drop in sales from 15 to 50 percent across the board. (That means even comics you may have thought were rock-solid have suffered.) The sales of some black-and-white comics may have plummeted even more dramatically over the four or five month period. The cause of the glut and subsequent collapse was partly greed and partly passivity on the part of “publishers,” distributors and retailers. One must wonder why, with all the breast-beating of the distributors and the ballyhooing of the innumerable trade shows held all year, there wasn’t a single mechanism within the entire infrastructure of the direct-sales system that could have foreseen or mitigated the disastrous economic collapse. Part of the explanation is that the infrastructure’s primary purpose is to create a self-perpetuating consumer frenzy at the expense of any responsible or even sane sense of proportion.
The crash began as a boom and the boom was in black-and-white comics. You would’ve had to have been particularly inept to publish black-and-white comics in 1986 and fail. As nearly as I can piece it together, this is what happened: