History of First Comics
(No relation to First Comics News)
First Comics might have enjoyed a relatively brief run in comparison to the many long-standing comic book publishers, but it certainly has a rather interesting history. Despite last last just eight years, First Comics still made a number of significant contributions to the comic book industry,
First Comics launched in 1983, with a number of already established comic book creators on their books. Within a year, the publisher had acquired all the titles previously owned by Capital Comics, and quickly developed a number of their own popular titles. Some of their most renowned series’ included ‘American Flagg’, ‘Grimjack’ and ‘Dreadstar’. Although some of the comics which were issued by First Comics are no longer in publication, their legacy can be seen to continue modern series’ and even in online game such as Party Poker and animation movies. Indeed, their ‘Jon Sable’ comic briefly received it’s own television adaptation at the time.
However, during the mid-1980s, First Comics took on renowned comic book publisher, Marvel Comics, as well as World Color Press printers in a lawsuit following ‘anti-competitive activities’. The case did not come to a close until 1988, by which time one of First Comic’s founders, Mike Gold, had left for DC Comics. Gold also used his connection to persuade several other First Comics staff member to make the move to DC.
Despite this, First Comics still managed to publish the first entirely digital comic book, in the form of Peter B. Gillis and Mike Saenz’s ‘Shatter’. First Comics continued to pioneer original and innovative ideas, publishing both a comic adaptation of Michael Moorcock ‘Eternal Champion’ books, and English translations of the Japanese manga series, ‘Lone Wolf and Cub’.
Finally, First Comics partnered with Berkeley Publishing for what was to be their last major project, with a revival of ‘Classics Illustrated’. However, the project only ran for a little over a year, and First Comics had ceased to publish any of their titles by 1991.