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Kitchen Sink Press � The First 25 Years (1994): During my time as editor in chief at Kitchen Sink, I had the pleasure of editing the text written by my predecessor Dave Schreiner, who�d recommended Kings in Disguise to Denis Kitchen. Dave�s clear journalistic approach made this one of the easiest editing jobs I ever had. The final product, showcasing the talents of designer Kevin Lison and my successor Phil Amara, was not only informative, but entertaining and attractive.

Kitchen Sink Press Silver Editions (1994): During the year leading up to Kitchen Sink�s 25th anniversary, one of my pet projects was the �silver edition� reprint series of some of the company�s significant comics titles. It broke my heart that the market was deemed too conservative at the eleventh hour to reprint the full-color underground classic Bijou Funnies #8, but the reissue of Xenozoic Tales #1 and Bizarre Sex #9 (a.k.a. Omaha #0) more than made up for it. The silver Xenozoic included a long text piece by me on the artistic influences of creator Mark Schultz, while the Bizarre Sex reprint offered an editorial appreciation of Reed Waller and rare early Omaha strips that most of that series� fans had never seen before.

 

Li'l Abner Vol. 23 (1993): After I left Kitchen Sink, I continued to edit some of their classic reprint books on a freelance basis, including the Li'l Abner series. I�d saved the fun of writing the introduction to Volume 23 for myself. It�s one of my favorite non-fiction pieces, tracing the history of Abner creator Al Capp�s feuds with various cartoonists, including his forgotten war with Mary Worth and an earlier episode that included comic book legends Will Eisner and Harvey Kurtzman.

 
100 Years of Comic Strips (1995): Originally published as a lavish two-volume boxed set titled The Comic Strip Century, this history of newspaper comics featured a lengthy introduction by Bill Blackbeard and beautiful packaging by Dale Crain. Officially the associate editor, my job was to hammer the text into shape and to provide a brief foreword. Everyone involved did a terrific job, but the real stars of this project were the hundreds of gorgeous old strips provided by Bill.
 

Button Man: The Killing Game (1995): John Wagner and Arthur Ranson�s slick hit-man strip from the British magazine 2000 A.D. came over the transom while I was still working at Kitchen Sink, so I was asked to sing its praises when the book finally saw the light of day. Having been asked to keep an eye out for projects with movie potential, I flagged this elegant and violent crime melodrama as just what the publisher ordered. It turns out that I was right; Dreamworks has announced a Button Man film for 2008.

 
Superman: The Dailies (1998-99): Designed by Peter Poplaski, this three-volume set reprinted the early years of the Superman daily newspaper strip. At Pete�s suggestion, I was hired to write historical introductions to each volume. Each introduction offered some commentary on the stories within that particular book, while the overall series traced the Man of Steel�s growth from a pop culture novelty into a merchandising bonanza as he moved from comic books to newspapers to radio to the big screen.

Republicans Attack! (1992): Issued during an election year, this satirical trading card set got a lot of publicity for something that had begun as a casual joke during a phone conversation with Denis Kitchen. Written in the overwrought style of the old Mars Attacks cards and featuring demented computer-generated illustrations by artist Mark Landman, our boxed set told the story of an ultra-right wing coup masterminded by the big-name conservatives of the day. I�ll cop to the cheap shots hurled at the likes of Dan Quayle and Clarence Thomas, but I still think my scenes of Richard Nixon browbeating the first President Bush are funny as hell.

   
Universal Monsters of the Silver Screen (1997): This elaborate trading card set began as an amusing freelance gig and turned into a labor of love. Kate Worley and I had a ball outlining and researching this survey of Universal Studios� classic horror movies from the silent days up through the 1950s. The cards included impressionistic appreciations of the genre�s big stars, overviews of various series, and (mostly courtesy of Kate) some wry observations mixed among the backstage stories and plot summaries. Printed on silver stock and featuring stickers of vintage lobby cards and the obligatory chase cards, this was a beautiful set that�s still being collected today.
 

 


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