Comicbooks of the 1980s! When the decade started, Marvel and DC were the undisputed rulers of the comicbook kingdom. Archie Comics was still jogging along while Harvey and Charlton were on their last legs. Comic Shops were starting to spread across the country, and new publishers like Eclipse and Pacific started wooing top talent away from the "Big 2" with incentives like creator ownership and royalties. And although Comics Shops were popping up, comicbook sales, which still depended on newsstand sales, were in the dumper.
As the decade got rolling, things began to rapidly change. More new publishers began popping up, bringing out characters who would, for a time, actually give the heroes of the Big 2 a run for their money. Besides Eclipse and Pacific, Capital, Comico, and Fantagraphics would produce comics and turn out new stars the likes of which the newsstand-friendly, comics code-approved Marvel and DC could not. Of course, the folks who ran the Big 2 weren't total fools. They dipped their toes into the Direct Sales (Comics Shops only) market, liked how the water felt, and dove in with abandon, creating new formats, imprints, and a flurry of reprint material in an effort to claim all the shelf-space in every comics shop.
While the Big 2 grabbed and held on to the lion's share of the shelf space, what seemed like hundreds of "independent" or "indy" (non-Marvel/DC) companies followed Eclipse and the other indy pioneers' lead and began producing not only super-heroes, but sci-fi, horror, high-adventure, satire, funny animals, and much more. Even underground publisher Kitchen Sink "went straight" and began mixing comics like The Spirit, Steve Canyon, and the super-hero parody Megaton Man in with their sex and dope fare. Fans who had been growing bored with comics from 1978 to 1980 started finding comics that excited them again.
It was the publishers from "across the pond" who really shook things up. 2000A.D. with Judge Dredd and Warrior with Marvelman turned superhero comics on their ear and had fans who'd grown tired of the DC and Marvel formulas gobbling them up like E.T. with a pack of Reeces' Pieces.
Have I gotten your attention yet? Are you interested in the details? Want to know more about the comics of the 1980s? Then you've come to the right place! Blinded Me with Comics will pull back the curtain on the comics, characters, and creators of the MTV decade. From the most famous (Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns, Secret Wars) to the most obscure (Neil the Horse, Big Ben, Thriller), BMwC will attempt to cover it all Friday after Friday.
It all begins next Friday with "A Ballet of Violence: Frank Miller and Daredevil's Greatest Hits". Be here!