In honor of reaching 50,000 page views, we take a trip down memory lane.

As I write this post, this humble funny book blog (started in November 2009) has finally reached 50,000 page views. I’m not sure if that is a very small number, but I’m okay with it. Funny Book Fanatic certainly isn’t a high traffic site … and I have not been able to update it very often. I’m sure the infrequent updates has slowed traffic.

Scott & Dave setting up at American Booksellers (1991?)

Regardless, 50,000 page views in 15 months means that I’m averaging more than 110 page view per day.

Dave, Scott, Chris and Tom at American Booksellers Convention in 1990

As everyone who reads this probably knows, from 1987 to 1995, I was the publisher of Malibu Comics. Originally it was called Malibu Graphics, but we changed it. We published comics under a variety of imprints, Eternity, Aircel, Adventure, Platinum Editions, Bravura. Malibu was even the publisher of Image Comics for the first year of its existence.

Malibu started out as four guys, two working in the back porch of a trailer in Newbury Park, California and the other two working from an enormous warehouse in Commerce, California. For the record that means me, Scott Rosenberg, Chris Ulm and Tom Mason.

Scott Rosenberg and an unsung hero at Malibu Comics, Dan Danko.

By the time Marvel Comics bought Malibu Comics, we had over 100 employees … including a color department that worked three-shifts plus a division that made video games and a “movie” division.

I’ve already posted four pieces of the formation of Malibu Comics.
The secret origin of Malibu Comics (part one)
The secret origin of Malibu Comics (part two)

The secret origin of Malibu Comics (part three)
The secret origin of Malibu Comics (part four)
I plan to do more than will detail as best I can the trials, tribulations, mistakes, failures and hard work that we all put into Malibu.

Tom, Dave & Chris waiting for an elevator to go to the SHOW.

Malibu could not have been successful without the hard work of a large number of dedicated employees. Some came and went quickly. Others came and stayed and made enormous contribution. Some became like family. Our first two editorial employees were Dan Danko and Mickie Villa. Dan stayed to the very end. Mickie might have, but she found love at a comic book convention and moved to be with her new husband (who worked at Marvel).

A few months ago, one of the many former Malibu Comics employees set up a Facebook group for Malibu Alumni. It is full of all sorts of pictures from back in Malibu’s heyday, most of the pictures seem to have been taken when groups got together to either make funny faces … or to eat. If the pictures were any kind of indication, the gang at Malibu was out eating most of the time (and dressing in the bad costume styles of the day).

Then the other day, Mickie Villa from the wilds of Washington state, posted a number of the pictures featured here from her personal collection. I liked them so much that I buckled down and posted them here.

Author (and friend) Gerard Jones with the radiant Mickie Villa (at a comic convention)

Thank you Mickie. It inspired me and reminded me how sad I am that I have so few photographs of my days at Malibu Comics. These are great memories. An enormous reminder that time stands still for now one … squeeze every ounce of enjoyment out of every day.

You’ll never be this young again.

For those of you who know any of us personally, I hope you find these pictures entertaining. For everyone else, just Marvel at the fashion sense of comics folks from the late 8o’s and early 90’s.

That’s my version of the story.

–Dave Olbrich (DWO) Fri. Jan. 29, 2010



Filed under Behind the Scenes, Fanatic General, Fanatical History, Malibu Comics Origins

6 responses to “In honor of reaching 50,000 page views, we take a trip down memory lane.

  1. MJ

    Whoa, I just found your site, this is freaking awesome. Hope you post more often with fresh material. Back to browsing the material.

  2. Mak Herr

    I love Memory Lane. And I agree with you about frustrating lapses in time without pictures to document the fun times. Thanks for sharing.

  3. It looks like we were skipping school for the day. I’ll have to dig through my files and see what I have. I’ve got photos from the first Ultraverse Founders conference in Scottsdale, the UV presentation we did for creators, distributors, press and retailers, the original Bravura press conference and other oddball stuff like that, including Malibu Comics’ Christmas parties.

  4. Dave Olbrich

    Tom —
    Send scans of those pictures along … maybe leave out the more incriminating ones … and I’ll feature another FANATICAL trip down memory lane.

  5. DWO!!! So glad to see you’re back to blogging! I’ve missed the updates. Keep ’em coming!

  6. Jason

    Dear Dave,

    As a bit of a youngster, I had fallen away from comic books completely until a friend opened Prime and showed me what was going on – I was captivated by that comic and enjoyed the Ultraverse (though Prime stood out amongst them all) – Prime inspired me to continue reading, even through periods where I found little worth reading so that I wouldn’t overlook another gem like that.

    I look to be moving to Afghanistan in the near future to work for the Afghan government – I already work for them, but in Japan. The nation has insanely bad levels of literacy, but at the same time it has amazing freedom of press – its OK to criticize the President in the media, to criticize the former king, etc – there is freedom of religion supported by the state and its common to see other faiths’ worship centers next to mosques. There is also an embracing of the new and the foreign.

    The point of all of this is that I think that a great way to address illiteracy is through comic books and I think the environment will be able to support this. I also think there is no shortage of local talent to help with this. I do not think it is really a money-maker or that its something I can tackle until I have been there for a bit and studied the environment for things a bit – but I’d really like your help in establishing this if you’d honor me with it.

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