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.
*** AND TAKE MORE PICTURES ***
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