Acme actually began with Fantasian, an article-oriented
comics fanzine started by Dan Mares in 1980. Kevin Robinette and I met
Dan at a small convention he organized that year, and we joined him with
Fantasian #2. Together we published 14 issues over the next two
years, gathering a receptive readership and a good handful of cartoonists
(as opposed to a handful of good cartoonists), who contributed illustrations
for the articles.
Kevin took the convention baton from Dan and initiated
"Colorado Comics Art Con I" in May 1981. Dan divided his time between the
fanzine and the annual conventions. He was the main organizer for Conventions
#IIĖV, 1982-1985. In comics, those who canít draw, write, and those who
canít write, edit. My primary job was editor.
Interest in the illustrative end of comics far outweighed
interest in writing about them, so Fantasian began to wind down.
A couple art contributors, headed by T Motley and George Doro, had been
meeting for about a year to try and organize an illustrated fanzine, which
they christened Acme Comics. I joined when it looked like they were
having more fun than they should.
Acme attracted more contributors. Every time we
thought weíd met everyone in Denver interested in drawing comics, another
batch would show up to our meetings. We started communicating with other
small-press publishers across the country, including our own Denver back
yard. Bob Conwayís Phantasy Press ("The Rolls Royce of Mini Comics") brought
us to Richard Florence. Norm Dwyer found us, and he and I went on to publish
professionally, with Libby Ellis. Scott Johnson brought his underground
sensibilities and clean drawing style to the group.
Richard and others began drawing their own titles as well
as contributing to Acme, under the "Fandom House" entity. Richardís
Hap Hazard, Motleyís Steel Pulse, Pro-Wrestling Adventures,
and a science fiction anthology, Near To Now, are all fondly remembered
(to the creators at least).
Richard turned pro for a couple years, drawing for Dyna-Search,
who supplied artwork for the Japanese comics market.
To increase our readership, we began offering select publications
from across the world in a mail order catalogue. We had possibly the largest
list of small press subscribers ever assembled.
Over the years, we expanded into mini-comics, digests,
caricatures, adult-education courses, and alternative newspaper strips.
Motley served as inspiration for the more creative of these endeavors,
while I did most of the back work.
After the heady early years, production and interest began
to wane. It took five years to produce the final issue, Acme #10
(1994). At 100 pages, it cleared all backlog of completed stories, so I
decided to get out while I had the chance.
Motley and others carry on, under the identity Squid Works.
More power to them. Iíve outgrown that phase.