Quick programming note: as much as I was enjoying sharing some of my favorite indie comic book covers with you guys on a daily basis, I’m afraid I’m just not going to be able to keep up that pace. So instead, I’m switching to a M,W,F schedule. Same great independent comic book covers, just not as frequently. Hope that’s cool.
So, as I have mentioned before, Young Dara was a huge fan of the sword & sorcery genre. I read just about any fantasy book I could get my hands on, and watched all the crappy direct-to-video movies. I also tried out any fantasy comics I could find, and more often than not was disappointed with the quality.
The Adventurers was different.
Cover by Peter Hsu. A couple of issues were published under the Aircel banner, but the book then moved to its own publisher, Adventure Publications.
The first ads I saw for this book were in one of those mail order back issue ads in Marvel and DC books. I think the company was called East Coast Comics. They had a special spotlight on the first issue of this comics, calling it “the X-Men of fantasy comics.” (This is back in the mid-80s when The X-Men were the king of the hill). So I ordered the couple of back issues I had missed, and started picking up the monthly issues at my favorite comic shop.
Of course, it wasn’t until years later when I found out that the owner of East Coast Comics was also the owner/publisher of Adventure Publications. Kind of puts those glowing ads in perspective, doesn’t it? Talk about conflict of interest…or at a minimum a sever lack of partiality.
But it didn’t matter, because I loved the book. It went beyond the D&D rip-off comics, or the Tolkienesque high fantasy, and instead fleshed out a world where religion and politics played just as important a role as the monsters and magic. I’m not saying it was great literature, but it was definitely fun and unique and better than the stock characters on the cover would lead you to believe. Written by Scott Behnke, and featuring airbrushed art by Peter Hsu, it really stood out from the majority of the other black & white indie comics of the time. I became an avid fan of the series, its various spinoffs, and the publishers other books (which you’ll definitely be seeing more of in this feature).
By the way, here’s the variant cover for the first issue, also by Peter Hsu: