Atlas/Seaboard Comics

Atlas/Seaboard is the term comic book historians and collectors use to refer to the 1970s line of comics published as Atlas Comics by the American company Seaboard Periodicals, to differentiate from the 1950s' Atlas Comics, a predecessor of Marvel Comics. Seaboard was located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York City.

Seaboard Periodicals
IndustryPublishing
FoundedJune 1974
Defunct1975
Headquarters717 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan,
Key people
Martin Goodman
Charles Goodman
Larry Lieber
Jeff Rovin
ProductsComic Books

History

Company creation

Marvel Comics founder and Magazine Management publisher Martin Goodman left Marvel in 1972, having sold the company in 1968. He created Seaboard Periodicals, which opened its office on June 24, 1974[1] to compete in a field then dominated by Marvel and DC Comics. Goodman hired Warren Publishing veteran Jeff Rovin to edit the color comic-book line, and writer-artist Larry Lieber, brother of Marvel editor-in-chief Stan Lee, as editor of Atlas' black-and-white comics magazines.

Rovin said in 1987 he became involved after answering an ad in The New York Times.

I was working for [Warren Publishing founder] Jim Warren, running his mail-order division, Captain Company, and just starting to edit [the black-and-white horror-comics magazine] Creepy [and] I'd edited comics for DC and Skywald.... Several weeks after answering the ad, I receive a call from Martin Goodman.... I was one of several people Martin interviewed, and I got the job because I'd had experience not only in comics but in mail order, the latter of which was to contribute significantly to Seaboard's cash flow. Sharing editorial duties on the comics was writer artist Larry Lieber, whom Martin had long wanted to transplant from under the shadow of Larry's brother.... Larry ended up handling about a quarter of Atlas' output—primarily the police, Western [and] war [comics], and color anthologies of horror stories.[2]

Lieber later became editor of the color comics following Rovin's departure. Steve Mitchell was the comics' production manager, and John Chilly the black-and-white magazines' art director. Goodman offered an editorial position to Roy Thomas, who had recently stepped down as Marvel Comics editor-in-chief, but Thomas turned it down, recalling in 1981 that, "[I] didn't have any faith in his lasting it out. The field was too shaky for a new publisher."[3]

Lieber recalled in a 1999 interview:

When I went there, Martin put out two kinds of books. He was putting out color comics, and he was also going to put out black-and-white comics like Warren and Marvel. Now, I knew nothing about black-and-white comics, right? My only experience was in the color comics. Jeff Rovin came from Warren, and he knew nothing about color comics. Martin unfortunately put Jeff in charge of all the color comics and put me in charge of the black-and-white books. It was an unfortunate thing, and basically what happened was that Jeff's books didn't turn out so well... Martin had to pay high freelance rates, because otherwise nobody would work for a new and unproven company... It didn't work out too well, and Jeff finally left angrily or something, and I had to take over all his books. At this point, business was bad, and I tried to do what I could. One of the things I had to do was to cut rates and tell people they were going to make less money, which was not an enviable position.[4]

Comic-book collectors and others began using the term "Atlas/Seaboard" to differentiate these 1970s Atlas Comics from the 1950s' Atlas Comics, publisher Goodman's predecessor of Marvel Comics.[5]

Creators' rights pioneer

Atlas/Seaboard offered some of the highest rates in the industry, plus return of artwork to artists and author rights to original character creations.[6] These relatively luxurious conditions attracted such top names as Neal Adams, Steve Ditko, Russ Heath, John Severin, Alex Toth and Wally Wood, as well as such up-and-coming talents as Howard Chaykin and Rich Buckler.

A total of 23 comics titles and five comics magazines were published before the company folded in late 1975. No title lasted more than four issues. Of the characters, Chaykin's Scorpion would inspire his Dominic Fortune at Marvel,[7] and Rich Buckler's Demon Hunter would inspire his Devil-Slayer at Marvel.[8]

Chip Goodman

Some reports at the time suggested Goodman was angered that Cadence, the new Marvel owners, had reneged on a promise to keep his son, Charles "Chip" Goodman, as Marvel's editorial director. Marvel and Atlas writer Gary Friedrich recalled: "I never really felt that [Martin] did it for that reason. I think he did it to make money and that he thought with Larry in charge and paying good rates that he could do it. Now, he probably wouldn't have minded if it would have taken a bite out of Marvel's profits, but I don't think it was done out of revenge. I think Martin was too smart for that".[9] Marvel art director John Romita, however, believed, "Chip was supposed to take his place. But that part of it must not have been on paper, because as soon as Martin was gone, they got rid of Chip. That's why Martin started Atlas Comics. It was pure revenge".[10]

Although Chip Goodman was also in charge of the Seaboard comics, he was a "lightweight" in making decisions about them, according to Rovin.[5] Historian and one-time Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas recalled, "One of the problems was just being Martin Goodman's son. I don't think that Martin respected Chip very much—he put Chip in charge but would treat him with less than benign contempt in front of other people. Martin was a little cruel sometimes".[11]

This father-son conflict was fictionalized by a Magazine Management staffer, Ivan Prashker, who wrote a short story with a thinly disguised, unflattering portrait of a character based on Chip Goodman. When this story, "The Boss's Son," was published in the February 1970 issue of Playboy, Prashker expected he might be fired, but instead, wrote comics historian Jon B. Cooke, he "was rewarded with his own editorship of a magazine as Martin was apparently more impressed that one of his staffers was published in the premier men's magazine than with any insult made to his son".[12]

Revival

Circa 2010, Martin Goodman's grandson Jason Goodman announced a partnership with Ardden Entertainment to relaunch Atlas Comics starting with two "#0" issues featuring the Grim Ghost and Phoenix.[13] With another character, Wulf the Barbarian, they were the stars of a miniseries, Atlas Unified, announced in September 2011 for publication that November.[14]

Jason Goodman's Nemesis Group Inc. belatedly discovered that one Jeffrey Stevens had acquired the trademark "Atlas Comics" for comic books on October 11, 2005. Nemesis filed suit on September 28, 2010, arguing that Stevens had no demonstrated use of the trademark, and on March 13, 2012, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board allowed the case to proceed to trial.[15] The Board ultimately ruled against Goodman, and on August 10, 2014, Stevens assigned the trademark to Dynamite Characters LLC.[16]

Titles

Devilina2
Devilina #2 (May 1975), one of Atlas/Seaboard's black-and-white comics magazines Cover art by George Torjussen.

Comics

Source unless otherwise noted:[17]

  • Barbarians featuring Ironjaw (1 issue)
  • Blazing Battle Tales featuring Sgt. Hawk (1 issue)
  • The Brute (3 issues)
  • The Cougar (2 issues, created by Steve Mitchell)
  • Demon Hunter (1 issue)
  • The Destructor (4 issues, art by Steve Ditko and Wally Wood, who inked the first two issues)
  • Fright featuring Son of Dracula (1 issue)
  • Grim Ghost (3 issues)
  • Hands of the Dragon (1 issue)
  • Ironjaw (4 issues)
  • Morlock 2001 (3 issues; #3 retitled Morlock 2001 and the Midnight Men)
  • Phoenix (4 issues; last issue retitled Phoenix...The Protector)
  • Planet of Vampires (3 issues)
  • Police Action featuring Lomax and Luke Malone (3 issues)
  • Savage Combat Tales featuring Sgt. Stryker's Death Squad (3 issues)
  • The Scorpion (3 issues)
  • Tales of Evil (3 issues; the Bog Beast in #2, Man-Monster and the Bog Beast in #3)
  • Targitt (3 issues; #2 retitled as John Targitt...Man Stalker on cover)
  • Tiger-Man (3 issues)
  • Vicki (4 issues, reprint of Tower Comics' humor title Tippy Teen)
  • Weird Suspense featuring the Tarantula (3 issues)
  • Western Action featuring Kid Cody and Comanche Kid (1 issue)
  • Wulf the Barbarian (4 issues)

Magazines

  • Devilina (2 issues)
  • Gothic Romances (1 issue)[18]
  • Movie Monsters (4 issues) [18]
  • Thrilling Adventure Stories (2 issues; Tiger-Man in #1)
  • Weird Tales of the Macabre (2 issues; the Bog Beast in #2)

References

  1. ^ Rovin, Jeff (February 1987). "How Not to Run a Comic Book Company". The Comics Journal (114). p. 97. Archived from the original on January 11, 2012.
  2. ^ Rovin, pp. 96 to 97.
  3. ^ "Interview with Roy Thomas", The Comics Journal #61 (Winter 1981), p. 87
  4. ^ "A Conversation with Artist-Writer Larry Lieber". Alter Ego. TwoMorrows Publishing. 3 (2): 19 in print version. Fall 1999. Archived from the original on August 21, 2010. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ a b Jeff Rovin interview in "Rise & Fall of Rovin's Empire". Comic Book Artist (16). December 2001. Archived from the original on September 22, 2010.
  6. ^ Steranko, Jim (February 1975). Mediascene (11). Goodman's David and Goliath strategy is insidiously simple and outrageous—possibly even considered dirty tactics by the competition—[and consists of] such [things] as higher page rates, artwork returned to the artist, rights to the creation of an original character, and a certain amount of professional courtesy. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Ekstrom, Steve (July 10, 2009). "Return to Fortune: Chaykin on Dominic Fortune MAX". Newsarama.com. Archived from the original on September 22, 2010.
  8. ^ Cooke, Jon B. (2005). "CBA Interview: Rich Buckler Breaks Out! The Artist on Deathlok, T'Challa and Other Marvel Tales". Comic Book Artist Collection. 3. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 79.
  9. ^ Gary Friedrich interview, : "Groovy Gary & the Marvel Years", Comic Book Artist #13 (May 2001)
  10. ^ John Romita interview, "Fifty Years on the 'A' List", Alter Ego vol. 3, #9 (July 2001), p. 35
  11. ^ Comic Book Artist #2, Summer 1998
  12. ^ Comic Book Artist #16
  13. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (September 14, 2010). "'70s Marvel Rival Atlas Comics Relaunches". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 20, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  14. ^ ""Atlas Unified" is an Event Thirty-Five Years in the Making" (Press release). Atlas Comics via ComicBookResources.com. September 20, 2011. Archived from the original on October 26, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  15. ^ Ruling on requests for summary judgment in Best, Daniel, ed. (March 13, 2012). "Nemesis Group Inc. v. Jeffrey Stevens". Trademark Trial and Appeal Board via 20th Century Danny Boy. Archived from the original on May 6, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2014.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  16. ^ Trademark Assignment Cover Sheet at Best, Daniel, ed. (October 27, 2014). "Conveying Party: Jeffrey Stevens; Receiving Party: Dynamite Characters LLC". United States Patent and Trademark Office via 20th Century Danny Boy. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2014.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  17. ^ Seaboard (publisher) at the Grand Comics Database
  18. ^ a b "Timeline". The Atlas Archives. Gemstone Publishing. Archived from the original on May 14, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2011. Additional WebCitation archive.

External links

Alan Weiss (comics)

Alan Weiss (born March 7, 1948 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American comics artist and writer known for his work for DC Comics and Marvel Comics.

Atlas (comics)

Atlas, in comics, may refer to:

Atlas (Marvel Comics), an alias used by different characters in Marvel Comics.

Atlas (DC Comics), a DC Comics character

Agents of Atlas, a Marvel Comics team

Atlas (Drawn and Quarterly), a comic book series by Dylan Horrocks

Atlas Comics, two comic book publishers:

Atlas Comics (1950s), a comics company associated with Marvel Comics

Atlas/Seaboard Comics, a comics company associated with Seaboard PeriodicalsIt may also refer to:

"The Coming of Atlas", a DC Comics storyline featuring Superman and the return of the DC Atlas character

Atlas Comics

Atlas Comics may refer to

Atlas Comics (1950s), one of the two comic publishing companies that would be the forerunner of Marvel Comics

Seaboard Periodicals, founded by Timely/Atlas (1950s)/Marvel founder, a short-lived comic publisher that published under the Atlas Comics name and referred to as Atlas/Seaboard Comics

Brute (comics)

Brute, in comics, may refer to:

Marvel Comics:

Brute (Hank McCoy), a superhero who is an alternate reality version of the X-Men's Beast

Brute (Morlocks), one of the lesser known Morlocks in the main Marvel universe

Brute (Reed Richards), the name of an alternative Earth version of Mister Fantastic who became a member of the Frightful Four on True Earth

DC Comics:

Brute, a soldier character in the series Hunter's Hellcats

Brute (Sandman), a character in the series The Sandman

Brute, an antagonist who has appeared in Superman comics arresting him for the Tribunal Planet. He is the brother of Mope

Brute, a villain and a member of the Extremists

Brute (Atlas/Seaboard), a Hulk-like character from former Marvel Comics publisher Martin Goodman's Atlas/Seaboard Comics

Brute, an Image Comics character from Savage Dragon and a member of the Vicious Circle

Charles Goodman (disambiguation)

Charles Goodman was an architect.

Charles Goodman may also refer to:

Rusty Goodman (Charles F. Goodman), singer/songwriter

Chip Goodman (Atlas/Seaboard Comics) Atlas/Seaboard Comics#Chip Goodman Marvel's editorial director

Sir Charles Goodman, High Sheriff of Denbighshire in 1665

Charles Goodman, fictional character in Strange Justice

Charlie Goodman of Jewish Socialists' Group

Demon Hunter (comics)

The Demon Hunter, created by David Anthony Kraft and Rich Buckler, is a fictional character, a superhero first featured in The Demon Hunter #1 (September 1975) from Atlas/Seaboard Comics. The series lasted only one issue due to Atlas Comics going out of business.The character idea was later used by Buckler and Kraft for their "Devil-Slayer" character at Marvel Comics in 1977 and "Bloodwing" for Buckler's magazine Galaxia in 1980.

George Kashdan

George Kashdan (May 17, 1928 – June 3, 2006) was an American comic book writer and editor, primarily for DC Comics, who co-created such characters as Tommy Tomorrow, Mysto, Magician Detective, and others. He was a screenwriter for such animated television series as The Mighty Hercules and The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure.

Ghost (comics)

Ghost, in comics, may refer to:

Ghost (Dark Horse Comics), a superhero and star of her own series, published in the 1990s and revived in 2012

Ghosts (comics), an anthology of tales of the supernatural

Ghost (Marvel Comics), a supervillain and foe of Iron Man

Ghost (Nedor Comics), a Nedor Comics superhero from the Golden Age of Comics

Ghost, a foe of Captain Atom in Charlton and later DC ComicsIt may also refer to:

Ghost Girl, a Marvel Comics character

Ghost Girl (Marvel Comics), another Marvel Comics character

Ghost Rider

The Phantom Rider, a Western-themed character originally known as the Ghost Rider.

The Gay Ghost, or the Grim Ghost, a DC Comics character

Gentleman Ghost, or the Ghost, a DC Comics villain

The Grim Ghost, an Atlas/Seaboard Comics character

Casper, a funny looking "do-good" ghost in Harvey Comics

Grim Ghost

The Grim Ghost is a fictional character, a superhero created by writer Michael Fleisher and artist Ernie Colón that debuted in The Grim Ghost #1 (cover-dated Jan. 1975) from Atlas/Seaboard Comics. The series lasted three issues before the company went out of business in January 1976. A new ongoing series published by a revival of Atlas Comics in association with Ardden Entertainment, debuted in 2010.

Hand of the Dragon

The Hands of the Dragon was a comic book released by Atlas Comics in 1975.

Haunted Love

Haunted Love was a horror-romance anthology comic book series published by Charlton Comics from 1973 - 1975. It was part of the Gothic Romance comic book mini-trend of the era, which included the short-lived DC Comics series The Dark Mansion Of Forbidden Love and The Sinister House of Secret Love, and Atlas/Seaboard Comics' one-shot magazine Gothic Romances. (Haunted Love was also part of Charlton's wave of early 1970s horror-themed titles, including Ghostly Haunts, Haunted, Midnight Tales, and Scary Tales.)

Edited by George Wildman, contributors to Haunted Love included writers Joe Gill, Nick Cuti, and Pete Morisi; and artists Charles Nicholas, Joe Staton, Steve Ditko, Sanho Kim, Enrique Nieto, Pat Boyette, and Vince Alascia. Tom Sutton contributed many of the covers.

The Charlton imprint Modern Comics published one issue of Haunted Love reprints in 1978.

Phoenix (comics)

Phoenix, in comics, may refer to:

Phoenix, the alias used by a number of Marvel Comics characters connected with the Phoenix Force

Jean Grey, who started out using the alias Marvel Girl in the X-Men

Rachel Summers, Jean Grey's daughter from an alternate future who was a member of X-Men and Excalibur

Phoenix (Guardians of the Galaxy), a character from an alternative future who joins the Guardians of the Galaxy

The Phoenix (comics), a weekly British comic that started in 2012

Phoenix, later called The Protector, a short-lived character from Atlas/Seaboard Comics

Phoenix, the first alias used by Marvel supervillain Helmut Zemo

Sal Amendola

Sal Amendola (born 1948, in Italy) is an Italian American comics artist and teacher primarily known for his association with DC Comics.

Scorpion (Atlas/Seaboard Comics)

The Scorpion is the name of two fictional characters who starred successively in an eponymous comic book series published by Atlas/Seaboard Comics in the 1970s.

Scorpion (comics)

Scorpion, in comics, may refer to:

Scorpion (Marvel Comics), a number of Marvel Comics comics characters including:

Mac Gargan, a supervillain and frequent enemy of Spider-Man, the third Venom and a member of the Dark Avengers as the Black Spider-Man, but is back to "being" Scorpion.

Scorpia (comics), (Elaine Coll), a female version of the Mac Gargan Scorpion.

Scorpion (Carmilla Black)/Thanasee Rappaccini, first appeared in Amazing Fantasy vol. 2 #7 and was created by Fred Van Lente and Leonard Kirk.

Ultimate Scorpion, a clone of Ultimate Spider-Man (Peter Parker).

Silver Scorpion, (Elizabeth Barstow) first appeared in Daring Mystery Comics #7 (April 1941).

Kron Stone, an enemy of Spider-Man 2099, in the Timestorm 2009–2099 alternate reality.

Scorpion (Atlas/Seaboard Comics), a character from former Marvel Comics publisher Martin Goodman's Atlas/Seaboard Comics

Scorpion, a Fawcett Comics character from Earth-S who appeared in Captain Marvel

Le Scorpion, a Belgian comic set in 18th century Vatican, by Stephen Desberg and Enrico Marini

Scarlet Scorpion, an AC Comics character

Tarantula (comics)

Tarantula, in comics, may refer to:

Tarantula (DC Comics) is the name of 2 characters from DC Comics

Tarantula (Marvel Comics) is the name of 5 characters from Marvel Comics, two of whom are villains that fought Spider-Man

Tarantula is the name of a character from Atlas/Seaboard Comics

Tarantulas (Transformers), a Predacon in the Beast Wars series that has appeared in the comic books based on the toyIt may also refer to:

Black Tarantula, a Marvel Comics character

Tiger-Man

Tiger-Man is a tiger-themed superhero who appeared in a self-titled series published by Atlas/Seaboard Comics in 1975.

Tiger (comics)

Tiger is the name of several fictional characters in comics. Characters include:

Tiger (DC Comics), a DC Comics character, the partner of Judomaster

Tiger (Image Comics), an Image Comics character who has appeared in Savage Dragon

Tiger (Wildstorm), a Wildstorm character who has appeared in Gen¹³

Bronze Tiger, a DC Comics martial artist

Flying Tiger (comics), a number of comics characters

Smiling Tiger, a Marvel Comics supervillain

Tiger-Man, an Atlas/Seaboard Comics character

Tiger Shark (Marvel Comics), a Marvel Comics supervillain

White Tiger (comics), a number of Marvel Comics characters

Tony Isabella

Tony Isabella (born December 22, 1951) is an American comic book writer, editor, artist and critic, known as the creator and writer of Marvel Comics' Black Goliath; DC Comics' first major African-American superhero, Black Lightning; and as a columnist and critic for the Comics Buyer's Guide.

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