Evolving in 1982 out of Bill Black’s Paragon Publications, AC Comics® (Americomics in it’s first year of existence only, AC since 1984) was one of the initial quartet of independent color comics companies who pioneered the direct sales phenomenon in the early ’80’s. The others were Pacific, First and Eclipse Comics — all long defunct by now, yet AC runs on, headed for it’s third decade of creating comic book fun.
Within the framework of the four hundred-plus books AC has released, multitalented publishing maverick Bill Black has introduced us to a plethora of his own fascinating characters. From his new-wave super-hero universe of the companies’ early years (when costumed defenders like Captain Paragon, Commando D, The Scarlet Scorpion and Bolt gave readers an alternative to Marvel and DC fare) grew AC’s best known feature — The Femforce in 1980. Comicdom’s first and only successful all-female super-team book started with a special in 1984 and the regular series started in 1985. In 1997, Femforce became the 229th comic book ever to pass the one hundred issue mark, and spawned an ever-increasing circle of spin-offs, support books and licensed merchandise. Femforce® is STILL ongoing from AC Comics and selling through comic shops as we shipped our 183th issue in July of 2018!
Under Black’s creative guidance, many of the industries’ artistic “heavy hitters” cut their professional eyeteeth at AC. Names like Erik Larsen, Jerry Ordway, Tom Lyle, Paul Ryan, Tim Townsend and dozens more first came to prominence working in the AC freelance stable, gaining valuable early experience and an opportunity to work at a professional level, before moving on to other publishers.
Always a man with respect and appreciation for what has come before, Bill’s fascination with comics history led him to make classic reprints and historical research into the comics of the 1940’s and ’50’s a big part of AC’s publishing endeavors as well.
Inventing techniques to reproduce and recreate artwork from comic book’s Golden Age, ferreting out history and interviewing actual creators led AC to present the genius of such luminaries as Lou Fine, Mort Meskin, Mac Raboy and countless others to a new generation, as well as preserving that work for many more to come. The solid core audience for such AC historical reprint series as Golden Age Greats and Men Of Mystery proves that they fill a valuable niche in the patchwork of chronicling the development of the comic book. As a special focus among it’s vintage material, AC has always put particular emphasis on western comics — both those based on the movie cowboys of the genre’s heyday and the best original characters the four-color page has had to offer. AC Comics® has produced more western-themed comic titles than any other publisher in the last thirty years. It’s successful license to produce comics and materials based on Roy Rogers and his cast of characters has allowed AC to cross over into new markets, and again bring this timeless hero to a new crop of young fans. In 2015, we had our first new posable figure of Stormy Tempest™ from Executive Replicas.
A unique, eclectic and personal blend of tastes and influences have led publisher Bill Black to construct an engrossing matrix of fun and interesting comics and related publications.
As of 2014, Bill is now Editor Emeritus of AC Comics. In the last few years, Bill has returned to his filmmaking roots producing and directing many live-action films featuring characters from his comic book line such as NIGHTVEIL, THE BLUE BULLETEER, SYNN, GARGANTA, STORMY TEMPEST and NYOKA THE JUNGLE GIRL which you can find at Nightveil Media
As of 2014, Mark G. Heike became the Publisher and EIC of AC Comics. Mark Heike is best known for his work on Femforce. He worked on the first issue of that title and over a hundred issues since. Mark plotted and drew the first Ms. Victory story in Captain Paragon # 1 ( way back when AC Comics was known as Americomics ) and the Synn Special # 1. He also penciled Nightveil’s solo series.
Stephanie Heike has been working as a professional comic book artist and has freelanced for various companies in the comics field since 1987 . Her work was first published by AC Comics in 1991. She has been working as Associate Editor since 2000 and officially became Executive Editor in 2014.