James Van Hise
Born1949 (age 73–74)
Area(s)Popular culture historian, writer, and publisher
Notable works
AwardsInkpot Award, 1983

James Van Hise (born 1949)[1] is an American popular culture historian and comic book author. He had a long connection with the popular fanzine Rocket's Blast Comicollector (RBCC), and was its editor/publisher from 1974 to 1983. He also had a lengthy association with Hal Schuster, owner of New Media Publishing and Pioneer Books. Van Hise is the author of more than ten books, many of them published by Pioneer Books.


Van Hise's first published works were in the ranks of fandom. He (along with Larry Bigman) wrote the Al Williamson Collector column for RBCC in the early 1970s.[2] In 1974, Van Hise became editor and publisher of RBCC. He introduced new features and columns to the zine, freshening its aesthetic for new audiences.[3]

He and Don Rosa (another RBCC contributor) produced the 1976 Omnicon comic convention, held in Louisville, Kentucky, in July 1976; guests included Frank Brunner, DeForest Kelley, and Michael Kaluta.

Around 1981, Van Hise hooked up with brothers Jack and Hal Schuster, who a year earlier had established New Media Publishing (NMP), hired a staff (which included Carol Kalish, Richard Howell, and Peter B. Gillis), and announced a slate of new hobbyist publications.[4] Van Hise joined NMP as a writer and editor,[5] with part of the deal being NMP's taking over the publication of Rocket's Blast Comicollector. NMP soon became notorious for missing publication deadlines, however, and RBCC fell victim as well, only putting out three issues in the period 1981 to 1983 before it was cancelled.[6] While with NMP, Van Hise edited Enterprise Incidents, an influential Star Trek fanzine.

He published The Art of Al Williamson with Blue Dolphin Enterprises (the owner of Pacific Comics), in 1983, and was given an Inkpot Award at the 1983 San Diego Comic-Con.

Beginning in late 1984 NMP published Monsterland, the follow-up to Forrest J Ackerman's Famous Monsters of Filmland, and when NMP went defunct in 1985, the Schuster Brothers started up a number of other publishing entities — one of which, Movieland Publishing, continued Monsterland. Van Hise was editor of Monsterland from 1986 to 1987.[7] During that same period Van Hise wrote a number of issues of Files Magazine, also published by Schuster's Psi Fi Movie Press, which focused "on comic characters, TV shows, rock groups, or movies, mixing text pieces with photos or drawings."[8]

Van Hise wrote stories for comic books in the period 1988 to 1994. From 1988 to 1992 he wrote for NOW Comics' line of licensed titles, including The Real Ghostbusters, Fright Night,[9] and Tales of the Green Hornet.

From 1989 to 1995, Van Hise published eleven books with Schuster's Pioneer Books, on such topics as Batmania, The Shadow, the Lone Ranger, the Green Hornet, dinosaur movies, and the Star Trek franchise.

In 2002–2003, Van Hise temporarily revived Rocket's Blast Comicollector, publishing four issues out of a new headquarters in Yucca Valley, California.[10]





  1. ^ Van Hise entry Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Retrieved Feb. 11, 2020.
  2. ^ See Van Hise, James, The Al Williamson Collector, Rocket's Blast Comicollector, Miami, Florida: S.F.C.A, #'s 90–116.
  3. ^ Fratz, Doug. "TNJ Listings," The New Nostalgia Journal #28 (Aug. 1976), p. 39.
  4. ^ "Newswatch," The Comics Journal #58 (Sept. 1980), p. 18.
  5. ^ "Newswatch: New Media Distribution out of Business," The Comics Journal #72 (May 1982), p. 16.
  6. ^ Thompson, Kim. "NMI in Trouble, to File for Chapter 11," The Comics Journal #70 (Winter 1981–1982), p. 16.
  7. ^ "Evila". "Editorial," Monsterland #10 (June 1986), p. 2. to 1987.
  8. ^ KF. "Marvel Takes Legal Action: Marvel Files Suit Against Hal and Jack Schuster," The Comics Journal #116 (July 1987), pp. 16–17.
  9. ^ "Now Comics FRIGHT NIGHT #3 plus a PHOTOCOPY SCRIPT & UNPUBLISHED PLOTS". ebay.com. Archived from the original on September 15, 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  10. ^ Kreiner, Rich. "Meet the Comics Press: Rocket from the Crypt," The Comics Journal #249 (Dec. 2002), pp. 54–55