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NOW Comics
IndustryComics
Founded1985
FounderTony C. Caputo
Defunct2006
Headquarters,
U.S.
ParentCaputo Publishing, Inc.
DivisionsNOW Library, NOW Video
WebsiteOfficial website

NOW Comics was a comic book publisher founded in late 1985 by Tony C. Caputo as a sole-proprietorship. During the four years after its founding, NOW grew from a one-man operation to operating in 12 countries, and published almost 1,000 comic books.

The company was headquartered in the Chicago Loop in Chicago, Illinois.[1] Most NOW titles were the results of licensing arrangements with such companies as Columbia (Sony) Pictures, Broadway Video, ELP Communications, CBS Entertainment, Inc., Speed Racer Enterprises, and Leisure Concepts, resulting in titles like Vector, Mr. T & The T-Force,[2] Speed Racer, The Original Astro Boy, Alias, Terminator: The Burning Earth, The Real Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, Fright Night, Married... with Children, and The Green Hornet.

History

NOW Comics started in late 1985 as a sole-proprietorship, with the first publications shipping in May 1986. It became Caputo Publishing, Inc. in 1987.

In a four-year period, CPI grew from a one-man operation with annual sales of $110,000 to an international multimillion-dollar corporation, with close to 100 full-time employees and freelancers, and the #3 position in comic book market share.[3] During this period, CPI created such cross-promotional ventures as The Real Ghostbusters cereal (with Ralston Purina) and Slimer's Ecto-Cooler Hi-C drink (with Coca-Cola Foods).

In 1989, the comics division began to lose steam, suffering from lack of focus and internal dissension.[4][5] In 1990, NOW was forced to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy by Quebecor Printing and the General Learning Corporation.[6] After being bought by General Learning, NOW Comics relaunched in 1991 as the NOW Entertainment Corporation[7] This new infusion of over $2 million in capital catapulted the company to number five in market share within its first quarter of business, and NOW Entertainment was nominated as best new publisher of 1991.[citation needed]

In 1993, NOW and Malibu/Eternity co-published the crossover series Ninja High School featuring Speed Racer.[8]

In 1994, the company ceased publishing after its "January 1995" releases, six months after founder Caputo left.[citation needed]

In 2003, Caputo returned, reviving the publisher as NOW Media Group, Inc. The new company, dubbed "NOW Comics 3.0" by Caputo, was re-launched as a graphic novel "self-publisher", giving creators a partnership role in the business. Books published by this iteration of NOW Comics included Vespers (an original graphic novel written and illustrated by Caputo), Vinny, the Bug Man (a 3D animated graphic novel by Chet Spiewak, including a CD-ROM), and black and white collected editions of Marc Hansen's Ralph Snart, Doctor Gorpon, and Weird Melvin series. Planned but unreleased were Mirrorwalker (collecting the originally intended two issues of the Barry Daniel Peterson and Marv Wolfman 1990 series) and Syphons (collecting volume two of the series), which was later published by Image Comics. The business plan didn't pan out and the company folded in 2005, with the corporation fully dissolved in February 2006.

NOW Video

In 1988, CPI purchased to rights to release the original Speed Racer anime on home video, eventually releasing 22 volumes of Speed Racer on VHS under the banner "NOW Video". In addition, there were two special gift sets: the Speed Racer Collector's Edition (1989), which included a 90-minute VHS copy of the three-part episode "The Most Dangerous Race", a Speed Racer bumper sticker, a Slimer! Hi-C Ecto Cooler coupon, and copies of Speed Racer Special #1, Speed Racer Classics v1 & v2, and Now What?! #4; and the Speed Racer Silver Anniversary Edition (1992), which included a 55-minute VHS copy of the two-part episode "Challenge of the Masked Racer" as well as copies of Speed Racer Classics v2, and the "Speed Racer 5th Anniversary Collector's Edition" of Speed Racer v2 #1.[9] In 1989, City Video Productions and NOW Comics co-produced The What NOW Caper, a sixty-minute comedy-documentary on comic book production starring Jim Vincent as detective "Mel Mudd".[10]

Creators associated with NOW Comics

During its operation, NOW acquired the talents of such industry veterans as Harlan Ellison, Neal Adams, Jim Steranko, Bill Sienkiewicz, Mike Baron, Jeff Butler, Dave Dorman, and Chuck Dixon. Alex Ross did his first professional comics work with the company (in Terminator: The Burning Earth), and Clint McElroy wrote several comics with NOW in the early 1990s.[11] NOW also collaborated with entertainers like Mr. T, Van Williams, and Terry Gilliam.

Titles

Notes

  1. ^ Katz, William A. and Linda Sternberg Katz. Magazines for Young People: A "Children's Magazine Guide" Companion. Bowker, 1991. Second edition. 103. Retrieved on January 6, 2011. "Now Comics, 332 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 1750, Chicago, IL 60604"
  2. ^ "Hey Fool! It's T-Time!", The Comics Journal #157 (March 1993), p. 35.
  3. ^ Internal Correspondence (Capital City Distribution, May 1990): chart shows NOW with #3 market share (about 3%) after Marvel Comics (45%) and DC Comics (25%).
  4. ^ "Editorial Direction Lacking at NOW", The Comics Journal #127 (February 1989), p. 9.
  5. ^ "Creators Accuse NOW of Non-Payment", The Comics Journal #127 (February 1989), p. 5-15.
  6. ^ "It's So Long For Now: Caputo Files for Bankruptcy Liquidation", The Comics Journal #140 (February 1991), pp. 11-12.
  7. ^ "Newswatch: Comics Companies Reborn in Chicago", The Comics Journal #142 (June 1991), pp. 9–10.
  8. ^ "Ninja High School featuring Speed Racer: Malibu, 1993 Series". Grand Comics Database. Indicia publisher: Malibu Comics Entertainment, Inc.; cover has both Eternity & NOW Comics logos.
  9. ^ Staff writer (2006). "Speed Racer Gift Sets". NOW Comics. NOW Media Group. Archived from the original on November 23, 2006.
  10. ^ Staff writer (2006). "The What NOW Caper". NOW Comics. NOW Media Group. Archived from the original on November 23, 2006.
  11. ^ "How 'The Adventure Zone' Went from 'D&D' Podcast to Graphic Novel". The Hollywood Reporter. July 16, 2018.
  12. ^ Sassienie, Paul (1994). The Comic Book: The One Essential Guide for Comic Book Fans Everywhere. Chartwell Books, Incorporated. p. 233. ISBN 978-1-55521-999-4.

References