eclipse comics SABRE#5 BILLY GRAHAM Don McGregor Dystopian Science Fiction Swashbuckler Mature Content

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Sabre eclipse comics series

By Billy Graham & Don McGregor

CONDITION is FINE Like NEW with mild surface wear from being read, handled, stored & moved. Comic Book itself is clean solid and tight.

A graduate of New York City's Music & Art High School, Billy Graham had a specifically recognizable style that drew its artistic influences from the work of Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, Burne Hogarth, and George Tuska.

One of his earliest comics projects was illustrating writer Don Glut's "Death Boat!" in Vampirella #1 (Sept. 1969), one of the earliest of Warren Publishing's influential black-and-white horror-comics magazines. Graham went on to pencil and self-ink a story in nearly each of the first dozen issues of Vampirella, and an additional tale in issue #32 (April 1970) of its brethren publication Creepy.

Publisher James Warren recalled in 1999 that he promoted Graham to art director shortly after recruiting him as an artist:

I sensed Billy had the ability to handle it; certain artists and writers are great but they can't shift out of their specialty and do something else. Billy could. So I said, 'Billy, you are now art director! Whether you like it or not.' Now you have to understand that all Billy wanted to do his whole life was just be Jack Kirby. I said, ' You'll be the Black Jack Kirby, but not today! Today you are art director of Warren Publishing.' But he said, 'I can't art direct!' And I said, 'I'll show you how. There's your office; you now have a full-time job. A paycheck every Friday. Do you accept?' And he said, 'Yer goddamn right!' And I taught him how to art direct during our slow period, and it only took a couple of issues โ€” and he did pretty well (though I gave him a nervous breakdown).

In a 2005 interview, Warren mentions tweaking a Rolling Stone reporter who asked about his decision to hire an African-American art director, a rarity in comics at the time: "'What!?' mock-screamed Warren. 'Is Billy black? I didn't know that. Get him in here! Billy, are you black? You're fired!'"

With artist Paul Gulacy, Don McGregor created one of the first modern graphic novels, Eclipse Enterprises' Sabre: Slow Fade of an Endangered Species, available here- a near-future, dystopian science fiction swashbuckler that introduced the title character. McGregor's work premiered in August 1978, two months before Will Eisner's better-known graphic novel A Contract with God. Sabre was additionally the first graphic novel sold through the new "direct market" of comic-book stores. It later spun off a 14-issue Eclipse comic-book series.


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