Are you tired of the grim, violent, amoral super "heroes" of today?
Have you had enough of dark, depressing, nihilistic storytelling?
Are you looking for something more? Something bright, hopeful, and positive?
If so, maybe you will remember a time when there was a difference between heroes and villains.
When superheroes knew the difference between right and wrong.
When they were a force for good and against evil.
If so, we have a comic book for you.
Five Star Comics is a new kind of comic book, made in the spirit of the Golden Age but for readers of the twenty-first century. Our goal is to tell fun and engaging stories using characters from the past but in new ways. For example . . .
- A Golden Age superhero travels forward in time--to our own time--where he encounters his great granddaughter for the first time.
- A superheroine from the 1940s has traveled through time as well, only she has made her journey as we all do, by aging. She, too, meets and inspires a far younger relative, passing on to her the mantle of family crimefighting.
- Another superheroine from the same period appears in a story in which Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten make cameo appearances and Albert Einstein inherits a bit of alien technology.
- A pulp-fiction character makes the transition to comic books as a successor to the 1930s hero who carried his name, then back again as the star of a new pulp adventure set in the present day.
- A comic book character from the Golden Age encounters a supposedly real creature from the 1960s, long before that creature was even known to the world. Both have the same name, but their purposes can only be described as crossed.
Stories like these weren't told or couldn't have been told in the Golden Age, when the future was yet unknown and unknowable. Now, with the passage of time and the proliferation of knowledge of information in the Internet Age, they can be.
But before we start patting ourselves on the back for all our advancement and enlightenment, we should remember . . .
In the 1930s and '40s, comic books writers and artists knew little beyond their own familiar neighborhoods. Relativity was a poorly understood concept fit only for fuzzy-haired scientists. The atom bomb was first only a theory, then a tightly guarded secret. The outcome of the Second World War was still in doubt. There was every possibility that the Axis powers would win and that freedom would be extinguished from the earth. Through all that, the readers of the Golden Age--even the children--knew that there is a difference between right and wrong, between good and evil. They knew that heroes are to uphold what is good, right, and just, and to fight against what is evil, wrong, and unjust. Those readers never lost sight of those truths.
Even in the darkest days of war and depression, they had hope.
They looked forward to a brighter world.
They fought for freedom and to bring peace into that world.
And though they may at times have been frightened, anxious, saddened, and discouraged, they didn't despair.
So why should we? They fought for and believed in good over evil, right over wrong, justice over injustice, freedom over tyranny.
So why shouldn't we?
That's why we decided to make our own comic book.
Five Star Comics began one evening in the living room of a small house in West Virginia when six creators--Larry Blake, Tim Corrigan, Gary Gibeaut, Jason Gibeaut, Terence Hanley, and Matt Marshall--decided to collaborate on a new comic book. We didn't have a title yet, but we knew that we wanted to tell stories about Golden Age characters and in the spirit of that time. We were tired of all the darkness, violence, gore, misogyny, nihilism, and amorality we saw in the comics and in popular culture in general. We wanted to make something different.
We were already aware of the concept of public domain superheroes, of characters that had appeared in print long ago but were no longer copyrighted or trademarked. We decided we would tell new stories about those old characters.
Point Pleasant, West Virginia, native Gary Gibeaut already had a script from Jordan Lowe of Marietta, Ohio. Their character was dimension-hopping (and as it turns out, time-traveling) Flip Falcon.
Ohio native Larry Blake chose super-fast Silver Streak, introducing that Golden Age hero's great granddaughter, Missile.
Matt Marshall of Gallipolis, Ohio, selected a pulp character, The Black Bat, to be his. Matt also decided to draw his character in an unconventional style, in shades of gray rather than the stark black-and-white of traditional comic book art.
Hoosier-born Terence Hanley decided on Moth Man, also called Mothman or simply the Moth. That character first appeared in comic books in 1940. More than a quarter century later, the supposedly real-life creature called Mothman was seen in Gary Gibeaut's hometown. So why not an encounter between Moth Man the superhero and Mothman the creature?
Tim Corrigan of Fillmore, New York, would lend a hand as well. Jason Gibeaut, who calls Gallipolis home, signed on as an idea man and to help with marketing and advertising. Terence either volunteered as, was elected to become, or forced to become editor of the as-yet-unnamed book. (Accounts vary.) He eventually came up with the title, Five Star Comics. Gary and Larry designed the title logo that appeared on the cover of the first and second issues. Seth Boring created the logo for the third issue. That's the logo you see as the heading of this page. We knew that we wanted to include letters of comment. The title of our letters page, Five Star Comments, was group effort.
That's how Five Star Comics was born. A few years have passed since then, and we have lost one of our collaborators, Tim Corrigan. But we're still going. We have also welcomed new collaborators, Kip Creel of New Jersey and West Virginia, and Mike Tuz and Tom Ahearn of Connecticut. Maybe you can collaborate with us, too. See the page called Sumissions using the tab at the top and the list of pages at the right.
We don't know what will become of our new comic book, but here's wishing for a long and fruitful life. We welcome and invite letters of comment. You can reach us in care of:
69306 State Route 124
Reedsville, OH 45772
We hope to hear from you, and thanks for reading.
Copyright 2016 Five Star Comics