Todd Loren, founder/editor and publisher of REVOLUTIONARY COMICS, was found dead in his home June 18th. He had been stabbed to death.
According to the comics mag WIZARD police are following strong leads though "it is likely Todd's death is unrelated to any problems incurred as the publisher of a controversial line of comic books."
I was writing a column for THE ROC on REVOLUTIONARY COMICS and had talked with Todd on the phone about an interview just weeks before his untimely death. He had sent me back issues of various books in his Rock & Roll line and I was blown away! Life stories of groups from KISS to the ROLLING STONES to the SEX PISTOLS; well-drawn, well written and I highly recommend them to rock & comic fans alike! His death at this time was particularly unfortunate as REVOLUTIONARY COMICS was starting to win widespread newsstand distribution and recognition from throughout the media.
Todd was one of the most staunchly anti-censorship publishers in the country. When New Kids On The Block management threatened Todd for "rights infringement" for doing a comic book on the life of the New Kids, Todd went head-to-head with the creeps and set the legal precedent that comics were indeed protected by the 1st Amendment and were not simply a "commodity." Todd, you will be missed by all of us at R.O.C.
WILLIAM M. GAINES
When Frederick Wertham (50's version of Tipper Gore) was riding roughshod over the comics industry in 1954, William M. Gaines volunteered to testify on behalf of the comics field in front of the accursed Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency. As publisher of the legendary EC line of horror comics as well as the great, early MAD (see ROC #5), Gaines took it in the face from the self-righteous idiots on the committee but gave back as good as he got. The swine managed to strong-arm the EC's out of existence but MAD went on, under Gaines, to massive success, called in fact by some the Godfather of the 60's Underground Press, and certainly papers like THE ROC. Anyone wanting to know the sheer, candid openness of William M. Gaines should read the interview with the man in the current GAUNTLET.