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solid writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 3
total score 8
Promethean Enterprises #1
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AVERAGE SCORE 8
Only Printing / May 30, 1969 / 32 pages / Promethean Enterprises
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The first issue of Promethean Enterprises runs only 32 pages, including covers, but its content establishes that this will be a fanzine with eclectic tastes and lofty aspirations. For example, a small portfolio of 1966 Robert Crumb drawings follows an inkwashed sword-and-sorcery adventure by unknown Robert Jack Juanillo. And a violent but wordless sci/fi strip from George Metzger precedes samples of exceptional newspaper comic art from Frank Frazetta and Al Williamson.

The commingling of traditional comic artists with the brash underground rebels seems to cater to no one particular set of fandom. As stated in the brief editorial at the end of the book, the editors expect that traditional comic fans "are wondering why we failed to print a three page comparison of Spider-Man as portrayed by Steve Ditko and John Romita" and that "underground fans are still looking for the 'Zap'-like humor." The editors go on to say that "we feel that there is a long-neglected need for a magazine that can present to the general public samples of the fine art that appears in the two media."

The first issue of Promethean Enterprises is generally very strong, though the aforementioned Juanillo strip is rather abysmal (due only in part to the terrible reproduction of the artwork, which may have been unavoidable). Besides contributing the front cover art, Rick Griffin also has a nice four-page portfolio, which includes the bonus of a terrific (if somewhat washed out) photo of him from the late '60s. There's three pages of Greg Irons' ink sketches from 1967, when he was 19 or 20 years old. Bob Inwood and Rob Brown also provide some nice illustrations.

Promethean Enterprises #1 sets the stage for what editors Bud Plant, Jim Vadeboncoeur Jr., and Al Davoren plan to bring us in future issues. At the time, however, they forewarn that "We make no promises of a second issue." Fortunately, they managed to get out four more, all of them featuring a broad spectrum of superior comic art.
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keyline
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HISTORICAL FOOTNOTES:
It is currently unknown how many copies of this magazine were printed. It has not been reprinted. The covers are printed on a heavy cover stock with a leather-pattern texture and the interior pages are printed on white offset paper.
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COMIC CREATORS:
Jim Vadeboncoeur Jr. - coeditor, 30 (editorial)
Al Davoren - coeditor, art director
Bud Plant - coeditor (credited as "money man")
Rick Griffin - 1-2, 16-19
Robert Jack Juanillo - 3-10 (art, script)
Bob Sidebottom - 3-10 (lettering)
Robert Crumb - 11-13
Robert Inwood - 14-15
C. G. Walker - 17 (photo)

George Metzger - 20-22, 21
Greg Irons - 23-25
Frank Frazetta - 26-27 (art), 28-29 (shared)
Peter DePaulo - 26-27 (script)
All Williamson - 28-29 (shared)
Rob Brown - 30
Anne Vadeboncoeur - 32