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solid writing
skilled art
historical bonus 3
total score 7
Not Available _ Not Available _ Not Available
Realm #1
Realm #2 Realm #3
Realm 4 _ Realm 5 1st _ Realm 6 _ Realm 7
Realm #4
Realm #5 Realm #6 Realm #7

1969-1977 / Artie Romero - Everyman Studios

Artie Edward Romero has been drawing cartoons since junior high school in Springfield, Missouri and produced his own comic book, Platinum Toad, in high school. He was a mere lad of 18 when he launched his sci-fi fanzine Realm in the fall of 1969, which was initially titled Fantasy Realm.

Though Romero would demonstrate higher quality standards than most fanzine publishers of his era, the first issue of Realm had humble ditto production values. Realm evolved quickly and soon featured illustrations by Frank Frazetta, Vaughn Bodé, Barry Windsor-Smith and Michael Kaluta, plus many articles, original sci-fi stories (with spot illustrations) and illustration portfolios by lesser-known creators.

The first five issues of Realm were pure fanzines, with stories and articles laid out with typewriter text, Letraset rub-on type and a broad variety of comic art mostly used as spot illustrations. There are also illustration portfolios and some comic-book type stories. Romero's editorial in the fifth issue (October, 1972) announced that the next issue of Realm would be entirely a comic book, which it was, but it would not be published until three years later.

In 1973, Romero moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado and founded the artists' collective Everyman Studios with Rick Berry, Darrel Anderson, Thom Haber, David Taylor, Ron Hueftle and Kirk Kennedy. The following year, Everyman Studios launched the alternative newspaper Everyman Flyer, which ran for half-a-dozen issues in Colorado Springs.

Realm #6 was finally published in October 1975 and Realm #7 concluded the series a couple years later. Both issues featured comics by some of the Everyman Studios partners as well as a couple friends they'd made through their fanzine and minicomics circles (John Peterson and Al Greenier). As a fanzine Realm's content was well above average and as a comic book it was better than average, but I really admire the title as it documents Romero's increasing fascination with the printing process, culminating in the multiple cover variations of Realm #6. Romero's enjoyment of the production aspect of comic art publications seems to fit in well with his love for animation.

After Realm had completed its run, Romero launched Cascade Comix Monthly in 1978, which ran for 23 issues over the next three years. Cascade was a terrific digest-size fanzine about underground comics with news, reviews, interviews, and original comics by S. Clay Wilson, Skip Williamson, Jay Lynch and Art Spiegelman. During this highly productive era, Romero also published a treasured collection of minicomics under the Everyman Studios imprint that featured full-color cover art.

In the early 1980s, Romero and Everyman Studios abandoned comic book publishing and focused on Romero's true love, animation. This led them to produce animation for TV commercials, movie titles and software throughout the 1980s and '90s. In 1994 Romero established ARG! Cartoon Animation, which today employs more than 70 animators, artists and technicians. The studio is contracted to produce The Legends of Alice Pendragon as an animated feature film.

Realm was just one of several success stories that comprise the full scope of achievement by Artie Romero and Everyman Studios. Other people would have been justifiably proud of producing even one of Romero's creations, like Platinum Toad, Cascade Comix Monthly or the series of Everyman minicomics. For Romero, these were all just building blocks to pursuing even greater ambitions. Romero's current success would seem to be preordained; ensured by his relentless passion for comic art, original storytelling and innovative technology.