One (1977) #1
One is the first comic published by Pacific Comics, and it’s an outlier in almost all respects: It’s magazine sized, it’s in black and white, and it doesn’t have any good artwork.
And it doesn’t have the Pacific logo.
And curiously enough, the “One” character and story is copyrighted by Pacific, while everything (I think) else they published was creator owned. So what’s this One thing that they’re betting on?
That artwork is… like almost cool, if it wasn’t for being awful. It’s got a punk thing going on, but perhaps by accident? I think the horrible printing makes it look more exciting than it is?
Unfortunately, the artist gets tired of drawing after a couple of pages and resorts to Fumetti. That is, he takes pictures of people and then runs it through a Xerox machine to make it more starkly black and white.
The story is truly horrible.
We first published a black and white comic book called ONE, which was part photo/illustration, and part traditional comic book style of artwork. We did this to make sure we fully understood how the whole editorial production cycle worked, plus we felt ONE had enough potential on its own to reach a wide range of consumers.
I haven’t read any interviews with the other Schanes brother, Steve, but William Schanes always comes off as being very business minded. So he talks of “consumers”, not “readers”, and his rationale for publishing this book is mostly about just getting some experience.
But who’s this consumer that this book was going to reach? It’s pretty mind-boggling that anybody would imagine that this unreadable thing would appeal to anybody…
There’s some back-up stories that are slightly less inept, but not by much. This one, by Lionel Sanders and Lana Evans looks kinda standard…
… but has lines like “Suddenly the miasmal slaughter was in full turbulence; the orgy of death had begun. Shrieking echos of death permeated.”
Well, that’s original, I guess? I don’t think I’ve ever seen those words in that order before… for which I’m thankful.
The final back-up story is a dreadful super-hero thing by (draws breath) William R. Lund, David C. Weiss, Brent Anderson and Shel Dorf (phew).
On the inside back cover, Pacific tells us how collectable this issue is!!!!!
Oh, and you can get a poster of the cover.
Wholesale rates upon inquiry.
So that’s the first thing that Pacific published, and you can hardly imagine a less auspicious start.