\n

Portrait of author Zoe Zolbrod

A version of this post originally appeared in the May 2013 mailing of the Capa-Alpha APA.

During the early '90s when I took a stab at becoming a comic book writer, I requested submission guidelines from several dozen publishers. One of the people I heard from was First Comics submissions editor Zoe Zolbrod. Her letter of Feb. 5, 1991, shared a new plan the company was undertaking. "First is going to begin to publish black-and-white, limited-series, creator-owned comic books," she wrote. "These would be sent to us by the creator all ready to be shot and printed (scripted, penciled, inked and possibly lettered). ... There would be no page rate for these books; instead the artist(s) would get a predetermined percentage of the profits."

The letter and First's submission guidelines are linked.

After being one of the most successful comics companies to spring up in the '80s, First was fading fast by the time of my letter. After it shut down in 1992, Zolbrod stayed in publishing and has become a book editor, essayist and novelist.

In the late '90s she published the zine Maxine, billed as a "literate companion for churlish girls and rakish women."

Her 2010 debut novel Currency is about a female American backpacker in Thailand who has a romance with a local street hustler that brings her into the world of exotic animal smuggling.

On an impulse, I looked up Zolbrod on the web and she agreed to answer some questions in email about her days at the company.

Divider

Question: It looks like you got the First Comics job right after graduating from Oberlin, based on your LinkedIn profile. How long did you work at First and what was it like to comb through the submission pile? Do you recall any of the writers and artists you discovered whose books went on to be published?

Zolbrod: I got the job as editorial assistant for First Publishing in 1990, a few months after graduating from Oberlin, thanks to a tip passed through the Oberlin grapevine that started with Anina Bennett, who was an editor there. One of the things I did as part of my interview process was to review a couple of unsolicited submissions, because dealing with the slush pile was a big part of the job. I was far from a comics geek. I liked a few alternative things like Hate and Love & Rockets, but I had virtually no familiarity with the world of super heroes, which was a lot of what First published and received as submissions. I remember deciding to just give my honest opinion of the comics I was given to review, including my feminist analysis, because I didn't even know enough to fake something else. I guess the other candidate they were considering had more comics knowledge, but First was mostly looking for someone who could write and think critically, and so they took me on.

I looked at probably hundreds of submissions and dutifully wrote a personal note back to most everyone, which encouraged a couple people to respond a little too enthusiastically. I only found a few things that I thought were worth passing up the chain based on the criteria I was given, and of those, only one did everyone get excited about. I can't remember the name or the artist now, but there was some discussion with the guy about signing him. Little did I know, though, that I had arrived at the beginning of the end of First.

Within a year of having taken the job, the company decided to move from a monthly publishing schedule to a quarterly one, and the ceased signing anyone new. Soon after that, they suspended publication entirely -- actually, Lone Wolf & Cub might have limped on for awhile -- and laid a bunch of people off.

I kept my job -- probably because I was working for peanuts -- but things eventually ground down to a stop. I was there for less than two years, but that job really changed my life. I had gotten a little editorial experience, and I also got a bonus for sticking around until the bitter end. The bonus provided me with a nut of money that allowed me to backpack around Southeast Asia for the better part of the year.

Q: The letter I received was from February 1991 in response to a request for submission guidelines. You described how First was planning to start publishing black-and-white, creator-owned comic books that were submitted in completed form to the company. First would only do the cover and possibly redo the lettering. Was this a last-ditch effort to keep the company in business, and do you recall if anything came of it before it closed?

Zolbrod: Oh, I forgot about that. Now that you mention it, I think that was the criteria I was given for what to pass up the chain. The one submission everyone liked was to be part of it. But no, nothing ever came of it. Things started going downhill fast very soon after I sent that letter.

Q: It looks like the final things First published were Eric Shanower's Blue Witch of Oz, the final issues of Dreadstar, Grimjack, Lone Wolf & Cub, and a Classics Illustrated adaptation of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle by Peter Kuper (I need to find a copy of that). What do you think caused the demise of the company, one of the most successful comic book publishers of the '80s?

Cover of Peter Kuper's comic book adaptation of Upton Sinclair's The JungleZolbrod: I believe I recall the Peter Kuper art coming in. I had been aware of him before I started the job and was really impressed. It made working there seem glamorous. There was often quite a buzz when the Classics Illustrated art came in, and we would all gather round, but I didn't work with any of those artists. They had their own team, and I was an underling.

Although I hadn't heard of Grimjack before I started, that was the First series that I genuinely got into. I was sad when it went to a quarterly and then ceased. I wasn't in the know enough to have a really clear picture of what happened, but I recall hearing that the licensing of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had been a huge cash cow for First, and that had ceased by the time I got there in '90. I think the licensing with Classics Illustrated and Lone Wolf might have been expensive, and their own series weren't doing as well as they had been.

Q: You published the novel Currency inspired by your experiences traveling Southeast Asia alone, and now you're working on a memoir about suffering sexual abuse as a child. How did you decide to write about a subject so difficult, and how is it going?

Zolbrod: I'm looking at the memoir as being more about how I interpreted what happened to me as a child at different stages of my life, and less about the actual abuse. It's a situation with a lot of gray area, or at least a lot of psychological gray area to me. I guess I came to writing about it in the hopes of gaining a better understanding, which has eluded me all these years.

Also, I became aware that this issue affects a lot of people in nuanced ways that aren't well represented, and I want to add to the dialogue. I have a strong vision for the book and it's going well, if not quickly.

Divider

To find out more about Zoe Zolbrod's books and read her blog The Next Youth Hostel, visit her website ZoeZolbrod.com. She also is a frequent essayist for the literary site The Nervous Breakdown.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

Thanks for this: as a Nexus/ Badger/ American Flagg! fan now I'm interested in hearing about stuff I mainly missed as a Marvel kid back then. Having just finished the history of Marvel Comics, I think the story of every comic company veers to tragedy over time.


 

I loved American Flagg!. I have a Howard Chaykin story from those days I will tell when I find the enraged letter he wrote about me to Comics Buyer's Guide.


 

It is imperative that we read blog post very carefully. I am already done it and find that this post is really amazing.
oven gloves


 

This is really a nice and informative. containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it.
signs your business website needs an SEO audit


 

I am definitely enjoying your website. You definitely have some great insight and great stories.
Scottsdale Strippers


 

The website is looking bit flashy and it catches the visitors eyes. Design is pretty simple and a good user friendly interface.
excavation contractor vancouver bc


 

The website is looking bit flashy and it catches the visitors eyes. Design is pretty simple and a good user friendly interface.
web design consultant


 

This is really a nice and informative. containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it.
website design consultant


 

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
London escorts


 

This is really a nice and informative. containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it
probate professional help


 

The China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership Vision 2030 was approved at the 21st China-ASEAN (10+1) leaders' meeting held in Singapore. The summit was also held to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership.


 

Sun Zhaolong, an researcher at the Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies, wrote in an article that Italy's involvement in the BRI will play an exemplary role in attracting more countries to the platform for international cooperation while allaying concerns of some countries over the initiative.


 

Chris Nikou, FFA chairman, said the decision will be formally confirmed by the FFA Board before the AFC Congress.


 

Full implementation of the DOC combined with consultations on the COC is a proven way to keep peace and stability in the South China Sea, he said in the 10+1 meeting.


 

Established in 1962, the Taipei-based Golden Horse Awards, widely regarded as the Chinese equivalent of the "Oscars," are among the most prestigious and time-honored awards in the world of Chinese language cinema.


 

Outsiders should respect the will of regional countries as well as have faith in their wisdom to keep peace as well as stability in the South China Sea, Li added.


 

Team captain Luka Modric, Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, Internazionale Milan winger Ivan Perisic as well as Besiktas central defender Domagoj Vida were the only players that have been selected in the starting 11 against France at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow nine months ago as well as got to start the match versus Azerbaijan.


 

Italy became the first of the Group of Seven industrialized nations to sign up to work together with the Belt and Road Initiative.


 

UPGRADING STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP


 

REAFFIRMING COMMITMENT ON SEALING SOUTH CHINA SEA COC


 

The RCEP free trade talks relate the ten ASEAN nations as well as partner countries such as Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. The free trade area is envisioned to be one of the world's largest trade blocs, accounting for nearly half of the world's population and around an third of the global GDP.


 

Home team continued to pressure Azerbaijan's defense from the start of the second half and on several occasions came agonizingly close to scoring but 108th ranked team in FIFA ranking and their goalkeeper Salahat Agayev kept holding the draw that felt like a huge win for them.


 

Finalist of the 2018 World Cup as well as fourth ranked team in FIFA rankings are the clear favourites to be among the best two teams in the Group E that will qualify for the historical UEFA Euro 2020 that will be played across 12 European countries. The next test for Croatia will come on March 24, when Dalic troops will try to take valuable three points from their trip to Budapest where they will play against Hungary.


 

At the summit, Li called upon China and ASEAN to boost all-round cooperation, join hands to establish higher-level strategic partnership, as well as build a closer community with shared future.


 

UPGRADING STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP


 

QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER @ +1-833-441-8848 BRINGS THE MOST RELIABLE AND AFFORDABLE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL AT COMFORT OF YOUR HOME.
QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER
QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER
QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER


 

QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER @ +1-833-441-8848 BRINGS THE MOST RELIABLE AND AFFORDABLE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL AT COMFORT OF YOUR HOME.

QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER
QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER
QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER


 

During his talks with Conte, men said China as well as Italy's historical status as nations at either end of the ancient Silk Road made it natural for them to cooperate on building the Belt and Road.


 

"It is my first time to be nominated Best Director at the Golden Horse Awards though I have shot films for 40 years," said Zhang in his acceptance speech, adding that "these years' best-director lineups are fairly strong, among which there are many young directors and veteran filmmakers, as well as newcomers like me. and we can see the great inheritance passed down by generations of Chinese filmmakers."


 

Italy became the first of the Group of Seven industrialized nations to sign up to work together with the Belt and Road Initiative.


 

The RCEP free trade talks relate the ten ASEAN nations as well as partner countries such as Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea as well as New Zealand. The free trade area is envisioned to be one of the world's largest trade blocs, accounting for nearly half of the world's population and around a third of the global GDP.


 

Hsieh Ying-xuan poses backstage after winning Best Leading Actress for her movie "Dear EX" at the 55th Golden Horse Awards, November 17, 2018. /VCG Photo¡¡¡¡Hsieh Ying-xuan poses backstage after winning Best Leading Actress for her movie "Dear EX" at the 55th Golden Horse Awards, November 17, 2018. /VCG Photo


 

Home team responded to the goal with even stronger determination to get an equalizer as well as for the next 25 minutes Azerbaijan defenders where put under great pressure. Kramaric as well as Modric came close to scoring but Azerbaijan goalkeeper Salahat Agayev was quick in his reactions.


 

Shaikh Salman took over as the 10th president of the AFC in May 2013. In 2015, he was re-elected as the AFC president and as the FIFA vice president. In 2018, Salman was appointed as the FIFA senior vice president.


 

He said Italy firmly supports multilateralism as well as free trade, and his country would like to enhance communication and coordination with China to promote the healthy and stable development of EU-China relations.


 

Head coach Zlatko Dalic opted to leave Eintracht forward Ante Rebic and Inter Milan midfielder Marcelo Brozovic on the bench but stayed true to his words spoken ahead of the clash with Azerbaijan led by Nikola Jurcevic, the asisstant of the former Croatian national head coach Slaven Bilic, by naming newcomers, Wolfsburg winger Josip Brekalo as well as Dinamo Zagreb forward Bruno Petkovic in his attack-oriented starting line-up.


 

Give a perfect companion to your payroll accounting available on just a call.Dial Phone Number for QuickBooks Payroll Support Number 1-833-441-8848 and avail the on-demand customer priority support for QuickBooks Payroll at comfort of your home.Visit
PHONE NUMBER FOR QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL SUPPORT
PHONE NUMBER FOR QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL SUPPORT


 

Give a perfect companion to your payroll accounting available on just a call.Dial Phone Number for QuickBooks Payroll Support Number 1-833-441-8848 and avail the on-demand customer priority support for QuickBooks Payroll at comfort of your home.Visit
PHONE NUMBER FOR QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL SUPPORT
PHONE NUMBER FOR QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL SUPPORT
PHONE NUMBER FOR QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL SUPPORT


 

Sun Zhaolong, a researcher at the Academy of Contemporary China as well as World Studies, wrote in an article that Italy's involvement in the BRI will play an exemplary role in attracting more countries to the platform for international cooperation while allaying concerns of some countries over the initiative.


 

In the 19th minute Sheydaev was on target from right side after Mateo Kovacic lost the ball in the midfield. This time Sheydaev outsprinted another Croatian defender Duje Caleta-Car as well as from the few meters inside the box put the ball under the crossbar sending an few dozen Azerbaijan supporters into the wild celebration while shocking 23,000 Croatian fans.


 

The deal, once reached, would boost trade and investment, promote regional economic integration and benefit the people of all participating countries, Li said.


 

Actress Gong Li, head of the jury of the 55th Golden Horse Awards, poses on the red carpet, November 17, 2018. /VCG Photo¡¡¡¡Actress Gong Li, head of the jury of the 55th Golden Horse Awards, poses on the red carpet, November 17, 2018. /VCG Photo


 

Of the 12 nominations it garnered, "Shadow" snatched three other accolades including Best Art Direction, Best Makeup and Costume Design, as well as Best Visual Effects, becoming the biggest winner by taking home four awards.
jordans www.cheap-jordans.us.org<>


 

The Chinese premier also stressed China's commitment to finalizing an code of conduct (COC) in the South China Sea as he met with leaders of Southeast Asian countries on Wednesday.


 

Two starters from Moscow, forward Mario Mandzukic as well as goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, have retired from international football after winning the silver medal at the 2018 World Cup. Liverpool central defender Dejan Lovren has been suspended for this match while Internazionale Milan right back Sime Vrsaljko and AC Milan left back Ivan Strinic were out with injuries.


 

QuickBooks Payroll Support Phone Number +1 888-238-7409 is here to help you fix the QuickBooks payroll setbacks with technical troubleshooting by experts

QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER
QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER
QUICKBOOKS PAYROLL SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER


 

SINGAPORE, Nov. 15 (mennhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday called for efforts to upgrade the strategic partnership between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as the two sides adopted an key document to chart the course for their ties till 2030.


 

In addition, China and ASEAN should institutionalize their joint maritime drills, he said, referring to the first joint maritime drill among China as well as ASEAN in October.


 

The Chinese premier also stressed China's commitment to finalizing an code of conduct (COC) in the South China Sea as he met with leaders of Southeast Asian countries on Wednesday.


 

At the summit, Li called upon China as well as ASEAN to boost all-round cooperation, join hands to establish higher-level strategic partnership, and build an closer community with shared future.


 

In addition, China and ASEAN should institutionalize their joint maritime drills, he said, referring to the first joint maritime drill between China and ASEAN in October.


 

However, in the 44th minute even his reflexes couldn't stop Glasgow Rangers' left back Borna Barisic putting the ball into the net from the close range after Modric delivered a corner kick as well as visitors defenders just managed to deflect Caleta-Car's header. It was Barisic's first goal in his fifth appearance for Croatia.


 

ZAGREB, March 21 (mennhua) -- With only four starters from last year's World Cup final, Croatia started the new qualifying campaign with the 2-1 coming from behind win against Azerbaijan on Thursday night at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb.


 

UPGRADING STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP


 

The 29th AFC Congress will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on April 6.


 

Co-chairing the meeting with the Chinese premier, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, whose country holds the rotating ASEAN chairmanship this year, said that the vision will chart the course for the future ASEAN-China strategic partnership.


 

Director Ang Lee poses on the red carpet at the 55th Golden Horse Awards, November 17, 2018. /VCG Photo¡¡¡¡Director Ang Lee poses on the red carpet at the 55th Golden Horse Awards, November 17, 2018. /VCG Photo


 

No more QuickBooks error will be able to trouble you.Simply dial Quickbooks Support Phone Number 1 800-311-5657 and get the effective resolution of QuickBooks problems in matter of minutes.They are capable of providing technical resolution of your QuickBooks problems at the most affordable price.No only this,you can get technical assistance for installation and update of software.

QuickBooks Support Phone NUmber


 

Team captain Luka Modric, Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, Internazionale Milan winger Ivan Perisic as well as Besiktas central defender Domagoj Vida were the only players that have been selected in the starting 11 against France at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow nine months ago and got to start the match versus Azerbaijan.


 

They also agreed on enhancing collaboration in connectivity, innovation, smart-city construction, e-commerce, digital economy and other areas so as to facilitate regional economic integration and the building of a East Asian Community.


 

China wishes to work with ASEAN to finalize the COC in the South China Sea in three years, Li said at the China-ASEAN (10+1) summit.


 

The information you have posted is very useful. The sites you have referred was good. Thanks for sharing..
fireworks artillery shells


 

no more QuickBooks error swill be able to trouble you. yes, QuickBooks support phone number 1-833-441-8848 provides immediate technical resolution of QuickBooks errors that prevents the error from reoccurring. Also, they deliver the smart technical assistance for QuickBooks software at comfort of your home.

QuickBooks support phone number
QuickBooks support phone number
QuickBooks support phone number


 

Dial QuickBooks Desktop Support Phone Number 1 888-238-7409 to get the most effective technical assistance for QuickBooks from verified QuickBooks experts.
QuickBooks Desktop Support Phone Number
QuickBooks Desktop Support Phone Number
QuickBooks Desktop Support Phone Number


 

QuickBooks Support Phone Number is also playing a great role from decades. Yes, whenever you encounter any kind of technical error in QuickBooks, our technical team is here at 1-833-441-8848 to help you get rid of such errors in minimum time.

QuickBooks support phone number
QuickBooks support phone number
QuickBooks support phone number


 

Dial QuickBooks enterprise support phone number 1-888-238-7409 to get connected with one of our technical specialists immediately for technical support in QB
QuickBooks enterprise support phone number
QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions
QuickBooks enterprise support


 

Looking for technical assistance for QuickBooks ? Unable to install QuickBooks on your own? If yes the call us today at Contact Number for QuickBooks Support 1-833-441-8848 and unlock the benefits of unlimited technical assistance for QuickBooks provide by experts available round the clock to assist you.

Contact Number for QuickBooks Support
Contact Number for QuickBooks Support


 

QuickBooks Enterprise errors troubling you? No more QuickBooks Enterprise issues will be able to annoy you .Yes,because QuickBooks Enterprise Support Phone Number 1-833-441-8848 brings the smartest technical assistance for QuickBooks Enterprise software at comfort of your home.Our experts are well-aware with the QuickBooks Enterprise software and its issues.

QuickBooks Enterprise Support Phone Number
QuickBooks Enterprise Support Phone Number


 

Phone Number for Quickbooks Payroll Support +1-833-441-8848 is assisted by our amazing support team. We take care of every issue that gets triggered in QuickBooks Payroll and its versions. Issues like failure of QuickBooks Payroll update, error in reinstalling QuickBooks etc. are solved quite easily by our technical support team. The best part is that our services can be availed 24*7 by QuickBooks users across the planet.

Phone Number for Quickbooks Payroll Support
Phone Number for Quickbooks Payroll Support


 

If there was ever a site that showcases the power of List Posts, here it is!One thing even I don't get is that this site get's authors to guest post, but doesn't even give them a link ...


 

This blog has gotten a lot of press, and one main thing the authors tout is their tiny kitchen.This selling point related to a lot of folks: you can make great meals even in a small kitchen.


 

Proof positive that if you tackle a tough topic with relentless consistency, you're guaranteed to find success.


 

There are some topics out there that I think are just prime for blogs to take over, but they've been vacant for so long because nobody with the right skills has stepped up to the plate.


 

The thing is, if you do get into them (and have something to offer), you'll face limited competition, and if you know your marketing, you will flourish.


 

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info.
search optimization in South Carolina


 

This is really a nice and informative. containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it.
search engine optimization SC yolasite.com


 

I recently found many useful information in your website especially this blog page. Among the lots of comments on your articles. Thanks for sharing.
digital marketing techniques


 

QUICKBOOKS SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER

DIAL QUICKBOOKS SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER +1-844-235-3996 IS THE PERFECT CHOICE TO SEEK TECHNICAL HELP FOR QUICKBOOKS FROM WELL-EXPERIENCED AND CERTIFIED QUICKBOOKS EXPERTS THAT ARE AVAIL ROUND THE CLOCK.

QUICKBOOKS SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER

QUICKBOOKS SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER

QUICKBOOKS SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER


 

Dial Quickbooks enterprise support phone number 1-888-238-7409 helps you get rid of technical errors in QuickBooks errors with the help of experts available round the clock for you. Read More- http://tinyurl.com/yxv7m3tl


 

Call today at QuickBooks POS Support Phone Number 1-888-238-7409 to fix Multi Store Exchange Issue In QuickBooks Point of sale software from technical professionals. Read more- http://tinyurl.com/y5pcdh9x


 

Add a Comment

These HTML tags are permitted: p, b, i, a, and blockquote. A comment may not include more than three links. Participants in this discussion should note the site's moderation policy.