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Claypool Turns Ten
By Brian Jacks


Claypool Comics, a leading independent comic-book publisher, is kicking off its tenth anniversary year with an achievement rare among independent publishers: its 250th publication.

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The landmark issue, shipping to retailers in January 2003, is SOULSEARCHERS AND COMPANY #58. Written by co-creators PETER DAVID and RICHARD HOWELL, with interior art by GORDON (Star Trek) PURCELL and KIM (Swamp Thing) DEMULDER and a cover by AMANDA (The Pro) CONNER and STEVE (Fables) LEIALOHA, the issue features the bachelorette party of one of the book's star characters, Bridget Lockridge.

Describing the book, the publisher says, "Unfortunately, a ghouls, goblins, and demons invade the party, under the leadership of the witch Kelly--another member of Soulsearchers and Company--and one of Bridget's best friends!"

Claypool, which presented its first comics in 1993, has published: 117 issues of ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK, featuring the witty video hostess in new adventures; 57 issues of DEADBEATS, the saga of a group of vampires and the humans who try to stop them--and sometimes love them; 58 issues of SOULSEARCHERS AND COMPANY; 12 issues of the limited series PHANTOM OF FEAR CITY; two trade-paperback compilations of ELVIRA stories, the first of which has sold out its print run; two compilations of DEADBEATS stories; and two compilations of SOULSEARCHERS stories.

The company's writers and artists have included:
KURT BUSIEK (Avengers) on Elvira
DAVE COCKRUM (Marvel's Uncanny X-Men) on Elvira and Soulsearchers
PAUL DINI (Batman Adventures) on Elvira
JO DUFFY (The Order) on Elvira
STEVE ENGLEHART (Detective Comics) on Phantom of Fear City
JOHN HEEBINK (Doll & Creature) on Elvira and
JANET HETHERINGTON (WizardWorld.com) on Elvira
JIM MOONEY (Supergirl, Spider-Man) on Elvira and Soulsearchers
GEORGE PEREZ (Avengers) on Phantom of Fear City
KURT SCHAFFENBERGER (Lois Lane) on Phantom of Fear City
TOD SMITH (Action Comics) on Elvira
DAN SPIEGLE (Blackhawk) on Elvira and Soulsearchers
RICARDO VILLAGRAN (Star Trek) on Deadbeats
NEIL VOKES (Superman Adventures) on Elvira and Soulsearchers

Claypool's editor, Richard Howell, has this to say about the company's achievements:

"Claypool's been keeping its presence and the loyalty of its readers for the last decade by turning out quality stories, month after month. We're dedicated to producing comics that adult readers can admire--adults who want comics that can make them think, feel, and sometimes laugh out loud. ELVIRA's consistently amusing, SOULSEARCHERS always surprising, and DEADBEATS alternately terrifying and touching. We had the option of following the crowd and turning out comics that aped each day's latest "hot" product, but we followed our own instincts, and now Claypool has a line of comics that are like nothing else in the field, each showcasing the best that each creator can produce."

Howell and the rest of Claypool's staff expect the next ten years to be even more exciting than the last ten and that the company will continue to live up to its reputation as "the publisher of hidden treasures."


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