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John Jackson Miller and other pop culture archaeologists interested in comics history.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Flashback Friday: Xander in Lost Universe

by John Jackson Miller

A brief flashback today on a title that had a brief run: Gene Roddenberry's Xander in Lost Universe, a part of the Tekno-Comix line from 1995. A part of Big Entertainment, Tekno-Comix was a short-lived attempt to build series around the names and concepts of celebrities ranging from Leonard Nimoy to John Jakes.

It was the largest major new publisher launch to come in the downturn of the mid-1990s, and involved a million-dollar advertising and promotional blitz. The first issues of its flagship titles, appearing in November 1994, actually placed 24th and 25th at Diamond Comic Distributors — but the curiosity factor soon faded, and by March 1995, those titles were out of the Top 60.

The concepts of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, who had died in 1991, appeared at Tekno early in 1995 in the seven-issue series, Gene Roddenberry's Lost Universe. The follow-up series, Xander in Lost Universe ran longer, with nine issues (including a zero issue).

As part of the overall effort to walk the major-publisher walk, Tekno gave its titles newsstand distribution and sold subscriptions during its brief run. That resulted in a single Statement of Ownership for Xander, appearing here. But the filing, appearing in #4, came much too soon in its run for the numbers to mean much of anything: unless Xander was considered the same series as the preceding Lost Universe title for subscription and accounting purposes (a definite possibility), the publisher would not have had a complete picture of returns from the newsstand. In any event, the higher sales on the first issue (or, rather, the zero issue) of Xander would have greatly distorted average sales.

The title did not survive to a second filing, so what we see here is what we get. Click to see more Title Spotlights!
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