History of Eclipse Comics

Dean Mullaney of Eclipse Comics

Dean Mullaney is an American editor, publisher, and designer whose Eclipse Enterprises, founded in 1977, was one of the earliest independent comic book companies. Eclipse would publish some of the first graphic novels and was one of the first comics publishers to champion creators’ rights. In the 2000s, he established the imprint The Library of American Comics at IDW Publishing, to publish hardcover collections of comic strips. Mullaney and his work have received seven Eisner Awards.

Eclipse Comics was formerly known as Eclipse Enterprises and was founded in 1977. Eclipse was one of the first original who published graphic novels and the first to be sold in the market of comic book stories. Sabre: Slow Fade of an Endangered Species by Don McGregor and Paul Gulacy. Published in August 1978, it led to a 14-issue spin-off series for Eclipse.

McGregor continued to create two additional early graphic novels for Eclipse, each occur contemporary New York City and starring interracial-buddy private eyes Ted Denning and Bob Rainier: Detectives, Inc.: A Remembrance of Threatening Green (1980), with artist Marshall Rogers, and Detectives, Inc.: A Terror Of Dying Dreams (1985), with artist Gene Colan, who would become a frequent collaborator.

The company had early success with all the anthology magazine Eclipse and color comic Eclipse Monthly, in addition to with all the detective series Ms. Tree by Max Allan Collins.

Inventors whose early work appears in Eclipse publications include Chuck Austen, Donna Barr, Dan Brereton, Chuck Dixon, James Hudnall, Scott McCloud, Peter Milligan, Tim Truman, and Chris Ware. Veterans published by Eclipse include Steve Englehart, Don McGregor, Gene Colan