Longtime visitors to this site may remember that I got my start in animation working on X‑Men: the Animated Series. That meant my first boss was Larry Houston, who I came to consider both my mentor in the business, and a friend. Larry’s now getting to enjoy much-deserved recognition for his contributions to X‑Men, as well as a number of other cartoons people think of fondly from their youth.
But before he got into animation, Larry aspired to do comics. And he did! In his 20’s, he self-published three issues of his own comic, The Enforcers, with a little help from his friends.
Those comics have been out of print for years. But not long ago, Larry decided to re-publish them all together in one big collection. You can purchase it off of Larry’s site, using the link above, in either digital or physical form. Originally his comics were in black and white (as was typical for independent comics in those days), but this time it’s in full color!
I ordered myself a copy, and I found it a real blast. You can feel the excitement on the page, that “we’re doing our own comics!” Of course there are some rough edges, but you can see Larry and friends learning their craft and improving visibly with each issue. It’s certainly better than what I was doing in my 20’s! The art has a real energy to it, and so does the dialogue. There’s this ’70s Marvel/quasi-Roy Thomas feel to it. I really enjoyed the comic quite a bit!
So this is a bit of fan art on my part, recreating the cover of the collection (which was also the cover to the original issue #3). But of course, it’s not just a straight re-creation. I always have to have some kind of spin on it, or re-interpretation. In this case, the idea was to tweak it slightly in some aspects to make it look even more like a mainstream comic from that late ’70s period. Except for one or two panels, these stories feel like they could have seen print in a Comics Code-approved book of that era.
So Larry: thanks, and much respect always! Having read these stories, I’d really like to see you do some new comics with your characters, using all the storytelling craft you’ve picked up in the intervening years.
Larry Houston’s The Enforcers are ™ & ©1975, 1978, 1979 and 2018 Larry F. Houston.