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Comic Publisher/Conservationist Bruce Hamilton Dies

Comic book publisher Bruce Hamilton passed away on June 20, 2005, following a prolonged illness. In 1981, Hamilton, along with Russ Cochran, two long-time Disney comics fans, decided to combine forces to bring greater recognition to the work of one of the greats of comic art Carl Barks, creator of the popular Disney comic book character, Uncle Scrooge McDuck, miserly-yet-adventurous uncle of Donald Duck. Their first efforts went into establishing Another Rainbow Publishing, the banner under which they produced and issued the award-winning book THE FINE ART OF WALT DISNEY´S DONALD DUCK by Carl Barks, a comprehensive collection of the Disney duck paintings. Not long after, the company began producing fine art lithographs of many of these paintings, in strictly limited editions, all signed by Barks, who eventually produced many original works for the series.

In 1983, Another Rainbow took up the task of collecting the entire Disney comicbook ouvré of Barks more than 500 stories in all in the 10-set, 30-volume Carl Barks Library. These oversized hardbound volumes reproduced Barks pages in pristine black-and-white lineart, as close as possible to the way hed originally drawn them, and included mountains of special features, articles, reminiscences, interviews, storyboards, critiques and more than a few surprises. This monumental project was finally completed in mid-1990. It, and a follow-on color comic album version produced by Gladstone, are out of print at this time.

In 1985, a new division was founded, Gladstone Publishing, which took up the then-dormant Disney comic book license. Gladstone introduced a whole new generation of Disney comic book readers to the wondrous storytelling of such luminaries as Barks, Paul Murry and Floyd Gottfredson, as well as presenting the first works of modern Disney comics masters Don Rosa and William Van Horn. The company was based in Scottsdale, Arizona, until January 1987, when it moved to Prescott, Arizona. Following this move, along with continuing to bring out Disney comics (except for a three-year hiatus at the beginning of the 1990s) and Carl Barks lithographs, there were interesting sojourns into the realms of EC Comics and DICK TRACY comic strip reprints.

Seven years after Gladstone´s founding, they revived the Carl Barks Library as full-color, high-quality squarebound comic albums (including the first-ever Carl Barks trading cards), and three years after that reshaped Walt Disney´s Comics and Stories into the Disney collector´s comic book.

Another imprint, Hamilton Comics, was established in 1991 for projects in various arenas. These have included such properties as EEK THE CAT, MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS, FREEKED, FELIX THE CAT, as well as original efforts such as GRAVE TALES, MAGGOTS, DREAD OF NIGHT and MADRAVEN.

In 1993, the Bruce Hamilton Co. was established as the parent of the Gladstone and Hamilton imprints, as well as taking on the managerial duties of Another Rainbow.

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Rick DeMott
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