Regarding the original public service announcements in the late 1980s:
I’m drawing somewhat of a blank on this stuff now. Everything was originally created for and printed in Archie Digest Magazines. The first thing created was a two page spread commissioned by Victor and illustrated by Dick Ayers. It contained most, if not all of the MLJ heroes. The concept was just the heroes saying there names and a line like “Look for me in upcoming adventures!”, just so Archie could maintain the copyrights.
The next one I commissioned from a local artist whose name escapes me and had done just a bit of very independent work. It was inked by Rich Rankin, who did develop a bit of a name in the industry. It was a one pager drawn horizontally. All the heroes were in a group shot, huddled together. I had the penciler redesign their costumes based on some of my own designs, but the costumes really had nothing to do with any upcoming stories. Same here – just for Archie to maintain their copyrights.
On the proposed Spectrum line that was being developed in the late 1980s/early 1990s:
The concept was to redesign all of the heroes, keeping just their names and concepts, but “throwing the rest out the window”.
The Hangman was written by Len Wein, penciler Kelly Jones, inker John Beatty, letterer Pat Brosseau, and scheduled to be colored by Barry Grossman. The poster, which was also to be the cover of the first issue was painted by Dave Dorman. Dave was also slated to paint the covers of the rest of the 4 issue mini-series. The Hangman was in reality supposedly deceased policeman Craig Harden. The man responsible for his death, and the arch villain of the mini-series was Dr. Creighton Cadaver. Cadaver’s henchmen include “Giggler”, a red haired, freckled psycho (no, not Archie), and “Beef”, as in ” a side of…”, a giant of a man, all muscle.
The Fly was written by Steve Englehart, penciled by Mike Bair (Hernandez), scheduled to be inked by Bob Downs and Mike Bair, lettered by Jim Massara, and scheduled to be colored by Barry Grossman. I was still deciding on who would finally do the paintings for all 4 covers and the poster for this 4 -issue mini-series.
On public service announcements that appeared in the early 1990s:
I commissioned a series of 1-pagers for most of the top characters. The were designed as public service announcements. I remember Shield, BlackJack, and more. Amanda Conner did some and Chris Allan did the artwork for at least two (I remember him adding some extra copy that made fun of the Shield ?- The Shield saves the day and prevents a kid from causing a fire, reprimands then kid, and the kid has a thought balloon that read something like a sarcastic, “Yeah, Right”. Whatever it was, it was funny, but we had to delete it!)