The Adventures Of Comicretailman

By | Tuesday, April 20, 2021 Leave a Comment
I found this short comic in a quarter bin a while back, and couldn't resist picking it up. It's a promotional piece from Retail Business Solutions, Inc. to try to coerce comic retailers to buy into their "Mr. Assistant" computerized sales system. Presumably it was sent to retailers for free. I can't find ANY information about Retail Business Solutions or "Mr. Assistant" beyond what's presented in the pamphlet. You can learn pretty much everything I know about them in the reproduction below.
A few interesting things to keep in mind here. First, this is dated 1990. That strikes me as something of a disconnect because everything about the approach and the art screams to me early-to-mid-1980s. Granted, computers weren't in widespread use with smaller retail shops like you see in the comic industry, but this still strikes me as behind the curve by several years.

The president of Retail Business Solutions was one Larry Wickwar. Prior to this venture, he was the Vice-President of R&D at a company called Datapoint, which essentially pioneered LAN technology. Datapoint was financially mismanaged, though, and it went into a steep decline in the early 1980s, and it was forced into a corporate restructuring in 1985. Although Wickwar seems to be retired now, I have found his name connected with the Heroes & Fantasties comic shops in Texas. (As the owner perhaps?)

Next, the artwork is signed by Ben Dunn. Although the art style is a little different that his later work that I'm most familiar with, this appears to be the same Dunn who founded Antarctic Press in 1984 and created Ninja High School in 1987. His Warrior Nun Areala character was introduced in that title in 1993 and got her own series the following year.
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