DAGGER OF BLOOD 3 (Inside-front cover)
One of the few inside-front cover illustrations not over-loaded with descriptive text!
DAGGER OF BLOOD 3 (May 1997)
COLEY RUNNING WILD Book One: THE BLADE AND THE WHIP
The 2nd collection came out 3 months after DAGGER OF BLOOD #3. This one featured both WEB OF EVIL and THE DEATHSNAKE. Considering the two minis formed one extended storyline, this made for much better reading, as some of the nuances of the story may have been too subtle in the original serialization. This includes a hot scene between Coley & a friend of his in Part 1, which turned up in the reprint, after being missing in the original comic!
COLEY RUNNING WILD Book Two: CAGED HEAT (August 1997)
in the MEATMEN anthologies:
Vol.20 (September 1997) "Bayou Boy"
Vol.21 (December 1997) "Body Heat"
Vol.22 (November 1998) "Coley On The Lost Coast")
Although there is no definite chronology or continuity, I suspect most of these may have taken place during the "6 months" Coley went missing at the end of THE DEATHSNAKE #3.
John Blackburn finally got to do both covers for MEATMEN Vol.21.
The back cover; another of my favorite Coley pin-ups!
COLEY RUNNING WILD Book Three: HARD THROB (April 2003)
COLEY RUNNING WILD Book Four: DESTINY COAST (May 1999)
3 more short stories followed in the pages of Winston Leyland's MEATMEN series...
Vol.23 (June 1999) "Voodoo Swamp Angel"
Vol.24 (June 2000) "Baitbucket"
Vol.25 (June 2002) "Stagecoach"
Although Vol.24 was done as an "S&M Special", somehow, something in Blackburn's "Baitbucket" apparently rubbed the editor the wrong way, and the story was cut short at only 12 pages, the last 8 full pages left unpublished! What, I wonder, could have been that "offensive", in an "S&M Special"?
Surprisingly, Coley's financial patron, Quincey Quartermain, turned up in "Stagecoach", his 1st appearance since "BREATHLESS". This probably went right over the heads of most readers, as "BREATHLESS" remains a limited-edition book that has never been reprinted, and so "Stagecoach" would have been the first time most readers ever saw the character.
At least one more Coley story, "Coley In The French Quarter", was finished, and apparently scheduled for MEATMEN Vol.26, but when the book appeared, Coley was nowhere to be seen-- the first time since Vol.12 that the anthology had contained no work from John Blackburn. WHA' HOPPEN??? Not long after, Leyland Publications went out of business, which brought MEATMEN to a halt. Around the same time, it seems, I got a shock when I learned that John Blackburn had passed away, following a short illness.
Blackburn's work had come to mean so much to me. I often think if not for his Coley stories, I might never have been inspired to do "grown up" stories about my own character, Stormboy, which contained X-rated material. A good friend of mine at the time told me he felt my own character, rock singer "Jay Love", was clearly "a nicer, sweeter version of Coley Cochran". I wound up writing a short "memorial" to honor his passing, which I sent around to various comics news sites, and which can probably still be found around the internet. I've included a link to the Prism Comics site, where I found it still posted.
As I write this, I've once again found myself spending many months looking for a job, and hoping I don't just fall off the map. But in the back of my mind, the thought remains, that if I ever find myself settled job-wise and money-wise, that I'd love to re-publish the early Coley stories myself, as well as put out a collection of all the short stories from MEATMEN in a single volume. That is, if nobody else beats me to it and does it first...!!
"Coley In The French Quarter" (splash page)
"Jay Love" is performing, in my short story, "After The Show".
Sadly, the 3 earlier self-published books are not there as well...
See my detailed indexes of DAGGER OF BLOOD at the GCD site
See my detailed indexes of COLEY RUNNING WILD at the GCD site
See the John Blackburn memorial at Prism Comics
Art (C) JOHN BLACKBURN
"After The Show" excerpt story & art (C) HENRY KUJAWA
All prominent characters are Trademarks of JOHN BLACKBURN
Find John Blackburn & other creators' work at the EROS COMIX site.