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From late '86, Blackthorne Publishing's Roachmill issue 1. The series later moved to Dark Horse.

From late '86, Blackthorne Publishing's Roachmill issue 1. The series later moved to Dark Horse.

Sorry I fell behind with updates…I was busy doing absolutely nothing.

If you haven’t yet picked-up on it, the blog pattern on Very Fine / Near Mint is usually a post on a Copper Age Independent comic, then DC, then Marvel, and then some other pop-culture stuff mixed in, from the Copper Age era (of roughly ’84 – ’91.)

Today our indie pick is visually one of my favorite characters ever, Roachmill.

Created by Rich Hedden and Tom McWeeney, Roachmill was initially published by Blackthorne for six issues, then moved over to Dark Horse for a relaunch, lasting ten issues.

Um, if this title / concept hasn’t been optioned by anyone in Hollywood, somebody should scoop this thing up. The series overview, lifted from Wikipedia:

The comic is set in 30th century New York where an influx of aliens to Earth has caused social problems. In response, the Extermination Act is enacted, a law that allows anyone who carries a gun to use lethal force in “alien-related” situation. Eventually, the law is extended to allow the killings of humans as well, allowing for the creation of licensed Exterminators. Roachmill – a tall Dirty Harry-era Clint Eastwood look-a-like with two extra cockroach arms extending from his abdomen – is one such Exterminator, willing – for a price – to kill anyone or anything. The stories veered wildly between comedy, satire and serious sci-fi and the art between cartoony and realistic, sometimes in the same issue.

From a Hollywood producer point-of-view, maybe the “aliens in New York” aspect is too close to Men in Black, but man, would this be a fun feature, live-action TV series, or animated series.

More info / resources:

Atomic Avenue has write-ups of both the Blackthorne and Dark Horse series, here and here

…as for collected editions, there at one time were Roachmill trade paperbacks, but look to be currently out-of-print. Definitely hunt down back issues from either your local comic shop, or mycomicshop.com has them at basically a buck an issue!

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