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Co-founder, with his brother Bill, of Pacific Comics Distributors, one of the first direct market distributors. In 1981 they would also publish comics as Pacific Comics, with Jack Kirby's Captain Victory #1. Pacific was one of the first publishers to allow creators to retain the rights to their creations and to offer royalties when their books make a profit. After a few years of publishing comics such as The Rocketeer, Starslayer and Groo, Pacific's hybrid of distributor and publisher became unwieldy and collapsed.
While his brother Bill remained in distribution by joining competitor Diamond Comics Ditstribution, Steve went on to form Blackthorne Publishing, focusing on cost-effective reprints of old comic material like Sheena Queen of the Jungle and Dick Tracy. Looking to expand into icensed properties, Schanes discovered a loophole that allowed him to publish books which fell outside the perameters of other publisher's licensing agreements, resulting in books like Star Wars 3-D and Transformers 3-D. Schanes recounts, "Strangely enough, our all-time best-selling 3-D comic was the California Raisins. They were a pop-culture phenomenon for years. We kept having to reprint that one again and again, 5000 or 10,000 copies at a time."
With Blackthorne's initial success, they expanded into creator-owned black and white titles. While this resulted in the first published work of such creators as Paul Chadwick and Jeff Johnson, it also produced knock-offs like Pre-Teen Dirty Jean Kung Fu Kangaroos and Cold-Blooded Chameleon Commandos. An unfortunate combination of debtors going out of business and unwanted attention from the IRS later lead to Blackthorne's demise.
Schanes next signed a two-year deal to repackage the Ripley's Believe It or Not! comics from Schanes Products under the imprint Ripley's Comics. Ripley's Comics produced a number of thematically grouped titles such as Sports Feats, Strange Deaths and Crime & Murder, all featuring the original illustrations of Robert Ripley.
After a brief return to comics reatil and a stint at Jim Shooter's short lived Broadway Comics, Shanes set up a home-based marketing-consulting firm.
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Bio details taken from this in-depth article at the San Diego Reader Website:
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