The change of the series with the time -- rise and fall of “Boris The Bear”
The second title published by "Dark Horse" was " Boris The Bear ".
The first issue was a smash hit at the San Diego Comic Convention of the year 1986 and helped to outline and to define the explosion of the black and white comic market of 1986 and 1987.
The success of "Boris the Bear" is quite clear to assign to the clever writing style and the excellent drawings.
Most b/w-comics from the mentioned years were extremely simple, but with "Boris The Bear" were shown, that b/w-comics can also be good.
The characters are conscious of their existence within a comic, they move between the panels and use the room between them.
Another recipe for success of the series was, however, the appearance of Boris as an impenitent murderer of already published comic characters of other publishing houses.
It appeared as a pleasure to watch Boris butchering all those figures that wanted to continue the success of the "Teenage mutant Ninja Turtles" and ended only as brainless copies --- to mention only some:
Adolescent Maniacal Samurai Hares
Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters
Cold Bloodet Chameleon Commandos
Colossal Nuclear Bambino Samurai Snails
Geriatric Gangrene Jujitsu Gerbils
Naive Interdimensional Commando Koalas
Pre-Teen Dirty-Gene Kung-Fu Kangaroos
Radioactive Wrestling Rodents
Many readers thought, though, Boris would have been a unique project, an One-Shot.
"Boris the Bear" was invented by James Dean Smith, but the specification on his character study took place in the first three issues of the series by Mike Richardson.
Boris was defined as an active participant of the comic market with a bias towards the large publishing houses and popular trends which hardened like by themselves in the middle of the eighties.
The series was finally published at the time as Marvel created the "New universe" and DC's heroes were the victims of their "Crisis".
In every issue insider jokes and references to "Pegasus Books" were found.
The Beaverton Comicshop "Pegasus Books" was represented in every of the first 12 issues of "Boris the Bear".
This isn't surprising, because "Pegasus Books" owner Pat Richardson was the brother of the owner of "Dark Horse Comics" Mike Richardson.
You could assume that these allusions and cross-references would have had lad to conflicts of interest but in this case a relation was made between Boris, the comic readers and fans.
The issue #12 was then the last issue of "Boris The Bear", which appeared at Dark Horse.
James Dean Smith took the character along to his own publishing house "Nicotat Comics" from which 22 additional issues as well as four issues named "Boris' Adventure magazine" still should be published.
As justification it was said that Jim Smith now can develop his character in the direction which he always wanted.
The stories then changed also from parodies of the comic market to real adventure stories.
The number of the insider jokes decreased, the characters got mature.
Although, from time to time, single characters of publishing houses like Marvel or DC were still parodied, the sales figures decreased considerable.
Besides the criticism of some readers to the increasing seriousness, the irregular publication dates of the series also must serve as a reason therefore.
With the issue 32 "Boris The Bear" became virtually to the scarce comodity.
Finally the series was canceled two issues later.