The Black Diamond comics shown above each feature a cover drawn by Paul Gulacy. A fan of the series and actress Sybil Danning recently posted the covers on Twitter with this response…
I responded to his Tweet with, “Funny story – I was Bill Black’s connection for both Paul Gulacy & Sybil Danning!”
I thought I had told that story here before but a search of the site indicates I didn’t… until now. Let me take you back to 1980…
It’s about 10 at night and I’m watching tv. The phone rings and I answer. The voice on the other end asks to speak to “Mr. ZAB-blow.” Dead giveaway that he doesn’t know me since he mispronounces my name. (For the record it sounds like ZAY-BLOW.) I think he’s a nervy sales guy and am ready to hang up when he says, he got my name from a Bill Black publication that listed me as an editor. The guy wants to get in touch with Bill Black.
Little does this guy know, my editing amounted to either putting Bill in touch with artists or copies of convention sketches. My biggest contribution in this area was that I introduced Bill to Paul Gulacy. Paul was my favorite artist, we talked fairly regularly and I had commissioned a few pieces from Paul. Bill wanted to get Paul to do some art for him.
Ah, but back to the Sybil Danning phone call.
The guy says that he couldn’t find any phone number for Bill, but he was able to locate mine. I tell the guy, that I can’t give out Bill’s number but would be glad to take a message for him. The guy proceeds to tell me he is Sybil Danning’s manager. He asks if I know who she is. I do. He says that they want to do a comic with Sybil as the main character. They want Bill to publish it. I take his number and tell the guy I’ll pass Bill the info. We hang up and I go back to watching whatever I was watching.
I’m pretty sure it was the next day that I reached out to Bill to let him know that I had received a call from a guy saying he was Sybil Danning’s manager and they wanted to do a comic with him. If you know Bill, you know how enthusiastic he gets. Bill begins rapid fire asking questions, “When did he call – do I have his number – why didn’t I call him last night to tell him – etc.” I explain to Bill it was late, I don’t know if the guy is on the level, etc.
Needless to say, Bill was able to contact Danning’s manager and the rest is history.